Betsy Johnson (1993; Orlando, FL) is a maker of texts, performances, videos, and objects. They are a second-year MFA candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Betsy has shown work at Iceberg Projects (Chicago, IL), And Gallery (Jackson, MS), Art in Odd Places (Orlando, FL), and A Place Gallery (Orlando, FL); they attended the Wassaic Artist Residency in 2017. Betsy was awarded "Best Local Visual Artist" in the Orlando Weekly's "Best of Orlando" Reader's Poll in 2015.
The pleasures and agonies of creating a queer body to live in slide over, through, towards, and away from each other: Betsy's practice is most often driven by the frictions and tensions of queer embodiedness. Recent work responds to the sensations of certain doom circulating within the progressive Left. Proposing speculative world-making, listening, poetry-writing, and empathy as urgent political strategies, this work poses questions about the validity of optimism and hope as forms of resistance.
Betsy is currently developing a poem-treatise that constructs elision as a model for thinking through Otherness.
Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity, Muñoz
The Agony of Power, Baudrillard
The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance, Franco "Bifo" Berardi
Agua Viva, Clarice Lispector