Category Archives: art

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© José Parlá, Courtesy of Elms Lesters

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José Parlá‘s work

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photo by Édouard Boubat

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Longing

Bury me, bury me try as you might

But I will keep yearning,

until the dawn is night

And night is dawn

And dawn is night

Your soil gives me feeling

instead of intended fright.

Bury me, bury me try as you might.

This film is one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen, go rent it.

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I went to a great lecture last night with a friend, whom I shall call Aphrodite (she once was called Katy Perry, but times have changed and there is a fuller and more matured sexuality at hand). It was titled The Female Body in Art: Adoration, Attraction and Horror from a psychoanalytic perspective. I couldn’t have been more excited to witness such an intersection of what I feel called to study. It merely whetted my appetite. There’s little way to be satisfied within 2 hours of lecturing, but nevertheless it was a fantastic intro and painful reminder of how much I miss taking art history and theory classes.

One image seized my attention and sent me into a refreshing direction with my performance art practices. Since teaching a performance art class to women over the last 3 weeks, I’ve been so elated to watch these women undergo works of art of which require vulnerability, receptivity to the moment and courage. It has required me to continue to learn about my craft and wonder what is this thing I love and why.

Performance art has many various forms, yet the prevailing fundamental is that the body is the new canvas for which art is created upon. It is the one genre in which you cannot possess it as a consumer, which is, in part, why it came into existence. It protests commodification and consumerism and rather invites a present and visceral experience between artist and viewer. You can either engage or forcefully disengage, but you cannot eat at your own pleasure or leisure. The experience is the gift of the work, regardless if you hated or loved it.

Invigoration.

Exultation.

Away we must go,

into the darker and lighter places as we reside on this earth, not as consumers or self-indulgers, unless we choose to deaden what aches for life–but as makers and farmers who use our hands for beauty and hard work. Art tumbled into my world as my conduit for such ventures. What the hell is yours? Search until it’s found and keep finding it even if it’s lifeless in your hands, even if it’s slipping from your hands; remember what sent you on the hunt and reclaim it over and over. The earth’s seasons offer us the process for which we are to undergo as creatures who are all invited to create.

Here is the image that I hope to performatively recreate. My style of performance art would be categorized as “body as ritual” versus “body as form in space” or “body as living sculpture” or “body as autobiographical and introspective”.  I want to synthesize ritual and living sculpture, which undoubtedly possesses some autobiographical marks, yet appeals to a greater context than merely my own. This might be the first one.

Giovanni Segantini, The Evil Mother

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Sensually Thwarting Evil: the body is for the Lord and the Lord is for the body

What if we used our sense of smell to smell our bodies? All of its grotesque and sweet smells representing a long, stressful day or a kind and caring day.

 

What if we used our sense of sight for our thighs, and rather than harshly accessing them, saw the cellulite and imperfections as artifacts of our beautiful and broken genetics, of our impoverished relationship to food, of our need for community to remind us of the strangeness of beauty that it is not only smooth and perfect, but rippled and dimensional? A beauty that is not only feminine and supple, but also masculine and robust.

 

What if we used our sense of taste to enjoy a deliberately good meal; to experience each bite on our tongue as we slowly chew and notice the herbs, spices, moisture, and subtleties of what was created?

 

What if we used our sense of hearing as we take pleasure or delight in something? How might we gasp or coo or ache over the beauty of an onion, a tree, or your lover giving to you? How might we listen for those moments?

 

What if we used our sense of touch to feel our curves, from the top of our head down to our toes: running our fingers through our hair, cupping our faces, holding our warm tummy, massaging our hips, and feeling the hair on our legs as we linger down farther to caress each foot?

 

May we revere the body, take time to acknowledge its members and parts and all the work it has done for us to remain alive and voluptuous and open to God. The voluptuous God who is willing to abandon all power when the bold, crawling woman demands healing from her endlessly bleeding body?

 

We are given this languaged body to listen to and help us understand the world around and in us. We are given this languaged body to thwart evil from dividing our bodies from our minds in order to live full, embodied, and present lives.

 

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Learning

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Utterances of the Body: an intro to performance art
A non-theatrical class dealing primarily with the body as the main form of artistic expression. It will be playful, meditative, conversational and most importantly, a place for you to find your body’s distinct voice. We will dare each other to try, to experiment with certain concepts, and to find kindness even as we all fumble and bumble and make lovely fools of ourselves. Our bodies stammer and expel, utter and whisper; and so, it takes some courage and foolishness to listen and then create.

*this is for ladies only and begins September 10th at 8pm at the Aurora Commons

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