Featuring stories by Hannah Schneider and images by Kate Stone
Book available for purchase here and at Cuchifritos Gallery
Exhibition Dates: July 15 – August 7
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 12-6pm
Location: 120 Essex Street NY, NY 10002 (inside Essex Street Market)
“Breaking up is hard to do.” – Neil Sedaka
It starts with a need to understand. How do you explain what went wrong? Which moments sum up a relationship? You tell the story once and it becomes just that—a story. Sometimes you tell it to make yourself feel better, or look better. Other times, you’re more honest about how it went. It depends on the person you’re telling. It depends on whether you’re hurt. Sometimes it didn’t hurt at all. Sometimes it was just funny. Those stories are the easiest to tell because you’re not looking to get the facts straight—you just want the punch line to land.
You tell the story and certain pieces always fall right into place—his stupid shirt, the sesame seed stuck in your teeth, the alcohol. They don’t explain how you grew apart, but they are the things you cannot shake. They are the details that you come back to, when you’re telling the story for the third time in a single night because everyone wants to know why you came alone. You try to be clear and true, but every time you tell the story, a gap forms between you and the person you’re telling. They see their own version of things and never yours. The memories feel like small rooms in your mind that no one else will ever be able to walk into.
You and your friend decide to line the stories up, to pick the moments apart and make sense of them. You call each other and text each other and FaceTime each other. When you’re on the same coast, you sit in kitchens late at night. The two of you process the grief and shock and confusion and amusement the only way you know how. You make a book about it. You think the book is funny, but everyone says you’re wrong. It’s a sad book, they say, but that’s not how you meant it.
You call up your exes and ask if this is how they remember it. They almost all say no, but they’re so much nicer than you remember. That’s why I loved you, you think. You ask them to come to a gallery and read the stories you’ve created about them. You wonder if the stories will still sound true when spoken in their deep voices. You call the exhibition How We End: Fictions and you hang prints on the walls. The prints show those strange little rooms. You’re inviting everyone in, or at least trying to. You were alone in your misremembering for too long. You look at the nice faces of the men you’ve kissed and feel like you’re shoving something into their hands. Here. This is for you. This is how it ends.
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Hannah Schneider is an LA-based writer. Her drama pilot, “STILLWATER” was honored as one of the best un-produced scripts of the year on the 2015 Blood List. Her work tends to focus on the schemes of strong women with intimacy issues. She received a BA from Bard College where she learned this sort of focus was called “narcissism.” She’s anti-assault rifle and pro-menstrual cup. Hannah is repped by CAA.
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Cuchifritos is FREE to the public and handicap accessible. Located inside Essex Street Market at the south end nearest Delancey. Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is a program of Artists Alliance Inc., a 501c3 not for profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City within the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center. Cuchifritos is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. This program is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the following for their generous support: Marie and John Zimmermann Fund, New York City Economic Development Corporation and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers, without whom this program would not be possible.