Carman is based on chronological iPhone notes that Ser Serpas wrote during her undergraduate studies, from July 2013 to July 2017.
The title Carman not only evokes Carmen, Georges Bizet’s famous opera of love and seduction; it is also the name of Serpas’s freshman-year dormitory at Columbia, where she majored in the fine arts and urban studies.
Originally from Los Angeles, she is now based in New York. The poems she wrote in her final year at Columbia led to the exhibition You were created to be so young (self-harm and exercise) in the summer of 2018 at Luma Westbau.
Serpas’s experience in community work and the fashion industry fed into the exploitation of her own and others’ detritus. As Hannah Black notes in Becoming Trash, Serpa’s poetry in Carman is a ‘mythic account of her development as an artist.‘
Accompanies the exhibition ‘Ser Serpas: You were created to be so young (self-harm and exercise)’, 9th Jun – 2 Sep 2018, LUMA Westbau, Zürich.
Co-published with Fredi Fischli.