an interruption at pg. 12
The world I live in is whacked, and at pg 12 I will explain an example of how.
Feminist subjects, multi-media; Cultural methodologies edited by Florence and Reynolds demonstrates that academia is hella tight. The following are my notes and questions pertaining to chapters 1-3 and 12.
1 The ‘View from Elsewhere’
Overall, I appreciate Pollock’s writing style throughout this article… She manages to present her reading of Manet’s “The Bar at the Folies Bergère” and the context of her analysis in an innovative and well-functioning format. Dig it.
pg 4. Lauretis is cited for the following definition of gender: a semiotic construction which takes place through the interlaced processes of representation and self-representation. I am ready to subscribe to this definition, especially if Foucault’s ‘technologies of gender’ are to be mixed in, as Pollock suggests.
“Feminism has provided an ‘elsewhere’” that differs from the specific and selective gaze of traditional art history narratives. Ideally, I hope that a me-where can be inserted where the individual historian is able to perceive the work without the oppression of a specific group acting upon her or his remarks. Does this lead to universal truth–that the work can ever be considered objectively? Should the work ever be considered in that way? Should only distant outsiders or conversely, those intimately connected with the work be allowed to speak of its position? I feel that art historians are lacking in field training, that is to say, why do they not consider themselves to be a part of the apparatus for engaging with the work? (Why aren’t art historians more like anthropologists?) I sound naive even to myself.
pg 5. “Can I be a feminist and an art historian-or have they become mutually contradictory categories?” My response: To be an art historian is to contextualize the thing, to dissolve its parts into the relevant soup of history and write the ingredient card such that some of the previously indistinguishable magic of its sabor can be extracted or isolated for disjointed and tardy contemplation–especially in the case of art with deceased makers… or something like that. What are the operations of an art historian? Is their job to know about art and be alive? Art is made more important by art historians… the decision of what art is studied is made by art historians… next question, what are the operations of a feminist?
pg 7. “…representation of the commodity and masculine desire historically interpenetrate, these interpretations work within a gender ideology…” The context is most likely fitting but I debate the word choice: interpenetrate. Jarring. Extreme. Violent–penetration is not the imagery I would evoke here; its too sensational for my tastes when explaining female/male interactions of this sort. I’m sure no mistake was made in its placement.
pg 8. Freud on femininity makes me hurl. “…to those of you who are women this will not apply–you are yourselves the problem.” The underlying message I get from the world is that being in the world as a woman is somehow deviant. It is 2008. Really?
“Fashion carries notions of commodity and masquerade.” This makes me want to explore fashion.
pg 12. I often study in cafes so that I can separate myself from the distractions of my home, I read aloud to myself so that I can hear, see and say what I am learning, and I drink tea to stay hydrated. I understand that reading aloud to oneself is peculiar to most people. It also makes one look involved–busy, not lulling through the pages of a glossy trashy mag. With two books, post it notes, my pencil, an empty water bottle and an iced tea (half full), a middle aged white looking man passed me on his return to his shiny sedan and yelled to me “hey–did you bring your own table and chair?” I yelled back “you’re interrupting me and no–this table and chair belongs to the shop just like all the others.” (The table and chair I was using was identical to all the others on the patio he had just walked across.) My assumption and the most likely scenario: he heard me reading about “the freedom from the linguistic dominance of men” and wanted to interrupt. I cannot think of a valid reason for his interruption.
2 Frida Kahlo’s ‘grotesque’ bodies
Chedgzoy is my first choice in academic writers; I aspire to this standard. (A concise and direct article with an abrupt conclusion.)
pg 39. I’m not clear on the preoccupation of Borsa about Kahlo’s work that “reducing it to the status of solipsistic therapy” will continue reactionary accounts of artistic production. The problem begins with my vague understanding of solipsism–I’ll need to draw some connections and explain how Kahlo’s work could be seen this way and why this is degrading.
pg 40. “…myth of artist as tortured genius…” Unfortunately I sometimes view myself in this way.
pg 41. Kahlo describes her lack of intention to participate in surrealism–Is this not enough to eject her from this category?
Breton writes that Kahlo’s work “blossomed forth.” WRONG. No, asshole, it was painted forth. It did not grow out of the dirt into the pretty genitalia of a veggie for you to pluck, patronizing arrogant bastard. I agree with Chadwick’s comments here–hers are more restrained and more articulate.
pg 46. On the pre-Oedipal mother-child dyad: I can’t get with this. Why is it fashionable to acknowledge Freud?
pg 47. I must not know enough here, but my intuition is that “murderous” is not a typical category of the maternal body.
pg 48. most likely that this is true: “Kahlo’s paintings… represent the process by which the female body is socialised, rendered abject by the technological gaze of patriarchal culture.”
pg. 50. I love the idea that we must problematize the relationship between art and experience. I also must subscribe to the idea that Kahlo’s choice of dress was political in nature and that vanity did not guide her choices (I should cite a gazillion sources on traje–but I’m doing this now).
3 Women in Surrealism
I dig this chapter mostly because I never thought to use the poetry for academic consideration. I’m glad Presley thought of it before me.
12 Psychoanalysis and the imaginary body
pg 183. Dear Grosz,
I do not think you even want me to understand what you are saying. “This chapter is an attempt to think subjectivity and especially the differences between the sexes, not in terms of the domination of the characteristics of mind, the mental sphere or psyche, but in terms of bodies.” I’m not sure if your thesis is even a sentence. I’m sure that its not coherent. I hope that you feel lonely because no one understands you. I stayed with you for several pages, and then stopped because I think you need some time alone to think about what you’ve done.