Monday, January 9, 2012

Janet Malcolm: Shelley Winters, 2011. Paper collage, 13 x 8 inches

In this series, sex, one of life’s more ephemeral and intense activities, happens, but it happens through language—a doctor describing what it means to his subjects, or a patient to himself. In one note a patient writes: “Shelley Winters—special charm in her face—no beasty feelings about her, just charming feelings—now for about four months.” But when does desire not bring out “beasty” feelings, especially when it’s the performer’s job to seduce? One tries to repress one’s “beasty” feelings the better to be socialized. But into what kind of world? A world of repression with its arbitrary rules vis a vis what constitutes a lie, or the truth, or attraction?


-Hilton Als on Janet Malcolm

Janet Malcolm: Shelley Winters, 2011. Paper collage, 13 x 8 inches

In this series, sex, one of life’s more ephemeral and intense activities, happens, but it happens through language—a doctor describing what it means to his subjects, or a patient to himself. In one note a patient writes: “Shelley Winters—special charm in her face—no beasty feelings about her, just charming feelings—now for about four months.” But when does desire not bring out “beasty” feelings, especially when it’s the performer’s job to seduce? One tries to repress one’s “beasty” feelings the better to be socialized. But into what kind of world? A world of repression with its arbitrary rules vis a vis what constitutes a lie, or the truth, or attraction?

-Hilton Als on Janet Malcolm

Notes

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    Shelley Winters, 2011. Paper collage, 13 x 8 inches
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