April 1, 2007


1 comment:

Ian said...

The body -- uncertainty, personal hesitancy, a mix of fear and marvel or admiration for one's own body. Its mechanism, its capacities for life, procreation, but your own youthful nervousness. Your innocence. Your legs and feet. They're vulnerable. A fetal gesture. Possibly a longing for return to the security of mother, of home, of childhood, of the womb. The responsibility of having to bear out that security for another while you yourself feel so displaced. How can you be a mother? How can you be a home? You crop yourself possibly in an attempt to distance or remove yourself from your body, to very literally separate the fear from the wonder. But you resonate only more loudly in the dichotomy inherent to your posture. The burden of shouldering the weight of your evolutionary assignment, your biological purpose. It’s ineluctable.

But at the same time, how can't you be elated at the ideal embodied within you. How can you fear your body and its potentialities? It's a gift, or so you've been told (as everything inborn, whether curse or benefaction, is posited as a gift from God, a quick, conventional Christian defense for impossible questions). But how can something finite, something organic and susceptible, supple and growing, changing, stretching, loosening, in a constant state of holding back decay for the maintenance of life, ever be considered a gift? It’s a struggle. The living organism is a struggle. The joke of planned obsolescence. The body is by its very nature always in an unfinished state, a state of peril, trying to preserve a balance of internal and external forces. And the balance is always provisional. It’s only for tomorrow, for the next few minutes, a temporary stability. How this anxious existence (madness) comes through in your posture. A softening of flesh diffused by the camera. A youthful kind of flesh, neither old nor tired but ready for life (The anxiety of a life simultaneously predetermined and wholly contingent. What life? Which life? The inevitable course? The unforeseen course?). The suffusion of light highlighting the ripples of the bed sheet. The bed is vascularized. It becomes a living tissue. A return to the womb. But the body is not that of a child, but of a young adult, primed by genetics and time for its daunting evolutionary purpose (gift or curse). The bulge of the stomach, folds of skin around the waist – here resides the potential for give and expansion. This points towards the future. The body is a reflection of the sitter herself. She is at a point of readiness in her life.

One last thought. The permanency of words versus the transience of the body. How can we find words, use words, combine words, manipulate language so that it, instead of becoming an mechanistic, alienating social codification, opens up to us in a form coextensive in our organic, bodily existence. Perhaps a solution abides in how we receive words. To internalize words like a food, an organic nourishment. It is up to each of us to find this means of internalization. Translation may expose the plasticity, the fertility, the indefinite, undeveloped quality of language necessary for its organic integration. All food must be broken down to yield nourishment for life. Otherwise the words merely pass along their prescribed paths to no avail. They won’t contribute to growth.