Friday, December 26, 2008

the body of longing

Recently, in a conversation with Tim Wheeler, of Mind The Gap, a UK-based company that works with the "aesthetic of disability", I mentioned that I did not find the body of longing very interesting to watch, whether it was with or without disabilities.
I do not find interesting, either the disabled body longing to be whole or the abled body longing to be loved.

To perform from this body of longing is to ask for the void in it to be filled by the sympathy of the audience. This is an unsatisfying proposition for me, as performer and as an audience member. It locks me into a binary codependent relationship that trades on victimhood and false charity.

But the aesthetic of disability supposes that the void - and there is a void, a stillness, an emptiness that one strives for rather than fears - can be filled with offerings for the audience.

The first suggests the artist as mendicant. The other proposes the artist as gift-giver.


guat said...

Remarkable insight!

Rayann Gordon said...

this is very interesting for me as right now i am thinking about how the artist as a gift giver can communicate about the feeling of perpetual lack in our society....