AEP Aims to Heal Intangible Ailments Among All
Curated by local artist Maggie Negrete, the AEP is a reoccurring, interactive art installation that allows its audience and community members to participate anonymously. The purpose is for participants to divulge the root of their stress, suffering and sadness, and begin the healing process for each of their unique, intangible ailments.
Using recycled food, hygiene and pharmaceutical containers, participants can choose a container to document their “social, emotional, psychological, personal or global ailments” with a personal, customized label. The label is then placed onto the container, and the container is placed on a shelf.
Later, new participants examine the containers and take a stab at finding possible treatments for the particular ailment in which they chose. They will construct a “treatment,” record it in writing, and place it onto the reverse side of the container. Afterwards, individuals can leave feedback on how effective their treatment was, or how it benefitted them.
Since its inception in 2013, the AEP has collected over 100 containers from their previous host sites, Handmade Arcade and Constellation Coffee. This year marks the final installment of this interactive exhibition, as Negrete ends her October residency at the Assemble.
Other than its purpose to heal, the exhibition developed from the idea of reclaiming the role in which fad diets, prescriptions drugs and beauty products play into harming one’s self esteem. Through this exhibit, the AEP supports the practice of empathy, creating an anonymous space for participants to seek help about things they would normally be too afraid to discuss with family, doctors, or at the workplace.
The installation opens at Assemble on Friday, Oct. 2 at 6PM, and it will run until October 30. During this time, the AEP will sponsor two ” Crafternoon” Saturday events, which will feature workshops and keynote speakers including poet Jessica Server and owner of Coco Bella, Heather Pavlik.
On the 17th, Server will conduct a seminar on deletion poetry and use the finished products as prompts in her workshop. The following week, Pavlik will facilitate a workshop on Oct. 24 that features the benefits of smell in conjunction with emotions and memories. She will use natural body lotions and essential oils as prompts, and participants will have the option to make a custom lotion to take home.
Whether you’re struggling with something internally, looking to reach out for support, or just want to help support others in their times of need, the AEP exhibit could very well be your glimmer of hope. Organizers hope to show participants that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, and sometimes, all it takes is human love and support.