Monday, June 10, 2013

Lauren Renner "In Others’ Words" @ FINE & RAW Chocolate

So last month at the end of my semester, I was in a department meeting joking with some fellow teachers about how undergrads love to take naked pictures of each other, especially when trying to give voice to body issues. It’s nothing to laugh at, but it just struck me as weird that this seems so universal with college kids, especially because they have no idea what riot girls are. And then, wham-o, Bushwick Daily, which I respect, recommended Lauren Renner’s show of naked young people who were “photographed after undergoing a body-writing process in which they are physically marked by each other with the words they have experienced being defined as during the course of their lives.” Yeah, I am not sure I understand why it’s such a widespread thing. Is there some therapeutic youth camp where that this kind of thing is taught? Best as I can figure, is it’s a simple solution to the challenging visual problem of how to articulate your feelings about your body? Answer: write those feelings in text onto naked bodies and bam, you have an instantly understandable visual language. Renner’s multi-paneled pictures are technically a big step above undergrads, but this kind of thing is literally an undergrad photo cliché. Oh and FINE & RAW makes some excellent if not expensive chocolate.

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Catherine Ball said...

You find it weird that undergraduates tend to raise body-awareness issues in their work? Do you know anything about undergrads? It's the time in one's life where a person finally gets out on their own. You learn about autonomy and accept your anatomy. You gain respect for yourself, your mind, and your body--a respect denied to many before that time. Allowing oneself to be photographed naked, and have that photograph publicized, is the ultimate form of body-acceptance. It says "This is me. This is what I look like. Your words meant something then, and they scarred me then, but I am who I am now and I love who I am now."
It's not a(ever-so articulately trivialized) "theraputic youth camp." It's growing up. It's self love. It's discourse. It's fighting back against the forces that once told us we were not worthwhile humans because of our outward appearance.


Carl Gunhouse said...

I get expressing the body issues and am all for it, I am more curious about how uniformly they choose to express those feelings i.e. writing on naked people

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