Embodiment and leaving the house

20 11 2012

I finally figured out what it is I’m trying to talk about with my art. I’m trying to deal with the fact that I forever have to live in the setting, the vessel of which my most horrible memories took place.

As a rape survivor, I can’t leave this body. Unless I disassociate. But disassociating also is part of the reason I was raped in the second case. The defense mechanism, became the downfall. It happens all the time in nature. The creature freezes in order to not be seen, unaware that the predator is already engaged. Anyway, even if disassociating hadn’t betrayed me, its no way to go about living.

I’ve decided to undergo some other types of therapy, to see if I can perhaps recover the thing that first taught me to disassociate. So that I can finally deal with it, and really learn how to help that part of myself, best. EMDR and Hypnosis, or one or the other, or together, I dunno, but I’m going to find out about them, soon. I have my first appointment with this woman Tuesday. Its cool, she’s smart, she was one of the leaders of the group that I did last spring and summer.

She was also the first person to use the word abuse, when I described my father. Actually I guess she was the second. The first was the towering and broad shouldered co-worker of my father I was sent to talk to, instead of going to a real psychologist. She had this list, of red flags, signs that you were in an unhealthy relationship. A lot of those things on that list described things my dad did. I think all of them were verbal, certainly most.  But now that I think of it I don’t think she did use that word, abuse. Just “unhealthy relationship”

Maybe she can hypnotize me into thinking that leaving the house on my days off in order to do things like, attend a meeting with my psychiatrist, do laundry, or go grocery shopping isn’t so scary.

So with these two new therapies, I hope that I can better learn how to deal with being within my body, and present. I read some things in that masturbation was supposed to help survivors be more comfortable with their bodies. I don’t think that I have a problem being in my body and feeling the pleasure that comes with masturbation, or sex, I think I have a problem being in my body when it comes to feeling the emotions I am or am not having with sex.

Sex, emotions, and relationships are all very different things to me, that possibly have a kind of ven diagram thing happening, but emotion is barely in either of the two, especially when sex enters into the relationship. It seems that the more sexual I am with a person, the further I want to pull away from them emotionally. Until recently. There was one person who was able to break that cycle of mine, and now I realize the benefit of not being so detached.

Anyway I think I was going to mostly write about my art practice…

I think that my work fluctuates between the state of disassociating, victim, survivor, and aggressor. In some works, only one state is showcased or portratited if you will., in others they are battling, in this confused and violated rawness. The strange thing was when I was doing my work last semester, the phrase that has stuck out in my head the most, is “Your anger, is clear.” I thought the work had moved greatly beyond just anger. I don’t know if that’s true.  The gender reduction monsters are my way of talking about society’s way of making rape jokes, and pointing out how narrow definitions, or stereotypes, castrate, and dehumanize people. But they also point out the absurdity and ridiculous nature of this entire political conversation of redefining rape. The fact that, that is even an option, to qualify rape, as legitimate, or forceful, is unfathomable.  The only thing that is worse is if they were to demand the rapist marry the victim/survivor, that and actually stoning the victim.  By turning women and men into these monsters I hope I have created a kind of comedic relief in talking about something that’s horrible and doesn’t make any sense.

By using the skins, or carcass paintings, I hope that I understand my victimized state. By turning myself into a gender reduction monster I hope that I have a better understanding of what I see the male gaze as. Maybe the carcass paintings are the skins of the gender reduction monsters, maybe by merging myself with them, or falling into them, or embracing them, I am reaching out to the victim, the disassociating self, and trying to hold on to it and comfort it, expressing the fluid nature of victim/survivor identity. By tearing paper, and collaging with it, and then white washing it, to me it reminds me of what happened when I told my mother and father. That hazy memory, but more how they look at me so different now but never really talk about why.  How my father doesn’t really look me in the eye anymore.

But the general distress and labor that goes into each work, is as Merleau-Ponty puts it, a birth. And the result is a body, each work is its own body, and its own kind of expression of self, of myself.  Pointing back at me, looking at me, calling out wanting… to be healed, to be whole, to be human again. Embodiment or at least the struggle with it, is a human one. And rape is the ultimate dehumanization. For what is a human with out a body?  And how do I live in and love that body after what happened inside? That is the question that I am looking at, and since I’m a painter, that’s the kind of things I make.

I think I may have just stumbled upon about a half way done artist statement there. Awesome.

 

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Goals

5 03 2012

There was a time in my life where I had goals and they mattered to me. I was looking at my friend’s 25 before 26 blog and I thought…that’s a great idea, maybe I should do that.

Then I realized I don’t care.

All I want to do is make bullshit food. Paint bullshit pictures, and make bullshit objects.

And even then, not that much. Every time I make food I have to clean it up. And I know that’s a dumb complaint. I do. What a first world problem. Fuck I’m an asshole.

When did I become such an asshole?

I had to shave all my pubes to do this body caste tomorrow. I look like an alien.

Not taking the medication helped some.

But my stomach ache is back. And I still don’t give a fuck. I never want to leave the house.

Having roommates makes me want to leave the house, but he’s gone till…maybe when I’m gonna be leaving.

All I think about is sex and death. Did I mention that already? I don’t remember. And Mad Men.

In many ways I hate television. But I really love this show. Its a great story. I relate to so many different aspects of it.

I suppose I could have a goal to leave the house each day.

A goal to shower twice a week.

To always be honest with my counselor. Who may not be my counselor after May.

Am I too sensitive? Some people have said that I should develop a thicker skin. Other people have said, “Oh you should really get over that guy, doesn’t sound too bright”

I know that they have no clue. I know that they mean nothing but encouragement by it.  But the thing is.

They have no clue.

No fucking clue how hard it is for me to sit in some classroom every day. I hate everything. And when people tell me things like that… I want to ask them how they would feel if…

I once clung to god and Jesus when I was wanting them to exist.

Now I feel as if I’m clinging in the same manner to meaning. Life as meaningful.

I don’t think that’s true.

Maybe meaning is the last god for me to kill.





Booty Call

2 03 2012

I’m sorry for not updating… like ever. Please forgive me.

I think I’ve come to the comfortable conclusion, that booty calls are my friend. I like the idea of hanging out with a person, ever so often, just to meet my carnal needs. Because, quite frankly I can’t handle much else.

Every time I start opening up…. lets just say things end quickly. Sometimes its me, sometimes its him.

I like the honesty of saying… I like having sex with you, can’t really do/afford much else right now, so want to fuck here and there?

In the past week I’ve had sex with three different people. Each experience was pleasant. And honestly I think increasingly with each one.

Would I be cool with screwing these three people ever so often? Sure. Do I want to get to know them beyond that. Yes, but mostly because I find them interesting, not because of some strange spark in the pit of my stomach.

My counselor said that I have a very blasé kind of attitude towards dating. And he’s right. I’m extremely indifferent. I feel nothing for these men. I think that they’re interesting, and I have fun with them, but when I stop and analyze my feelings… they just aren’t there. Do I want to keep fucking them? Sure. But more because I focus so much better when I get laid.

I don’t really focus very well at all when I’m left to my own devices. I end up masturbating for hours on end… Having a partner, really allows for more of a resolution. A kind of… Okay now time for something else.

Is this what polyamory is? Maybe, but I think its further from the Ethical Slut, and more towards….just something else.

Am I acting out of character? No, I don’t think so. I think in some respects I’m still redefining my character from when I was raped, and from being divorced.

I told one of the guys about my past. Rapes, hospital…you know the whole schtick. But I don’t feel closer to this person. I may never see him again. I don’t know.

Will I see the guy I saw last night again? I don’t know…. And I don’t know if I care. He has a Michael Fassbender quality to him, and I wanted to fuck him. Now I have, and I still want to, but do I need to? No.

The other day I put my kegel cisor in for the whole day. Just to see how that’d go. I think that was a mistake. I mean I didn’t damage myself, but lets just say there might be such a thing as too tight of a pussy.

 

I just think that maybe I should cool it with the kegels for a minute.

I stopped taking my medicine because it made me sick. And then once I spaced out the dosage, I realized I had become increasingly numb, and a bit suicidal, so no more Effexor. I feel much better, actually….feeling.

I think its also part of the reason that I was having a really hard time in the studio. Like…the medication made me see the absurdity, and frivolity of what I do, and then all my head would tell me is what an asshole I was for adding to the junk in the world. Make me feel guilty for the need to create.  Sooo… fuck that.

With out making art, I am a miserable cunt of a person. It is life to me.  It is my oxygen. I know all my life feeds my work. Lately, due to the nature of my work… sex definitely does.

 





I’m up…I’m down…I’m all around

15 11 2011

Today, more often than not I have been in a ridicuously good mood. Mostly because I really saw clearly this piece I have been working on, and had a really affirming wonderful critique. I am really excited about what I am working on right now. Can’t say that has been the case in a while.On top of that I have realized that above all else I really want to be here. At this school for my mfa. One year just really ins’t enough time for me.

Of course, I will be applying to other schools, too. But there aren’t many. And short of a full ride with teaching assistantship, health insurance (including mental health), a stipend, and a fully interdisciplinary will draw me away from here.

 

Besides that, I really love Boston. And while I’m having more misses with a lot of the people in my Post Bac program, I have a lot of hits with the graduate students.

 

It must be because I don’t suck.

 

 

*wink*wink*





It’s Personal

24 10 2011

Things I’ve considered doing if I weren’t an artist.

  • Underwater Welding
  • Non-Sex Dominatrix
  • English teacher in foreign country
  • Art Historian
  • Vagrant
  • Chocolate Factory Worker
  • Farmer
  • Migrant Worker
  • Off the grid self sustainer in undisclosed local

Of course these things I could do as well as being an artist, as my more practical side…except for the las half.

Its unclear if my waning passion is because I’m just tried, I’ve come to realize that my parents were right all along and this whole art thing was just a phase, I hate art school(well mostly the people in it), I don’t like Boston, I’m terribly lonely, or I am not really an artist after all.

What makes an artist, an artist any way? Why make art? do I still have this crazy drive to create things, sure.

So maybe, I’m just a bad artist? If so, then what? Do I care? Do I just keep on keepin’ on and say fuck it? Thomas Kinkade is a pretty bad artist in many ways. But that doesn’t stop him from making millions. Same could be said for several people I suppose. Well…maybe not several, but you know, a few.

I’m not looking for fame. Or am I?

Am I just waiting, longing to be discovered? No, but maybe my work is. I’m not so much interested in the spotlight. But I could be cool with a piece or two being in an Art Forum or Juxtapoze.

I got in free to the MOMA in NY yesterday, because the museum owns a couple of my friends pieces. I suppose I would like to one day get to get in free to the MOMA or some other museum, because they own some of my pieces.

In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t much.

I know I shouldn’t compare myself to my friend…but then why shouldn’t I? Any way compared to where he is, I feel as though I am still inside the womb. I haven’t been birthed. And none of my art has really breathed yet because of it.

He asked me why I wouldn’t want to live in West Texas again. This was my response, “Its like being constipated (really constipated), but also being incredibly full, like just after Thanksgiving or something, AND being nauseous, all at once.  You’re so full and weighted down and on the verge of  exploding every way possible.”

He looked at me for a second and repeated what I said, I clarified a few things and then he paused…”That sounds horrible!

It is horrible. And that’s how I felt living in Abilene. For nearly six years of my life.

But the more I think about it, the more I realize that, that’s how I feel about all of Texas really.

So I think about how I’m never going to live there again, how that would be the worst thing for me, ever. And then I pause, process, and think to myself, then realized I need to be more Okay with who I am before I can live there again.

So it’s really more of me needing to learn to deal than anything else. Maybe ‘deal’ isn’t the right word. Maybe accept, maybe I need to learn to accept who I am. Maybe I need to learn to love myself.  It’s a strange contradiction, but it seems like if I really loved myself, I could be less selfish.

Sometimes I wish I had “more” to say in my art. But then I realize that I have too much to say. There are lots of things I could say about the content I’ve been working with. The surplus of meaning within the context of this work is overwhelming.  I think perhaps if I write some of it out, instead of just storing it up inside then I it wouldn’t bother me so much. Also, I need to do more research, to help clarify things for myself.  And I need to organize my research better. Much better.

Sometimes I wish I could be more political and give more of a universal damn, with my art, but then I’m reminded by things that were said to me over and over recently, by people who have little in common other than knowing me. They have said something to this effect, ” It’s good that it’s coming from a personal place, work is always powerful that does that.” And so I think of this. I keep this in mind. I hold this as my security blanket. For this much I know, my work, it’s personal.