We had the good fortune of connecting with Kale Roberts and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kale, how do you think about risk?
Risk is a necessity and vulnerability. I feel like it has been unintentional in some ways too. Much of the work I do is performance or social practice, so inevitably it folds into an art life embodiment. I share stories and have public interactions in places as mundane as a stop light and other times being so visibly queer in driving around TGP it can also incite aggression. Although this aggression can be risk, the emotional is a higher cost. Driving and making my personal truck a collaborative gallery and performance platform is a risk, but the smoke signal to others is worth it. We are in the south where toxicities and trauma around truck culture and truck identities are exhausting. The risk is muted and the stakes are higher. Art performers/ and artists we can redefine these objects and rituals. Through visibility and vulnerability(risk) we can create change and queer the landscape.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My sculptural work takes on the seemingly mundane object, the imbued histories and functions, in ritual, labor, and communal gatherings. My interaction with remaking these objects is much like my interactions with public space, precarious yet joyful in what we might find when we dig deeper and spend more time. Even when observing the sky, we see stars and planets before we even consider dark matter, the space between. It seems that it takes us a long time of looking before we begin to see what is there. I use my truck, now Tailgate Projects, as a beacon and collaboratively communal project. It’s a hybrid creature a truck in drag made from a collective of voices. Working on this project continues to expand how complex and expanding collaborations can be, and I am grateful to be evolving with it. With the pandemic surrounding us, especially in the south, especially in Florida, it has been daunting. The purple areas are surrounded by red, trucks, and sports culture. It can be hard to move- to be in public. And also the truck allows for mediated connection and public joy spreading at a time where it is deeply needed.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Roller Blading and joy spreading, eating food and connecting with folks as the conversation unfolds. We would seek out parks and spots of rich history where we can get better rooted in the past for growth into the future. We don’t have a destination, but a voyage of discovery. Ps I do love a good vegan ice cream. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Julie Weitz has been pivotal as a friend and mentor. Mad respect for her ever evolving practice. The Milagros Collective for starting in this crazy Tailgate Projects adventure with a mural on a truck. Dana Hoey for jumpstarting our flag gallery space and mentorship at ACA. Desireé Moore and Mikaela Williams in building our first performance series. Kevin Seaman for continued support, shout outs, a queerly supportive friendship, and one of the best performance series we have had to date! And especially Coe Lapossy for the tireless back end work and continued curation this project needs to survive. The only way this project has run, has been the support of a growing community.
Facebook: Kale Roberts
Image 1: Coe Lapossy photo credit Flag Series “Acephaglyph” by Ron Athey Truck Skin: “Street Meat” by The Milagros Collective Image 2: Selina Roman photo credit Collaboration with Kale Roberts Truck Skin: “Street Meat” by The Milagros Collective Image 3: Julie Weitz, My GOLEM in “The Great Dominatrix” shown during “Dirty Mouth Dirty South” Miami art Basel Image 4: Kevin Seaman and Kale Roberts Flags from left to right, Julie Weitz left, Jake Troyli, center, Dana Hoey right Image 5: Kale Roberts photo credit Fashion Show from “Dirty Mouth Dirty South” hosted by Kevin Seaman and Kale Roberts Image 6: Photo Credit Mikaela Williams Performance by Aaron Addams and Kat Alexander Image 7: Photo Credit Sarah Howard Two years of flags. Hosted at Tempus Projects opening “Tempus X. “ Image 8: Photo Credit Kale Roberts Delivering Meals on Wheels with Coe Lapossy.