Thursday, February 25, 2010

An Unravelling Theme

Well, been a few days since I blogged. My bro's been to visit and we've pottered about visiting Brooklyn Museum, being in the audience for a TV show at NBC studios, eating goooood pizza, and going to a talk in SoHo called 'That Not So Fresh Feeling' at Housing Works Bookstore about how embarassing products are marketed to women and the cultural implications. And, whilst there we met Sarah Haskins who was on the panel, and who's work I blogged about a few days back weirdly enough! Me and Sarah, for research purposes (and for yuks) watched all of her clips on Current TV and then two days later saw a panel discussion advertised at a charity bookshop and ended up meeting her! How fortuitous.

There's a write up here at Jezebel complete with video from the evening.

One of the panelists, Susan Kim was promoting her new book called 'Flow: A Cultural History of Menstruation' which, also oddly enough, I'd leafed through in a bookshop the other day before buying 'Adventures in Menstruating' a UK zine, which was mentioned in a piece in the Guardian recently. In fact, it was in the same piece as Susan Kim's book, so all in all a strange convergence of smart funny women's writing and periods. Make of that what you will, but personally I find it all very interesting and at times very funny. One thing I do find unusual is women's squeamishness about the subject, I know women who are so enraged by the any mention of the M word or reference to such bleeding that they deface the ads for Mooncups in public toilets. Pourquoi? I dunno. I don't want to dance about during mine celebrating my inner procreational goddess, but nor do I think I should be considered a biohazard for 25% of the year. It serves companies that make pads & tampons etc for us to be afraid of it all, since we need 'sanitary protection' as if its corrosive or something, I mean obviously it's gota be dealt with but there's no need to make us feel bad! Apparently menstrual blood and its accompanying goo is great plant fertiliser, and I once read that some aboriginal tribes collect it as it has great healing properties, which I suppose makes sense since it's uterine and for growing people. It's no less disgusting than when cosmetics companies put placenta in face creams eh? On a vaguely similar note, when haircare adverts say there's pearl extract in shampoo and conditioner it means fishscales and other aquatic scum that's scraped off the bottom of fishing boats... mmmmm lovely glossy fishy hair.

Continuing (yes still) on the uterine theme as I mentioned above we got to be in a TV audience. A friend of ours who works in New York is a TV producer, he works on a show called Dr. Oz. Dr. Oz is an actual surgeon and is in theatre every Thursday. He also used to have an occasional guest spot on the Oprah Winfrey show. We got to sit right at the front and just narrowly missed having to handle an actual fibroid tumour (we were given gloves) from, yep you guessed it some poor woman's uterus! The show was interesting both in content and seeing how they go about shooting something of this nature. There was a warm-up comedian who got everyone all riled up and told us when to applause etc and some bits had to be re-shot so we had to be enthusiastic on cue! Dr. O seems very pro women's health and urges people to be as informed as possible about their bodies. He's quite a charismatic chap and has a rather eager female following! The show is shot at NBC studios in The Rockerfeller Centre and our friend Liam let us see the view of Manhattan from his 43rd floor office! All in all a pretty good morning.

After that we went to The Brooklyn Museum as mentioned in my last post about The Dinner Party. Also in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art was an exhibition called 'Sojourn' by the artist Kiki Smith. I first came across her work when studying for my degree and was particularly taken by her piece called 'Train' (pictured above it's the white model of a woman with the beads, it fits in very well with the rest of this post dunnit?). 'Sojourn' was very different from the work I had expected to associate with Smith, but not at all disappointing. Her drawings, paintings and sculpture are beautiful and evocative of the stages in a woman's life. One thing I particularly liked in this grand sequence was her use of what was described as Nepal Paper. It looked like tracing film and the ink work on it was really delicate.

Well that's that for now. I have some more logo work to do, some film titles to design for some film pieces Sarah's been working on and also I've been painting a wee bit myself so want to see where that takes me, it's been a while so I'm starting small. Will post a pic or two when I've got something I'm not horrified with! Bye for now.

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