Stove Works / 1250 E 13th St. April 26 - June 15th

Emily Clayton

Someone thinking of you is a series of painted and silk screened works on hand-dyed paper that reproduce segments of an unpublished erotica manuscript written by the artist in 2017. Commissioned as part of a series of woman-authored erotic fiction, the manuscript is shown in its third iteration, complete with hand-written edits made by the publisher himself, who is also an artist. The works map the sexual subjectivity, political subtext, and masochistic tension that emerge between the two voices. As writer and editor, they respond to one another’s fantasy-scapes through a skewed power structure that exemplifies the often parasitic nature of personal desire. While Clayton originally envisioned the story as a political revenge fantasy, it was subsequently edited into a cryptocurrency thriller and now in its final state as artwork, serves as a container to explore hierarchies of power, gender, and authorship.

The works in this series comprise five unique editions that include nine key pages from the manuscript: the cover, one page from each of the six chapters, and two pages from the protagonist’s backstory, as well as additional drawings and prints. The works incorporate erotic drawings that were made throughout the writing and editing process, with references to dancers, filmmakers, pornography, and cartoons—including the iconic Soviet animated character Cheburashka, a wide-eyed creature of unknown species and origin. A symbol of naivety and a contemporary meme, Cheburashka stands in as an innocent outsider, creating a space for projection amidst the narrative positions that are played out in the text. He is a foil for agency, humor, deviance, and play amidst the struggles of power and desire.

As a literary subgenre, erotica relies on linguistic tropes and smutty vocabulary in order to construct a fantasy. For Someone thinking of you, Clayton repurposes her own writing as a trojan horse to examine the nefarious side of power—as well as its libidinal economy.