21 May 2012

some notes on napkins.

Visionaire / Comme des Garcons via  rifles @ tumblr
…the female narcissist is dangerous to patriarchy because she obviates the desiring male subject (loving herself, she needs no confirmation of her desirability from him). in the case of an artistic practice that performs female narcissism (such as wilke’s), the threat lies in its making superfluous the arbiters of artistic value. already presuming her desirability, wilke obviates the modernist critical system; loving herself, she needs no confirmation of her artistic “value.” 
amelia jones, body art: performing the subject

Those who subvert social norms are, ostensibly, people who have forgotten that they can be seen, publicly, at any time. Therefore, when they transgress social norms—by expressing physical affection for a person not visibly coded as the opposite sex, for example, or by being fat and rejecting social and bodily invisibility—they need to be reminded of this omniscient social gaze, and in the absence of institutional discipline, must be punished so they do not transgress again. This is the mechanism by which a dude who sees me in a vividly-colored dress, walking alone as though I either don’t know or don’t care that I am defying bodily norms, feels compelled to scream “UGLY FAT BITCH” at me. He is applying social discipline and teaching me a lesson: Everyone can see you, and your body and/or behavior are unacceptable.
So Michel Foucault and Jeremy Bentham walk into an elementary school cafeteria* 

Cindy Sherman Untitled #479, 1975
I have been very very happy lately, friends and parties and Beyonce do that to a person. That doesn't mean I haven't been thinking critically though... and thinking critically makes me feel sad in kind of a detached way. I wrote this the other night on my tumblr, and I collected all of these things on Tumblr too, but I need the conciseness of a blog post with all of them together to understand what I want from art / critique / myself. Anyway, here goes.

I want ridiculousness in fashion. I want ugly. I want destruction, I want imperfection, flaws, ripped seams, extra armholes, mutated glory that when people walk by me they whisper that they just don’t get it. I want to confuse you. I don’t want timelessness. I want everything, right here, right now, no regard for looking regal or rich or calm and collected. Why do I have to be classy anyway? Why do I need to impress you? When I slip on something I love I’m not doing it for you, I am doing it to feel good about myself, I am doing it to be transported into a place in my mind where I am safe and powerful and the cracks in my existence are filled with gold and diamonds and chocolate and goodness. I want to be able to change what I’m wearing mid walk — flip my jacket inside out, upside down, endless options, I want to tear apart what I’m wearing and what I represent and build back up again. I want you to have to think about what I represent, the space I take up. I want you running scared because you don’t understand and I don’t want you to. Every fucking seam of my jacket represents something you can’t have because I don’t want you to. 

This is mine. 
All mine.
 You can’t have it. 


Wilma said...

YES! This is exactly what fashion and dressing up should be about. You said it all so well. Oh, and this is my first time commenting, so hello. I love everything about you!

SafiyaMarie said...

You took the words right out of my mouth there dear! The one thing that grates on me is my mum telling me how classy I could look. If anything it makes me want to deviate more. Im only 18, there's plenty of time to be 'classy' :)

http://safiya-marie.blogspot.co.uk/ x

Katia said...

This is a great way to look at fashion, I feel myself confused sometimes because one day I choose to wear girly things then the next day i choose to wear something way grungier, and it's just what I feel like wearing, and I guess I shouldn't care if it gives me a specific type of style or not, it's just what I want.


Bryanna said...

Thank you so, so much for this inspiring post! I have been an avid follower of your blog since 2008 & you have always been a source of humongous inspiration! I am going to post this next to my closet as a little push to stay true to who I am & who I want to be! Thank you!! :D

ALCOHOLS said...

oh wow. this bit got me so excited about your zine youre going to make. cant wait! x

Christina said...


This is pretty fucking great. I just wrote a review of a Hanna Wilke show here in SF. That Amelia Jones quote really nails the wonderful paradox of her body art.


Can't wait to chat soon...


Emily Lisl said...

oh my fuck. i've read your blog for a long while and this post, THIS POST, made me finally say something. this IS fashion to me. i almost pissed myself with your words.

you're beautiful and i like it. i almost want to say that i wish more people thought like you... but that would just make this too easy. keep on girl! i look forward to your thought in the future.

liluratu said...

yes. urgh. this is just so good. i've been in a rut, like, what should i wear who should i be... stuff it, it doesn't matter. i'm just going to wear it and then just let it fill me up and be me and THANK YOU

Ria said...

I love this piece on the "omniscient social gaze" can't wait to finish reading the article. Just wanted to comment first.

I love fashion that provokes curiosity that makes you ask why or say I don't get it. People that dress like that are my favorite. I love your style but I know you don't need me to and that in turn makes me love you more.

Diane said...

this is something we all need to be reminded of from time to time *___*

Magnet said...

AAh, this is why I'm almost protective over my style, I want to have a style that only reflects me, I want to be something that no one else can be, or wants to be.

country clothing store said...

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diane said...

Reading this post, I can't help but think about when John Lennon met Yoko Ono. Her form of expression was hard for most people to understand, and he was drawn to her. She used to do "shows", and was well known for them, but not by the American teens who worshiped The Beatles. I'm sure that her friends gave her just as much flac over the relationship as his did. But neither one of them did it for anyone else, and they were a perfect fit for each other.
I guess my point is, some people might perceive this as a passing trend for you; "oh, she's such a young rebel". But it makes total sense to me, and I say follow your instincts.

Yasmeen said...

This resonates with me because I grew up in a pretty conservative culture where women were "supposed to" act, walk, and dress in a certain way. Anything outside of that was wrong or sinful. After I let go of those restrictions, I went through so many phases...wearing clothes that are too tight (to fit in with the skinny jean crowd), wearing clothes that looked bizzarre (to fit in with the bizarre girls), going goth (to hang out with the goth kids) but really...none of that made me happy. It sprouted as a form of rebellion against my parents and it was silly. I like your outlook because it emphasizes feeling comfortable and strong in your own clothing, and making an impact. Those are probably the factors central to how I get dressed nowadays. And I'm much happier. :) Loff.


sarah said...

this is great! i totally agree; but not just with relation to street fashion but also the fashion media is just boring boring boring. There are too few independent publications that don't have to be concerned with alienating ad dollars (worn journal comes to mind). i hate to say it but even fashion bloggers, who ostensibly have no reason to conform to any standards, seem to fall prey to groupthink (groupblog). I just get so bored of seeing the same skinny white girls wearing midi skirts with ombre crop tops and granny boots with a straw hat or whatever. actually fatshion blogs are a good antidote to that! and of course, advanced style!
anyway thanks for the post, inspiring for sure.

Anonymous said...

Cool post, when I was in high school, I used to wear this one winter jacket of mine all the time (I'm talking summer, spring, fall and winter), one as a social experiment, and two because I was always cold. But ya, I saw that the only people who cared that I wore my jacket all the time were the people who didn't really care about me, and the people who cared about me didn't seem to be bothered by the fact that I wore it all the time. They were more curious if anything.

jessbuurman said...

wow you are so smart in fashion industries, have some nice ideas with nice style, I like it, very very thanks for posting it!

Anonymous said...

@just_CLARifying but where does the flood come from with no rain?


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