LETISIA CRUZ & HEATHER LANG
LC: I've lived in Miami for 21, going on 22 years. When I first moved here I thought it was a good place to live because even if you end up homeless, you can't die of cold in Miami.
When I first moved to the US from Cuba, I lived in a green apartment building in Union City, NJ. To this day, I am an apartment dweller at heart. Houses have too much space. In fact, I spent a good chunk of my life living in spaces that were small enough that I could see the entire span of the place without leaving my bed -- having separate rooms has been an adjustment.
How I feel about space is relative to how I feel about the body. The vehicle is essential, but it's only a vessel.
I counted once, and I think I’ve moved nearly 30 times in 39 years. I feel a sense of gratitude toward every space I’ve ever called home. But I never feel attached. I don’t like ownership. It entails responsibility. And one thing I’ve learned about myself is I value freedom above all else.
Everything is transient. One day I will leave this home. Just like one day I will leave this body. The things that make us feel "at home" also divert our attention from the fact that "home" is an illusion. It does little more than define where we are at any given moment in time.
HL: I was born in Utah. I spent much of my life in Wisconsin. I've lived in China. Each of these places still feel like home, and I suspect that they always will. And there are many triggers, if you will, that send me back in time and place.
I've recently moved to Seattle, and this, too, is home. In fact, it happened so quickly and so certainly that I've been led to ponder the questions of how, why, and even when.
There was a defining moment. I was picking up a friend from the SEA-TAC airport, and Nirvana was playing in the baggage claim area. Suddenly, I knew that this place had already become a part of me. For me, the homesickness that creeps in from time to time -- as a person can never be in more than one place at one time -- would now include the Pacific Northwest. I asked myself, why this moment? Sure, I enjoy Nirvana as much as the next mid-eighties-born child who just barely missed her chance to swoon over the late Kurt Cobain. However, it is hardly an obsession.
I connected the surroundings to one of my first Seattle excursions: a visit to the EMP Museum. There, I stood in awe of an angel-winged anatomical manikin, one of Nirvana's life-sized In Utero stage props, for longer than any other installment.
While I suspect that home is an ever-changing concept for most, and I don't feel the need to completely unpack my understanding -- at least not today -- I can say that it is from Letisia and my conversations of home -- from our sense of place to these vessels that we call bodies -- that this Issue 4 pairing was born.
Welcome to Issue 4 of Petite Hound Press, which features writing by Kyle Hemmings and art by Ira Joel Haber.
Letisia Cruz & Heather Lang
ARTIST Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, writer, book dealer, photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in the USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum & The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Since 2007 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 200 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Pollock-Krasner grants, the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grant and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists' Fellowship Inc. He currently teaches art to retired public school teachers at The United Federation of Teachers program in Brooklyn.
AUTHOR Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey. He has been published in Your Impossible Voice, Night Train, Toad, Matchbox and elsewhere. His latest ebook is >> FATHER DUNNE'S SCHOOL FOR WAYWARD BOYS << and he >> BLOGS HERE <<