Re: [-empyre-] Contrapuntos Dinamicos, forward from Renee Geuzen

this post was in html format, so i am forwarding it in plain text. sorry for the delay .

From: Renee <> Date: Sat Apr 30, 2005 5:50:26 AM US/Pacific To: soft_skinned_space <> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Contrapuntos Dinamicos

Okay Empyreans finally, those thoughts so late and so half-baked,

First of all the discussion between Raul and Eduardo, has been very insightful.  Raul asked about the silence on the list and Eduardo went further wondering if "part of the reason might be that people on the list don't know much about Latin American History, or simply do not care."  To speak for myself, the former is applicable (meaning a lack of knowledge).  Regrettably, as a young girl growing up in Texas, I was taught a very one-sided version of our connected histories.  I have been and still am in the process of undoing or sabotaging that education and your conversations have contributed thankfully to that process.

Also, thanks to Ryan and Eduardo for bringing up the work of Lygia Clark.  So many theoretical concepts have been brought up on the list that I quite literally started to drown.  Especially, when Kate brought in Bracha Ettinger's and Pollock's notion of matrixial space, the idea is exciting but highly complex and I felt the need to find works that could anchor me.  In other words, what would this notion be in practice?  Intuitively, Clark's work came to mind.  Specifically, her 1967 piece, The I and the You: Clothing-Body-Clothing and her 1966 work, Object: Stone and Air.

Another work which the discussion made me think of was Susan Hiller's 1973 piece, Dream Mapping where she tried to connect multiple subjectivities to geography.  When I went to refresh my memory about the work, I found this quote by Hiller which I think touches upon a core theme raised during our discussion:   "Identity is shared, the self is multiple.  My self is a locus for thoughts, feelings, sensations, but not an impermeable corporeal boundary. 'I AM NOT A CONTAINER'. (p.216, Out of Actions between Performance and the object 1949-1979)

The last image I have in mind is one which I have kept on my desktop for some time now.  It is an image which fascinates me, or somehow touches my heart.  Nonetheless, it is a problematic image, one which is all about "the other", "the exotic" and for that matter "female hysteria".  It is a picture of the jacket of Agnes Richter, a psychiatric patient who spent most of her life institutionalized in Austria.  Issued in the mid 1890's, the jacket is a standard grey institutional uniform from its time but on its surface is a swarm of frantically embroidered text. Words appear and disappear into seams. Although much of the text is unreadable because she has embroidered over and over lines, you can catch hints of declarations stating:, "I", "mine", "my jacket", "my white stockings"., "I am in the Huberusburg* / ground floor", "children", "sister" and "cook".  In the inside she has written "1894 I am /today woman".  She has also embroidered the laundry number printed on her jacket " 583 Hubertusburg" (*Hubertusburg was the institution in which she was confined).

I guess the jacket makes me think of many things which have been written about on the list over the past month.  For one, she is an 'other' speaking through a trace left behind. Sadly, I will never fully know the story behind this object but for some reason which I cannot put my finger on, it speaks to me.  I can only speculate and connect through my own projections.  (so what I make of this representation is yet another representation, perhaps even fiction which can be risky business). Nonetheless, the image remains on my desktop. When I look a the garment and the borders she's traced with each stitch, I wonder if she was trying to take them into her possession within the means she had at hand. Maybe I keep this picture because I want to believe that somehow within the panopticon, this jacket was her voice and the thread was her resistance.

As with so many ideas brought up in this discussion I know that many have been left untouched.  Know, in my silence I am listening and thinking about everything that has been said.

x Renee 

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