Casey Carsel is an editor, writer, and artist who seeks to untangle the ways in which communal narratives are constructed and passed down through generations and across the world, and how these stories shape identities and make connections. What is most cherished? What is forgotten? What is lost in translation?

Carsel’s work is informed by Jewish culture and especially diaspora culture, where stories are our homes. They hold and extend this tradition in their own hands, and funnel it through their experiences as a queer, New Zealand-born Jew of American and Ukrainian/Polish shtetl heritage. Covering topics like garlic, the Holocaust, and culturally specific jokes, Carsel’s text and textile works hold and share the stories of nations, communities, and individuals, while interrogating the potentialities and limitations of storytelling itself.

You should know that the things that are funny and the things that are sad are usually the same things.

 
EDUCATION

Master of Fine Arts in Writing (2017–2019)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Chicago, IL., USA

Bachelor of Fine Arts with First Class Honours (2012–2016)
Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, New Zealand

SELECT EXHIBITIONS

2022
you’d be home by now, Wormhole, Edgecumbe, New Zealand (solo)
Salt, America House Kyiv (solo, delayed indefinitely due to war)

2021
Terrain Biennial, Evanston
Present Tense, Auckland Art Fair

2020
Knobl Hearts, Co-Prosperity, Chicago (solo)

2019
Shum Klum, RM Gallery, Auckland (solo)
When a poor man eats a chicken, one of them is sick (but we sing, we still sing), Blue Oyster Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand (solo)

2017
Rather owe you than not pay you
, MEANWHILE onsite, Wellington (solo)
He Had His Lunch and I Had Mine, MEANWHILE online, Wellington (solo)

2016
cry, without words, Window Online Gallery, Auckland (solo)
What do I want? Where do I stand?, Offsite Online, Auckland
HumanNature, George Fraser Gallery, Auckland
The Colour of Your Heart is What Matters, Studio One Toi Tū, Auckland

2014
CityUps, Festival of Transitional Architecture, Christchurch

SELECT CREATIVE WRITING and ART WRITING

2022
Unbreaking a horizon,’ Documentarian, Chicago (forthcoming)

2021
Haig Aivazian: All of the Lights at The Renaissance Society,’ Ocula Magazine
At this point, everybody already knows utopia is no place, but it bears repeating,’ Unyimeabasi Udoh: Title Case, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Chicago

2020
To Me You’re Beautiful, Bus Projects, Melbourne
Anne Wilson: If We Asked about the Sky and All That Was Formed from Earth, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago
Cindy Ji Hye Kim: Drawing the Unseen,’ Ocula Magazine
Gary Simmons: History as Residue,’ Ocula Magazine

2019
A Translucent Approach,’ F Newsmagazine
ee ghaoo maange acha ho jai [these wounds must heal], Clark House Initiative, Mumbai, India
A thousand kisses deep,’ The Seen, Chicago

2018
Lavender sweat,’ ‘People-walking,’ Tipton Poetry Journal, Tipton, IN., USA
Water and Concrete,’ Hamster II and III, The Physics Room, Christchurch, New Zealand

2017
A Journey Begins,’ Temporary Vanua, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
Ann Shelton In Conversation,’ Ocula Magazine

SELECT HONOURS / AWARDS / RESIDENCIES

2022
New York Public Library Short-Term Research Fellowship in support of the artwork series ‘For the healthy and for the dead’ (upcoming)
Ragdale Visual Artist Residency Award, Lake Forest, Illinois (upcoming)
Barry Hannah Prize (finalist), Yalobusha Review, for the short story ‘Big Responsibilities’

2021
Fulbright U.S. Creative Writing Grant for nine-month residency in Ukraine
DCASE Individual Artists Program Grant towards the contributor fees and printing of Plates Issue 04: Craft

2020
Arts for Illinois Relief Fund for living expenses under COVID-19

2019
SAIC Writing Program Small Grant Award for research travel to New York in support of Blue Oyster Art Project Space solo exhibition

2018
College Media Association Pinnacle Award: Best Magazine Entertainment Page/Spread
SAIC Graduate Dean Professional Development Award for travel to Auckland in support of RM Gallery solo exhibition

2017
SAIC Writing Program Small Grant Award for travel to The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, OH., USA
Albert Krehbiel Scholarship towards studies at SAIC
SAIC Enrichment Scholarship towards studies

2016
First Class Honours in Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Elam School of Fine Arts

2015
Summer Research Scholarship, University of Auckland
The Social International Residency for Artists, Christchurch
New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Awards (finalist), Hamilton, New Zealand

RELEVANT PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2022
Guest Lecturer, Dnipro National University (as part of nine-month Fulbright grant)

2019
Co-Founder and Editor, Plates Journal (–ongoing)
Operations Director, 2dcloud (–2021)
Co-Founder, SAIC Graduate Writers’ Salon/Moonrise Club, Chicago (–2021) Research Assistant, Anne Wilson, Chicago

2018
Managing Editor, F Newsmagazine, Chicago (–2019)

2017
Editorial Assistant, Ocula Ltd., Auckland/Remote (–2021)

2016
Ceramics Technician, University of Auckland (–2017)

PRESS AND PROFILES

2022
Kathy Forsyth, ‘Stories retold in new exhibition,’ The Beacon

2021
Philip Barcio, ‘Episode 29,’ Apocalypse Mixtape
We think you’ll be into this interactive project with emerging artists,’ Ensemble
Lori Waxman, ‘60wrd/min COVID Edition: Exo, Olivier, Casey Carsel,’ Newcity
Becky Hemus, ‘Present Tense,’ The Art Paper

2019
Quishile Charan, Garlic and a whole lotta lovin’, RM Gallery, Auckland
Interview, DPAG Late Breakfast, 2 November
Interview, OAR FM Arts Hub, 10 October
Review, Otago Daily Times, 9 October, Dunedin

2017
Interview, Elamite

2016
Interview, Ready Steady Learn, 25 October, Auckland
Interview Artbank, 14 August, Auckland