[-empyre-] sex death love - on AGEING

Miha Colner miha.colner at gmail.com
Sat Sep 28 02:03:16 AEST 2019

Thank you so much for the references and starting points;

it is true that there hasn't been much discussion about the sexuality in
the older age; it is definitely a taboo and I guess it would make (most)
people very uncomfortable talking about it or even listening about it; but
that is a construct;

popular culture doesn't like anything out of the box; so most of
representations of sexuality (be it suggestive in advertisement, mass media
or popular culture in general, or explicit in porn industry) have a very
specific idea of how that should look like; and it is very difficult to
avoid these stereotypes, especially for people who were born into mass
media, namely television and later internet; but sooner or later we will
have to...

Now, I will have to think about that and check all the references here; and
come back to it;

thank you and all the best;


On Fri, 27 Sep 2019 at 13:27, Annie Abrahams <bram.org at gmail.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Dear all,
> When McKenzie asked about ageing and Sandy answered I felt unease. I
> thought my own experience not relevant for the context and so I didn't
> react. Also I needed some distance to check my feelings and to see if this
> wasn't an only personal issue. So I wrote Shu Lea and talked with friends.
> Thanks Shu Lea for inviting me to try to express myself.
> My reaction is not about “us” older people – we find our ways - it is for
> the younger ones (as the 18 year old McKenzie) so they will have a more
> diverse image of what might come. Sexuality in old age and ageing in
> general are subjects that are not treated seriously. Ageing can be hard and
> we should be openly talking about it in detail. Ageing is also beautiful,
> yes, but not only ….
> We all have our own stories, our own way of dealing, enjoying and mourning
> about it.
> After rereading Sandy's reaction to McKenzie I saw she was more subtile
> than I first thought, so why was I angry? Probably because hers was the
> only reaction to McKenzie's question and it was confirming “main stream”
> ideas I see too often in popular media.
> “Sex after 60 is still good - it's impossibility is a myth - there are
> simple solutions for vaginal dryness and erection and ejaculation problems
> - but you need to take care, to keep it going, to learn how to keep it up
> ….. “.
> Why should I do that? Why?
> For me it feels as if I would have to conform to an unwritten rule. Sex is
> about penetration …..
> Is it?
> Not for me, at least not anymore. There is something “fake” about
> suggesting it is. We need diversity in the discourse. There should be more
> stories …
> Life didn't go on as before and media shouldn't pretend it should / could.
> It doesn't! And we shouldn't punish ourselves with “false” ideas.
> For me life became easier - I am now 65. Getting older means going to the
> important things, not being bothered anymore, but still, I am confronted
> almost daily with thoughts and things not possible anymore. I doubt what is
> normal and what not, I resist, I give way. I fear the loneliness coming - I
> choose not to have children.
> Sexuality for me is affection, tenderness and bodily sensations and that
> can still be terrific (great and terrifying at the same time), but it is
> completely different from the hormone influenced frenzy, athletic activity
> it was before. So why call it still sex?
> Something of what I feel might be visible in a 3 min video performance I
> did with Martina Ruhsam in 2015. "*besides, Dear Body*" was a Turbulence
> commission. You can see the archive https://vimeo.com/131117890. I wrote
> about the performance afterwards:
> “*It felt as if we created a continuum in difference and made a statement
> that said „don’t worry, this is life“. I wanted it to be a gift. There was
> a big shock when I looked at the recording of the performance, when I
> looked at my naked body. I see this body every day in a mirror, but the
> video image is not the same as a mirror image – there was no head, no
> action going on, just the body to look at. It took time to overcome my
> personal aversion to my own ageing body, to accept the breathing image, to
> accept its reality, to let the video live as an independent object showing
> ageing, a tender connexion, and a crack.*”
> https://aabrahams.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/besides-some-reflections-on-the-first-three-performances/
> Ageing is related to "death" another "taboo" subject - too intimate to
> talk about? In “*besides, moved by some thing.*” also a turbulence
> commissions with Martina Ruhsam we talked about death and dying.
> https://vimeo.com/131117872 (49 min)
> "*When facing death or illness all the accumulated knowledge surrounding
> these issues is displaced by experiences that can hardly be shared. Can
> liminal experiences be communicated verbally?*"
> After this we had several private online conversation sessions with 6
> women on the subject. Then we stopped ... technology was not easy for all,
> connexion sometimes bad and life brought us elsewhere. For some time I have
> been thinking about starting a "death café" in Montpellier (
> https://deathcafe.com ) but ....
> Unfinished, ongoing...
> merci thanks dank
> On Fri, Sep 27, 2019 at 7:46 AM Shu Lea Cheang <shulea at earthlink.net>
> wrote:
>> dear empyre-ers
>> The September month on -empyre-  doesnt seem to be ending, so many
>> threads to follow up...
>> Let me recall some moments -
>> McKenzie Wark ever so inncocently – 11/09/2019 post
>> *So Sandy: can you tell me a it about ageing? I just turned 58 and am
>> already a middle aged woman...*
>> Allucquere Rosanne Stone ever so cheerfully – 12/09/2019 post
>> *I can only tell you about aging from a personal perspective.  So ok,
>> I’m, what, 82, 83, something?  I write, code, make stuff, and raise hell,
>> active in several professional fields, sex is terrific…if anything, it gets
>> better with time.  This isn’t a tell-all, so I’ll leave it at that.  I
>> don’t hike, climb, or snowboard as much as I did, but I’m beginning to
>> think that’s psychological.  Anyway, if it’s words of encouragement you
>> want, you can have all I’ve got, and I’ve got plenty.  I’m fully aware that
>> my view is not a universal one, and I can’t speak for trans* folk who find
>> aging hard.  But from this admittedly limited perspective, in this
>> particular embodiment, I intend to keep on adventuring, theorizing, and
>> making love with the throttle pushed up to 110% until my body simply
>> explodes.  I invite you to join me.*
>> Annie Abrahams asked to bring back  these topics - sex death love and
>> ageing
>> ·  *"**Annie Abrahams: The belief that, after menopause, sexual
>> intercourse goes on as before is mistaken. At least it didn’t for me. This
>> made me really angry for some time, as nobody had warned me! It felt very
>> lonely. I think that the sexual life of post-menopausal women is still very
>> much a taboo subject that people shun away from.*"
>> http://digicult.it/digimag/issue-058/annie-abrahams-allergic-to-utopias/
>> (2010)
>> For these last few days of September as leaves yet to fall off  the
>> branches, I like to introduce Annie Abrahams, also bring in Miha Colner,
>> the curator who’s been preparing an exhibition *On Ageing at *MGLC –
>> International Centre of Graphic Arts (Ljublijan, Slovania).
>> Annie Abrahams is a Dutch artist living in France. She has a M2 in
>> biology from the University of Utrecht and a MA2 from the Academy of Fine
>> Arts of Arnhem. In her work she questions the possibilities and limits of
>> communication, specifically investigating its modes under networked
>> conditions. Using video and performance as well as the internet, she
>> develops what she calls an aesthetics of attention and trust, in which
>> human behaviour is the main material. She is known worldwide for her netart
>> and is an internationally regarded pioneer of networked performance art and
>> collective writing.
>> Full cv bio (336 Ko) https://www.bram.org/info/aabrahams_cvbio_eng.pdf
>> 2.3 Mo 20 pages with images - book
>> https://www.bram.org/info/aabrahams_images.pdf
>> Miha Colner(1978) is an art historian who works as a curator at MGLC -
>> International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana. He is also active as a
>> publicist, specialised in photography, printmaking, artists’ moving image
>> and various forms of (new) media art. Since 2005 he has been a contributor
>> of newspapers, magazines, specialist publications, and his personal blog,
>> as well as part-time lecturer. He lives and works in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
>> http://mihacolner.com
>> Let's see how this run, maybe try to smoke Sandy out of cave and get
>> warkk to bring in some techno beats!
>> sl
> --
> *12/10 21H15* Théâtre du Hangar, Montpellier. Performance *XD,^_^,:3,:-D*,
> Annie Abrahams, Pascale Barret, Alix Desaubliaux, Alice Lenay, Carin
> Klonowski et Gwendoline Samidoust.
> *10/10 14h30 CDN*. Table ronde.
> *Entre virtuel et incarné, quelles innovations sociales et écologiques ? *7-12/10
> festival Magdalena Montpellier
> <http://theatredelaremise.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/MAGDALENAMF19-ProgrammeWeb.pdf>
> *Articles*:
> *Preconditions for Online Participation
> <https://aabrahams.files.wordpress.com/2019/08/abrahams_annie_paicfin.pdf>*
> for PAIC (2018)
> *Learn together what it means to be connected*
> <https://www.academia.edu/40052680/Learn_together_what_it_means_to_be_connected>
> my chapter in *Cyposium the Book* (2014) and
> *Trapped to Reveal - On webcam mediated communication and Collaboration
> <https://www.academia.edu/3564683/Trapped_to_Reveal_-_On_webcam_mediated_Communication_and_collaboration>*
> (2012) published in JAR #2
> now all three on academia.
> *Sound:*
> ConstallationsOuverture
> <https://soundcloud.com/annie-abrahams/constallationsouverture> for Radio
> Play #7
> Mixage: Annie Abrahams.
> Voices: Annie Abrahams, Alix Desaubliaux, Pascale Barret.
> Laughs: Alice Lenay, Gwendoline Samidoust, Alix Desaubliaux, Annie
> Abrahams and Carin Klonowski.
> Music: "Ouverture 14" by Jan de Weille.
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu

Miha Colner
M: +38631354843
E: miha.colner at gmail.com
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/attachments/20190927/5f2e4431/attachment.html>

More information about the empyre mailing list