S got me the new Vivian Maier photobook.
here are few ---> ---> --->
i like these selfies. the ones in which the mirror is caught. & you are pricked-- a la Barthes-- back by Maier. the image is the one regarding us. the image is the one regarding itself. the only thing outside the selfie is the self. & you.
in VMs looping i find something of an existential pinch. her photos make reference to Maier in body. in the gunk of street. of a particular time. Maier pastured in the beauty parlor of the world. i look at Vivian. I look at Vivian. I look at myself. I consider myself. I look at Sontag. I consider Sontag. I consider Monica considering herself. the mirror a reminder of the importance of superficiality in illuminating hidden structures. i consider the opportunities that new technologies, [e.g. the camera for VM], can provide for rethinking defunct systems. in this case, the selfie rethinks the system of the face. the system of the body as singular & possibly unstill, or, better, dead & undead-- in trans. or the system of the gaze. maybe a little like this (XXX) in critiquing your dick pic with love.
auto-photography makes possible what I want: the body pluraled. diversity & competition between selves. [to be clear, it's not the real body i want...real bodies with their propensity for causing hurt and violence.] i want the pluralized image of the body. [TOOOO MANY HANDS, see: selfies @ AWP Seattle 2014]. the body siphoned through glass tubes, mirrors, tiny black boxes: the body blasted by light and recomposed. over and over again. a loop of itself. a gratuitous restoration.
in the selfie heaven might be real. the kind where you are not a god but god. not to act in the image of jesus but to be a jesus. in the selfie, i am both like the image and I am the image: the ecstasy of being multiple, contradictory. an ogled out whitman.
most days, I want to look like a fuckable baby. i actively work to look like everyone else. like every other woman in the world. i line my eyes and rouge my lips and cheeks to look simultaneously orgasmed and infantile. i feel shame. shame is part of my order. my desire exists inside of the ecosystem of subjugation of what Carina calls beauty.
i felt the contour of this shame and this desire most explicitly during a recent ANTI-SURVEILLANCE FEMINIST POET HAIR & MAKEUP PARTY (see Stephanie Young) in New York-- in which feminist poets and artists were invited to decorate their hair and faces in anti-surveillance fashions. it was grand. i painted bullet holes on my cheeks. washed out my mouth in beige and gray. another woman lined the edge of her lips in black resembling ashes or dust. it was disgusting. at one point, one woman asked, can we wear red lipstick? at another point, i asked if my wig made my face look fat. ugh. ugh. ugh. but mostly it was grand.