[-empyre-] sex death love - on AGEING

Allucquere Rosanne Stone allucquere.stone at gmail.com
Sat Sep 28 13:28:46 AEST 2019

Hi Annie,

I'm not sure if you were claiming that my remarks, insofar as they 
touched on sex, confirmed "mainstream" ideas.  Perhaps what I wrote 
could have been read that way, but only if you don't know me very well. :-)


Annie Abrahams wrote on 9/27/19 4:18 AM:
> ----------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 
> <mailto: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 <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

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