DOUBLE CLEAR, new exhibition by E.T. Russian, opens Dec. 7

Written by Molly Mac
November 22, 2019

From December 7, 2019 - March 1, 2020, Seattle-based artist and author, E.T. Russian, presents DOUBLE CLEAR, a new, multi-sensory video comic installation and a series of public programs at Seattle University’s Hedreen Gallery. DOUBLE CLEAR is an interactive exhibition of animation, sculpture, and poetry that follows gargoyle apparitions as they fly over cemeteries, bridges, land, and water, and experience a series of surreal events. This installation is a meditation on choosing what to live for.

Double Clear, artwork by E.T. Russian

This exhibition will include multiple events. On December 7, 2019, Hedreen Gallery hosts a free, opening night celebration where food and drinks will be served. On Jan 9, 2020, regional artists working in sound and movement will perform live in the exhibition space with DOUBLE CLEAR as the backdrop (the evening will be ASL interpreted with live captioning). This event features Rana San, Neve Kamilah Mazique-Bianco, Seema Bahl, Wynne Greenwood, and Claire Barrera as well as storytelling and poetry by Anne Riley, Jaye Sablan, and LL Gimeno.  Finally, on March 1, 2020, there will be a closing night event and artist conversation (the evening will be ASL interpreted with live captioning).

Learn more about Hedreen Gallery here.

In the Artist’s Words:

“I’ve made a lot of documentary work in the past (comics and film), but DOUBLE CLEAR  isn’t linear like that. It’s more a visual poem about living and dying and transformation. When I was 18 I almost died in a traumatic accident and acquired artificial legs due to limb loss. Twenty years later I am still alive and facing an unclear future, especially considering that it is hard to find elders with disabilities who are role models for thriving while aging. In this era of Trump and the border wall, Black Lives Matter, #metoo, and climate change I (and many people) are asking what the goal is. What are we living for? DOUBLE CLEAR is a meditation on choosing what we’re living for, as we're aging and dying. 

“After 20+ years of making zines and comics while simultaneously exploring the cultural aspects of disability and chronic illness, I became interested in the intersection: multi-sensory art. I thought how do people who are blind, Deaf or neurodivergent access art? I wanted my comic books to reach a wider audience, not just people who read comics, but who watch videos, listen to sounds, like to touch things and move their bodies. How can I create work that stimulates multiple senses at once? I’m very interested in things that are low, horizontal and forgotten. I use a wheelchair and crawl a lot. I love broken things and what comes when broken things make new things.

“DOUBLE CLEAR will stimulate people audibly, visually, spatially and through touch. Working with Seattle University and Hedreen Gallery offers me the resources of recording, editing and exhibition space, as well as access inclusion (ASL interpreters, live captioning, audio description, braille printing, wheelchair access, etc.). This is an exciting opportunity to go big with my work and evolve my grand experiment with storytelling, accessibility, and sensuality.

“For DOUBLE CLEAR I have taken thousands of photographs, created hundreds of illustrations, recorded dozens of sounds and edited the results together into a large-scale animation installation. I am offering an interactive sculpture, which attendees are invited to touch. New materials I am working with are resin, gravel, and concrete, as well as found objects.

“I’m largely self-taught and over the years I've learned to dance, draw, interview, record sounds, make movies, publish, produce, direct and sculpt. My do-it-yourself animations I call ‘video comics’. Now I produce large-scale multi-sensory video comic installations.”

-E.T. Russian, 2019

Artist Bio:

E.T. Russian is a multi-sensory artist and maker of comics, zines, and videos. Russian is interested in creating accessible spaces and stories that welcome all bodies and minds into spaces where multiple senses can be stimulated. Russian’s graphic journalism is currently in the international traveling exhibit “Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived and Well Drawn”. Russian’s installation CASTING SHADOWS exhibited at Jack Straw New Media Gallery (2016), Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (2017) and Kittredge Gallery (2018). Their installation HELLO exhibited at Hedreen Gallery in 2018. In 2017 Russian was featured in the Out of Sight exhibition of contemporary Northwest art. Russian is the author of The Ring of Fire Anthology and has been published in a number of books and magazines including Disability in American Life, PEN Magazine, The Stranger, The Seattle Weekly, The Graphic Medicine Manifesto and Gay Genius, in addition to their mini-comics and zines. Russian is the Co-Director of the documentary Third Antenna (2001) and has received support for DOUBLE CLEAR FROM 4Culture, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Short Run, and the University of Washington Harlan Hahn Disability Studies Award. Learn more on their website.

Image: E.T. Russian, still from DOUBLE CLEAR, 2019.