Body Criticism – A reading in many. many. many. parts.

Body Criticism – A reading in many. many. many. parts.

I’ve mentioned Barbara Maria Stafford on here before, especially her book Body Criticism. which I bought nearly a year (?!) ago, and which I have yet to read, for one simple reason;

It’s so. so thick.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to think I’m a fairly intelligent person, Not To Be Daunted By Big Words, but for real.

Haaaaard. *whinge*

I’ve skimmed, I’ve flipped about, I’ve looked at the AWEsome collection of illustrations throughout the book, but I’ve yet to sit down and really read it. The book came up over food/conversation with Sean a few months (!!?) ago where he not only showed off an autographed copy, but also reassured me that yes, it is hard, but that every struggle, every word looked up is totally worth it.

So, this year I’ve been making a concerted effort to really read it, thinking I’d post about it when I was done (book reviews being something I’d like to do more of on here in the future). Seeing as last night I just finished the introduction, however, by the time I finish we’ll all have been absorbed into the internet a lá Tron and will be too busy fighting for our lives against evil coorporate computer overlords to care about one 20something’s thoughts on Barbara Maria Stafford, so I figured I’ll just post as I go.

Smarter Than Youll Ever Be.

I mean, not too much to say so far as all I’ve read is the introduction, but I do finally know what the book is about and why Stafford wrote it. Prior to last night, had you asked me, the conversation would’ve gone something like this;

you: Body Criticism,eh? What’s that about?
me: um, it’s about the Enlightenment! And bodies. And…criticism….
you: Bodies during the Enlightenment? What about them?

... picture?

you: I mean, is the author arguing for or against the majority view of the time period? Is she contrasting the Enlightenment view to the modern one? And why bodies?


you: Do you even know when the Enlightenment took place?


But now! Now I would tell you it promises to be several things- One, a history of perception, and how the scientific advancements as well as early microscopes from the Enlightenment (18th century BOOya) altered the way humans see perception (har. har.). It’s also an argument for the need to return to the pre-Enlightenment view that things which can be felt/touched/physical have value (as opposed to the post-Enlightenment emphasis on the Idea and the Ideal.). Especially as our world gets more and more digital, and the boundries of our ‘selves’ expand, “the body, and indeed all bodies, lose their former indestrucible organic spatial and temporal unity” (Stafford, 36). In other words, we need to be more…in touch with ourselves? eh? eh?

One pun too many. the end.

Traveled down the road and back again (waiting for the paint to dry)

This Friday I had a completely lovely day off. Payday, a bike ride around Grandview

Grandview Ave.

(completely for fun- no angry motorists or long hours at the APCMAB to face at the end), got a SECOND library card at the Grandview library (that’s right. Two library cards. Fear and tremble at my awesome borrowing privileges), and had some of * Jenis blackberry sweetcorn ice cream AND finished the third and final installment in the Star Wars trilogy I’ve been reading.

Oh wholly craft.

I als0 went to my first art opening here in Columbus, at Wholly Craft!, which, still makes me laugh inside every time I pass it. (Mostly because in my head I say it with a strange pseudo-swedish accent for some reason…?) The store is fantastic and filled with the kind of wonderfully awkward crafty things necessary to my life, such as bacon magnets, aprons with attached beer cozies, and gender-bending paper dolls.

The show itself, put on by CAW:Creative Arts of Women, was all about the right to vote (holla!). I stumbled across an article about the group and the show in The Other paper the night before and having done some googling decided a) I wanted to be their friend and b) I wanted to go to see the advertised performances if nothing else.

My notes/doodle from the evening before say it all:

social anxiety: 1
deodorant: -10

Still, the performances were worth going for.The second was just plain fun, involving a rendition of “Thank You for Being a Friend” as sung by Tina Turner, Elphaba, Betty Paige, Joan of Arc and Adam Sandler’s ‘Lunch Lady.’ The first was a dance piece by Coco Loupe, and was worth the entire awkward, sweaty mess of an evening. It all took place in the storefront window on the left, making me think about display, image, ‘for sale.’

I’ve read/seen several videos of ephemeral art, but it was way different in person. The interaction for the audience for one, but also the weird way in which Coco became both a person and an object during the performance. I’ve been thinking a lot about performance, especially the past year, and it was pretty grand to see a piece in person. Definitely got a few of the ideas that’ve been in my brain percolating.

And speaking of performance, I highly recommend you check out Marina Abramovic– ‘grandmother of performance art,’ maker of beautiful things and moments and all around bad-ass.

And in work related news, customer confidence hit a new high today when a gentleman doubted my ability to count past four.

*seriously, if you only go one place in Columbus, please let it be Jenis. It’s beyond good. And they do good things. And they always play good music. And I love them.