In this brief and intimate oral portrait, Robin Reid Drake talks with artist and Chicago icon Diana Solís as she reflects on her time in Mexico City’s early gay and lesbian liberation movement and the radical vision of her current photography practice

This segment was produced by Robin Reid Drake for Vocalo’s Summer 2022 Storytelling Workshop. Vocalo’s quarterly Storytelling Workshop returned this summer with seven segments produced by community storytellers, uplifting the voices of individuals who add to the rich cultural diversity of Chicago.

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Centos: Horrors Called Hope
Robin Reid Drake
Presented for Guild Literary Complex’s Exhibit B, Summer 2020
Chicago, IL

These poems are an adapted form of the cento, appropriating found language to create entirely new works of poetry and were originally written while in residency at the Ragdale Foundation, in Lake Forest, IL. They were projected and filmed as three short video poems in, around and about a historic Chicago bird sanctuary & cruising ground, during quarantine for the Guild Literary Complex’s ‘Exhibit B’ reading series.

Jazzy M. Smith & Robin Reid Drake
Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2017
Chicago, IL

A collaborative writing process, performance and installation, Invisibility was selected to be a part of an evening of interventions as closing events for filmmaker and artist Apichatpong Weerasethekul’s retrospective exhibit The Serenity of Madness. Intervening over the dual channel video installation of the same title, Drake & Smith performed a shadow reading of collaborative poetry, created in the space of the installation. Installed in the gallery was an internally lit vinyl podium, displaying laser cut replicas of the shadow slides that were performed. Attendees were invited to participate by rearranging the poems on the podium and encourage to take slides home in their pockets.

All photos by Tony Favarula.

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