Sunday, September 01, 2013

bare breasts and bare souls

on thursday, we held an opening reception for our torso project. around 70 people stopped by to see the results. a friend came by, just as we were leaving, with an australian rotary exchange person in tow and i ended up staying another hour, talking to them and sharing a bottle of australian shiraz. it was, in all estimations, a success.

i still think the plain white torsos give the starkest, most artistic impression. but it's true that they are not autobiography in the same way as the others. the expression we individually chose was as unique as we ourselves are and somehow, seeing them all there, hanging together (they're suspended with wire and hanging on hangers), dismissed some of my earlier concerns about whether or not they are art. hanging there all together, representing some sense of community and fellowship and womanhood, it didn't matter anymore whether they are art or not.

i am one of the few who included a look towards the future in the way i chose to express myself at this moment. the sewn paper garland hanging on the inside is my bucket list. it contains goals both lofty (publish a book) and not-so-lofty (befriend a fox).

many of the others covered theirs in photos of their friends and family. despite the central importance of photography to me, i did not want to use photos on mine. i chose instead drawings of places and things that are important to me (chicago, moscow, copenhagen, macedonia) and cameras. there are a few helleristning, because i love those and find deep meaning in their simple lines.

probably most important are the newspaper words that are underneath - both visible and not visible. mostly in danish, mostly because those are the newspapers i had at hand, but expressing fragments of sentiments like "seeking authenticity" and "can the danes be changed in 5 minutes?" and "abnormal is the new normal" and "men are from mars, women from venus, children from heaven and bush is from a very ugly place filled with fear and punishment." that one i'd been saving for awhile.

as agreed, my birth certificate is there, on the inside and you'd have to know what it looks like in order to find it. mine is painted that same blue - a sort of julie blue - inside and out and it somehow represents a kind of peacefulness to me. i also spritzed it with my favorite perfume of the moment (sisley no. 2), so my torso is even scented. each torso is as unique as can be, expressing something meaningful to each of us, but also transmitting meaning to those who come to look. it is an intimate, personal exhibition, letting all of the imperfections quite literally hang out for all to see, but also presenting a coherent whole somehow. a little window into our individual souls, as expressed on our very bodies. pretty powerful stuff, actually.


Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Hey Julie

Great job! :-)

celkalee said...

Oh yes, this is art. Stunning. the garland is a fine addition. funny aside, I saw something the other day, in a very distinctive shade of blue, I thought of you:) now I know it is julie-blue!

will said...

Bare breasts ... now there's a multi-billion dollar industry and red state political agenda. Bare souls... not so much.

Spilling Ink said...

I'd like to sit among them and just listen for a while if you know what I mean... :)