I Wish I Had Been There

Unfortunately I was unable to make the museum trip we took last thursday 😦 However, I did go online and look at some of the PS1 exhibits. If I had been there, I think my favorite exhibit would have been the “Now Dig This!” exhibit. There is one particular image of several abstract metal sculptures that I found very interesting. It amazes me how much time and effort artists put into these pieces. I could spend hours just looking at every minor detail. I find it funny that some of the most interesting art pieces for me are sculpture when I would never in a million years consider studying that section of art.

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Nicki Minaj!

“In general, “Sista with Attitude” comprises female MCs who value attitude as a means of empowerment and present themselves accordingly. Many of these “sistas” (sisters) have reclaimed the word bitch, viewing it as positive rather than negative and using the term to entertain or provide cathartic release.”

This entire article made me think of Nicki Minaj. She’s so B.A.! This quote that I picked immediately made me think of her video “The Boys” It’s one of my favorites and I hope you all enjoy!

Let’s Play Dress Up

“Without being sentimental about suffering, Dorian Carey Urges all of us to break through denial, through longing for an illusory star identity, so that we can confront and accept ourselves as we really are – only then can fantasy, ritual, be a site of seduction, passion, and play where the self is truly recognized, loved, and never abandoned or betrayed.” (156).

In today’s world, Halloween is known as one of the most participated in holidays because, who wouldn’t want to dress up in a costume for a day?! It’s the one day a year to have complete freedom of what you can wear. This is such an exciting time for people of all ages. However, the reason for dressing up may change with age. Kids dress up for the fun and fantasy of it whereas the majority of adults dress up for the attention.

Kids might dress as their favorite character or animal for Halloween. They plan their costume way ahead of time and make sure they have all the right parts. When the big day comes, they’re so excited about wearing their costume and going trick or treating that they wear their costume from the moment they wake up. For the day they ARE that character! If a parent happens to call their child by their birth name, all hell breaks loose. The child will explain that they are not “so and so” that they are actually “Batman” or “Cinderella.” Besides the occasional misidentification, nothing can bring them down. They are completely accepting of themselves.

Why does this acceptance change? Most grownups think that Halloween is the only acceptable holiday to “dress up” as something. They can “get away with” dressing really fancy, weird, scary, or more risqué. However, anytime other than Halloween, if somebody dresses up, they are judged for it. Take this scenario for example: Imagine you are sitting in Starbucks on any ordinary day and a little girl walks in with a princess dress on. Would you think anything of it? Probably nothing other than how adorable she is. Now imagine if a grown woman walked in with the same princess dress on. What would you think of her? Thoughts such as “Why is she dressed like that?” “She’s Crazy!” “She’s just trying to get attention.” What if she woke up that morning and decided to wear that dress for the same reason the little girl did? She felt like a princess.

When someone is comfortable enough with themselves and completely accepting of themselves, why can’t they dress the way they want and why do we judge them for it? Expanding on this statement and relating it back to Paris is Burning, I have recently done some research on really young transgender children. This is a huge controversy and struggle for everyone involved. Back in the spring of 2010, Tyra Banks did a special about transgender children on her talk show. She met an eight year old girl named Josie who used to be a boy named Joey and a seven year old boy named Kennedy who used to be a girl named Kennedy. Both appear to be very young to decide that they are either a boy or a girl even though their bodies may not say so. However, they are both so confident in what gender they really are. There is a video of the little girl Josie talking to her mom about her gender. In part of the conversation they have her mom says “but you have a penis” and Josie responds “that’s a birth defect.” It is so amazing to see these two young children so confident in who they are. Even with a lot of bullying from other students and parents at their schools, they always pick themselves back up and continue to love themselves. Now imagine that little girl in the princess dress at Starbucks was actually biologically a boy. How would you know?  You wouldn’t. Does it matter? No. The actual gender of that child makes no difference to you. It doesn’t affect you in any way. So live and let live.

Mama Said Don’t Stop

The phrases “mama said” and “don’t stop” were repeated throughout the entire performance at St. Mark’s Church. I paide special attention to the words and if they changed at all during the course of the dance. I noticed that the phrases were said with more joy and excitement during the portion of the performance where the dancers were moving around a lot more to the faster paced music. This section of the performance seemed to be in the middle. The happy part being surrounded by the two sad and emotional sections.

I related this performance to something one of the men said in Paris is Burning. He was saying that the balls are what these men live for and they love themselves when they are there. The hard part is going home after that and being happy with who you are. I took the more emotional and sad sections of the performance as the times when these men were at home trying to deal with their identity and truly loving who they were. then the faster paced and happy sections I took as them actually performing at a ball. I believe the phrases were related to what their “house” mothers told them. This was my best guess because it seemed that most of their real mothers were either gone or had kicked them out.

Let’s Play Dress Up

“Without being sentimental about suffering, Dorian Carey urges all of us to break through denial, through  longing for an illusory star identity, so that we can confront and accept ourselves as we really are – only then can fantasy, ritual, be a site of seduction, passion, and play where the self is truly recognized, loved, and never abandoned or betrayed.” (156).

Halloween is the most participated holiday. Why? Because you get to dress up however you want! This is such an exciting time for people of all ages. However, the reasoning for dressing up changes with age.

Kids dress as their favorite character or animal for Halloween. They plan their costume way ahead of time and make sure they have all the right parts. When the big day comes, they’re so excited about wearing their costume and going trick or treating that they wear their costume from the moment they get up. For the day they are this character and nothing can get them down. They are completely accepting of themselves.

Why does this acceptance change? Grownups think that Halloween is the only acceptable holiday to “dress up” as something. They can “get away with” dressing like something. However, anytime other than Halloween that somebody dresses up, they are judged for it. Take this scenario for example: Imagine you are sitting in Starbucks on any ordinary day and a little girl walks in with a princess dress on. Would you think anything of it? Probably nothing other than how adorable she is. Now imagine if a grown woman walked in with a princess dress on. What would you think of her? “Why is she wearing that?” “She’s Crazy!” “She’s just trying to get attention.” What if she woke up that morning and decided to wear that dress for the same reason the little girl did?

Ambience at MOMA

Ambience: the character and atmosphere of a place.

The visit we took to MOMA last Thursday simply reinforced my belief that you should be present at a show or piece of art work in order to fully experience it. I chose to define the word ambience for today’s blog post because it is the perfect word to describe the Quay Brothers exhibit.

You could do all the research in the world about the Quay Brothers and never get the full experience of actually being in that exhibit. It would be fascinating to read about them and their thought process behind creating this exhibit. It would even be amazing to watch some of the available videos they have, but nothing will allow you to feel as uncomfortable or creeped out as actually being in that exhibit.

When you first walk up to the doors to enter, you can’t see the inside because the glass is tinted. This feature immediately makes you excited and frightened to see what is behind those doors. As you cautiously step into the exhibit, you are immediately confronted by strange music and a very eerie video involving terrifying sounds and porcelain dolls. As you walk through the exhibit, you become completely overpowered by this terrifying feeling. Everywhere you turn to look at something, something else is looking right back at you and not in a friendly way either. You almost become convinced that one of these creatures is going to jump out and attack you. At this point you know it is time to leave. Without experiencing the ambience of the Quay Brothers exhibit, you would be missing the whole point that I think they are trying to convey.

“You Just Had To Be There.”

Experience: A particular instance of personally encountering or undergoing something.

The other day I went to a service/mass at a church called Hillsong. When I returned, my roommate wanted to hear all about it. I did my best to describe how amazing it was, but I could not convey the experience to her. Knowing that I was not doing a good job describing it, I told her “You just had to be there.”

I hear this statement and use this statement all the time. It is impossible to describe an experience to someone becasue each person’s experience is different. As it says in the definition; it is a PERSONAL encounter. I believe this is where Amelia Jones has failed to consider or address.

It is all well and good that she reads about these body artworks. She even “approaches body artworks through their photographic, textual, oral, video, and/or film traces.”(11). I think this is a fantastic approach if you are doing all othe this research in preperation to actually go and see these works. Without going and actually having your own personal experience, you will not get nearly as much out of it. The whole point for these artists is to share their art in the moment with their audience. They want their audience to take the experience they each personally gained out into the world with them. These artists want all of their audience members to go home and tell all their friends and family “You HAVE to go see this!”