My Roman Empire

rel robinson

November 3 – December 10, 2023 / @rel.robinson

  1. The Fabric
    1. In 1935, Nylon 66 is patented by DuPont Inc., and rises to prominence as
      the first commercially successful thermoplastic polymer, a pliable and
      inexpensive synthetic fabric.
    2. In the first two years of production DuPont makes thirty million dollars
      from Nylon stockings and toothbrushes setting a precedent for market
      capitalization of the litany of synthetic fabrics that will come to
      fruition in the following two decades.

      1. The insides of the mouth, the thighs
    3. At the onset of WWII, a shortage of raw materials like rubber and cotton
      increases the demand for Rayon, an organic predecessor to Nylon.

      1. Nylon quickly becomes commercially obsolete as the US military
        becomes the largest purchaser.
    4. To uniform the National Socialist party IG Farben, the German chemicals
      conglomerate establishes Monovitz, a concentration camp adjacent to
      Auschwitz to staff its industrial complex, Buna Werke.

      1. At Buna Werke, the labor for the largest Rayon factory in Europe is
        provided by interned Jews and other prisoners of war.
    5. Living on in the outfits made by the dead, the SS mobilization effort
      demands more boots, gaskets, hoses, tires than natural rubber can
    6. IG Farben works closely with DuPont Inc. to produce a material
    7. Through the exchange of patented American research IG Farben produces
      Nitrile rubber, a synthetic produced by the same process of
      polymerization as Nylon, and later, polyester.
    8. This unprecedented technology greatly aids the mobilization of the
      National Socialist Party.
    9. In the five years after WWII, polyester replaces nylon as the most
      ubiquitous synthetic fabric.

      1. The first yard of polyester does not decompose until the year 2451.
    10. We know how this story ends.
  2. The Photograph
    1. The images gave us no rest yet failed over And over despite the
      immensity Of their realism to describe the world as we really Knew it,
      and worse, as it knew us1
    2. The difference between her and her sister could be attributed to the
      fact that she came of age in the nineties, during the heyday of plaid
      and heroin, while her sister came of age in the 2000s, during the heyday
      of thongs and cocaine. That was when everything got a little chihuahua
      and started starring in its own show. That was when we saw the whole
      world’s waxed pussy getting out of a car, and said, more.2</sup >
  3. Other Latent Histories
    1. In the year 2023 I have 5,493 screenshots on my iPhone.
      1. Because I have been horny, scrolling, or bored.
        1. I’m concerned.
          1. When does one feel beckoned to rewatch the fireworks from
            the iPad

            1. Like an orgasm on SSRIs
            2. Like adding a little bows on it
              1. to participate in the cultural moment
              2. Fomo?
              3. What is going to happen to all my pictures of sunsets when I die.
              4. It’s easier to take pictures of flowers than it is to remember that seasons come in cycles.
    2. My Mother’s Archive
      1. The car no longer fits in the garage
        1. It was replaced by a series of events waiting to be arranged in
          an order that serves the needs of the present.
      2. The daughter’s body
    3. The Linen Closet
      1. The top shelf
      2. And the bottom left corner
      3. Deuteronomy 22:11
        1. Thou shalt not wear a mingled stuff, wool and linen together.
      4. Burden, heirloom
        1. the dust under the bed


rel robinson, 2023.
1 Reines, Ariana. A Sand Book, Tin House Books, Portland, Oregon, 2020, p. 11.
2 Lockwood, Patricia. No One Is Talking About This, Riverhead Books/Penguin USA, New York, NY, 2021, p. 76.

About the Artist

rel robinson (b.1995 Los Angeles) is an artist and writer based in San Francisco. Working in and around photography, fibers, research, text, and archival methodologies her practice superimposes the personal and the political and aims to develop a language with the ephemeral. She holds a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute and has most recently exhibited at Et al. [San Francisco, California], Glogauair [Berlin, Germany], Gallery 16 [San Francisco, California] and Delaplane [San Francisco, California]. She is an independent critic, contributing writer to KQED Arts, and founder of Conventional Projects, an artist-edition publication.

My Roman Empire is her second solo exhibition and first show with staircase. / @rel.robinson

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