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Saturday, 29 January 2011

Feminism Beyond Hysteria:Reading Feminine Ethics - Kristine Klement

Second wave feminism offered women another sort of cure, a new ideology by which to explain their experiences and their suffering, another way of expressing “the problem that has no name.” But so far feminists have not been able to displace the phallic signifier, reliant as we are on the social meanings of sex, gender and sexuality which it structures. Feminist thinkers have often taken either the masculine position, relying on a messianic fantasy of phallic power to come, or the hysteric’s position, blaming others for what they lack. However, what feminism needs to contend with is that the question What does a woman want? has no universal answer because the Woman does not exist. Without a signifier for woman’s desire, each woman is alone to produce her own signifier for herself. She can take the route of the hysteric by looking for an external limit, or she can take this responsibility on herself. Which is why Copjec claims that the ethical act is feminine, because to act ethically is to take responsibility for limiting one’s own jouissance in the face of the absent Other, that is, without the fantasies of love and sex offered by the social world. Acting ethically is not transgressing an oppressive law, or following some kind of morality—that is the masculine logic. It is this feminine ethics that I think may offer feminists a new way of approaching feminine difference and a new politics of women’s suffering.


Monday, 24 January 2011

Cockroaches and lace mourning self-portrait

- Cockroaches are among the hardiest insects on the planet. It is popularly suggested that cockroaches will "inherit the earth" if humanity destroys itself in a nuclear war.
- In French, cockroache is "cafard" and is used in expressions meaning to feel low, down, to have the blues.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

"The New Realism: Pompeii’s Living Dead" By Eugene Dwyer

Brogi 5579. Victim No. 7, in museum case.
From the author’s own collection.

"Plaster casts of the Pompeian victims, first made by Giuseppe Fiorelli in 1863, have become world famous through post cards, documentary films, and now traveling exhibitions.
Direct exposure to the casts, whether one experiences them in Pompeii or in a museum setting, can be very moving or it can be unaffecting, depending upon the circumstances and expectations brought to the experience by the visitor. To stumble upon a cast unexpectedly in a dimly lighted vault can be a memorable experience.
Fiorelli’s own initial discovery of victims, made by freeing his newly made plasters of the surrounding earth, came as such a shock that he claimed to have “stolen from death” the bodies that had been concealed for more than eighteen hundred years.

In fact, Fiorelli’s process made it possible to see the faces and the helpless gestures of the victims at the very moment they were overcome by the volcano. No one before Fiorelli had seen ancient Romans as “living persons.” Portrait sculpture and ideal or mythological sculpture and painting had been the basis of most people’s acquaintance with the ancients, leading to exalted notions of the beauty of the ancients.

The experience of human remains was limited to skeletons, gruesome but insufficient to contradict the supposed veracity of the works of art. Now it was apparent that the Pompeians had been heavily clothed, mostly well shod, and that they strikingly resembled contemporary inhabitants of the zone. Most noticeably, they appeared to contradict the images handed down in ancient art.

A week after his initial discovery, Fiorelli invited his distinguished colleague, Luigi Settembrini, to Pompeii to view the casts. After a moving visit, Settembrini wrote: “It is impossible to see these three disfigured bodies and not to feel moved – especially the girl with that skull and that body of hers who, being less indistinct than the others, appears to have such grace, that it breaks your heart. They have been dead for eighteen centuries, but they are human beings who are seen in their agony.

“There is nothing of art or of beauty, only bones, the remains of their flesh and their clothing mixed with the plaster. It is the pain of death which has conquered the body and the figure. I looked at the confused mass, I heard the shrill cry of the mother, and I saw her fall and struggle as she died. How many more human beings perished in the same torments and worse!”

“Until now have been discovered, temples, houses, walls, paintings, writings, sculptures, vases, tools, implements, bones, and other objects that roused the curiosity of cultured persons, artists, and archaeologists. But now you, my friend Fiorelli, have discovered human pain, and whoever is human can feel it.”

Where Fiorelli, the scientist, attended to the antiquarian details—the coiffeur, the clothing, the pathology—of the victims, Settembrini, the humanist, recoiled at the evidence of their suffering. Exhibition of the bodies at Pompeii made it possible for viewers to respond individually, and few visitors to Pompeii who recorded their impressions during the late nineteenth century failed to mention a visit to the morgue-like museum.

A growing industry of commercial photography catered to the tourist market, culminating in the picture post cards introduced during the last decade of the century. By then Fiorelli’s casts had become iconic."

in Cultural History,Giveaway,History NF authors,History and Death,History and Nature,History with an H

Eugene Dwyer, author of Pompeii’s Living Statues: Ancient Roman Lives Stolen from Death.

Allan McCollum - The Shapes Project

7056 Monoprints from The Shapes Project, 2005/05. Framed digital prints, each unique, signed, and numbered. 4.25 x 5.5 inches each, on acid-free bond paper. Installation: Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York, 2006.

In 2005, the artist designed The Shapes Project, a combinatorial system to produce "a completely unique shape for every person on the planet, without repeating."[The system involves organizing a basic vocabulary of 300 "parts" which can be combined in over 30 billion different ways, created as "vector files" in a computer drawing program. McCollum has used the system in collaborations with a community library, schoolchildren, home craftworkers, writers, architects, and other artists, as the Shapes are created to be used for many different kinds of projects, and so far have been produced in the form of both prints and sculpture, in Plexiglas, Corian, plywood, hardwoods, metals, rubber, and fabric, in a variety of sizes. In 2010, he published "The Book of Shapes", in collaboration with mfc-michèle didier. This book makes the Shapes Project complete : The first volume contains the 300 shapes "parts," and the second one includes the guides and instructions for creating all possible combinations with these components. That same year, he organized the Shapes for Hamilton project, in which a unique signed and dated Shapes print was made for each of the 6,000+ residents of the town of Hamilton, New York.

Friday, 14 January 2011

2004 - self-portraits - green clay and make-up - studio trials - Staffordshire university

2004 - self-portraits - building a protection - studio trials - Staffordshire university

2004 - self-portraits with clay - studio trials - Staffordshire university

While working at the "mourning" self-portraits and the trials for mask-making, I remembered these images, from university research, about 6 years ago ... It is very strange to be exploring a similar practice again, as I am going through the same kind of emotional states ...

The idea of protecting-repulsing was already there but I choose these portraits here for the sadness in the sight.

"What do you love ?" - travelling kit preparations

The interactive ever growing mobile was made to travel around the world.
Over the Christmas holidays, I worked at a dismantable table that will go inside the mobile for people to write their answers.

I have also started to look for suitcases to transport the whole thing as well as the translation booklets....

To see more about "What do you love ?", click here.
(for better understanding, scroll down and start form the 1st post)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

mask making - ideas

one idea ...

The masking-making process I am choosing will include making a plaster 3D reproduction of my face, which I could use indefinitely to produce whatever masks I want. I am thinking of exploring making masks with very basic and unusual materials and use them in self-portraiture or "fashion-style" photographs ...

Friday, 7 January 2011

Cayetano Ferrer .... (ideas for my personal dream show - part two)

How better than that can you show the artificiality of a gallery space ? (my remark)



Cayetano Ferrer

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Ann Hamilton - Pinhole photos

Ann Hamilton's pinhole camera portraits, taken using a tiny camera in her mouth.

"So I devised, over a number of years (it was sort of something that was in the background for a long time) a way of making pinhole cameras, which is very simple, but to make my mouth the aperture. I don't go into the darkroom and load the film in my mouth and then come out and do it, so it is actually still an object that's inserted into my mouth - but to have the orifice of the place where speech exits the body actually become the eye, and to just play with that. Then it was in the process of actually taking those pictures, seeing what they looked like, seeing in fact how the shape of the mouth is very much the same shape as the eye, and seeing myself become almost like the pupil within. The image of my head becomes almost like the pupil in the middle of the mouth, which is eye-shaped." Ann Hamilton
Interview about Pinhole Photos

Samuel Beckett - Not I - 1972

I had forgotten I had watched this piece before...