What do we create in the space that pain occupies?

What does it mean to make work about pain when the very act of creating it is painful? Have you ever stopped to consider your body? The thousands of systems and messages pulsing throughout that make you move, think, be. Have you ever stopped to consider what would happen when your body became foreign, painful, a prison to be perpetually broken out of just to get yourself out of bed to pee. As a maker, have you ever thought about what it would mean to have the very part of your body you truly create with start to break down? For most people, its a stretch. The idea of your body turning on you and sending spam messages to your neurological pathways is something out of the ordinary. We take for granted the ways in which we move, what our bodies can truly do. For someone in my position, I don’t get to take these small things for granted. I have to think in order to move. Wince and force in order to use my dominant arm. I usually kind of toss it back into its socket and hope it doesn’t pop out again while I’m cutting each piece. Doesn’t particularly last very long as a result of my fibromyalgia and CRPS. So I make work about pain that creates pain with each cut or hanging because the reality that I may one day no longer to make that particular kind of work hangs over my head.

From birth til death, our bodies are covered in fabric, so much so that we no longer think about the myriad of ways it surrounds us. We’re wrapped after we leave the womb and wrapped when we depart this world. Its so commonplace that the idea of transforming it became a need. A desire. A burning matched only by the burning of my skin as my nerves misfire.

I spent a chunk of the break with this idea that I was going to do a thousand iterations, to really start to figure out how all of this comes together. I did some, but the action of repeatedly going up and down and hanging and detaching and rehanging was too much for my body to handle. So I sat with each small change. Only to have Jo-Ey come in my studio, see the pieces hanging backlit on a line, and made me wonder if the work could exist in some way like that. Truthfully, its the easiest of all the iterations I’ve done. And I think it’s the most beautiful. I don’t know what exactly I want out of this particular crit mainly because by the time seminar rolls around in the day I am seven levels deep in this never ending flair up and completely useless as a human. I want to know how this feels. If stalling the activation through hanging on a line can also mimic the ways in which the neurological breakdown of the body occurs. If the pieces need to be fully in the air, casting shadows and taking up a large amount of space. If I’m too stuck in my own body to allow the viewer in or if the piece can be entered into from multiple perspectives and bodies.

Iteration 1:

 

Iteration 2:

 

Crit #1 (Current iteration):

 

For those curious about the symptoms of fibromyalgia (and why I’ve been away from myself as its gotten worse over the last few months), here’s a handy little thing. The worst for me is my allodynia as it makes it hard for people to even hug me or touch me and my hyperalgesia since that’s like perpetually living with the volume turned up to 11.

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