Yesterday I said I'd post a few more Paper Towel (sc)Roll pics. If you haven't seen other images I've posted, click here and here.
Here's a very quick write-up about the (sc)Roll:
Sartre wrote, 'We are all condemned to freedom'. I think about this concept often. Our physical and mental selves experience many different levels of both freedom and bondage. Society dictates not only guidelines for what’s right and wrong, but determines how we view gender differences as well as our relative ages: infant and childhood; adolescence; adulthood; middle age; and geriatric- often the conditions of our bodies in no way reflect how we identify with our inner selves. The freedom to which Sartre was referring- the lonely freedom that only our innermost selves are privy- is nothing more than our individual sets of dreams, memories and desires, compiled by the particular make-ups of chemicals and electricity found in each of our human bodies.
The Paper Towel (sc)Roll is a visual record of some of the memories that make-up my identity. Many of my memories- from my earliest to my most recent- happen to be sexual. Growing up, I felt that many of the ways I thought about sex were unusual- often, there was cross-over between my fantasies and pop-culture images, as well as a desire to stray from the social constuct of what is 'normal'. An exploration of this as an adult feels imperative.
The ways I perceive my body, the violence done against me as well as violence I’ve only imagined doing to other people, and finally, the cross-over between fantasy and reality, have all given me a wealth of what I call ‘ghost images’- mental pictures that come back to haunt me. These ‘pictures’ consist of both real and pseudo-images (the latter being fantasies that have been retained so long in my memory that it is hard to untangle them from truth). I've embroidered some of these images over my (sc)Roll. In addition to my ghost images, I’ve embroidered fragments from photographs and drawings of some of the places I’ve lived, as well as images I appropriated from pop culture, to layout a non-linear map that one may use to help navigate the most private parts of my person. Images such as a woman masturbating are combined with childhood figures such as My Little Pony and The Last Unicorn. This may be disturbing to some, and yet, with research telling us that over 80% of children pretend to be animals, and with around the same number of children participating in some sort of sex-play, it isn't unlikely that there would be some playful mental crossover. I vividly remember, as a very young child, fantasizing about the centaurs in the Disney film Fantasia- those frolicking, half-naked creatures definitely entered some of my secret imaginary play!
In the (sc)Roll I also explore the blurred line between victim and willing participant (a line that doesn't necessary become less blurred as one enters adulthood).
Using a medium most often used to clean up messes, I made the Paper Towel sc(roll) as a tool with which to metaphorically wipe up some of the mental messes of my life. This is an ongoing, extensive project that I believe will help me to cut through some of my more painful, confusing memories, in order to celebrate my many joyful memories and dreams. In this way, I hope to enjoy my relative ‘freedom’.
Could someone please translate this amazing street art?
Yesterday I got very little work done. Instead, Anevay and I enjoyed the weather, went for brunch with our roommate, Alberto, and caught a little 'green' festival a block away from home.
Not sure if all of the libations at the East River bar are 'green'?
I LOVE coffee icecream... so, although I was full from brunch, I managed an espresso icecream cone.
Today was a much more productive, albeit frustrating, day. To begin, Anevay met this multicolored friend at the coffee shop.
If I remember correctly, the bird is named '7'; the dog, '0'.
I spent the morning today dealing with logistics- insurance, bills, student loans... Not pretty, any of it, particularly when one is unemployed. Oh yeah, I sent out a handful of job applications. Ugh. All of it makes me feel a little sick to my stomach. I really need some sort of break, or at least a shred of luck to come my way (in the job department... I'm pretty lucky in many other ways!).
This afternoon I finally was able to get some work done. I added a number of images to the Paper Towel (sc)Roll. I'll post some images of this tomorrow, I'll just quickly say that it is becoming even more of a visual record of some of my carefully guarded memories- the ones that have really shaped me. Many of these memories are sexual in nature- sifting through them is strange- I feel as though I'm uncovering parts of me that I had forgotten.
I worked on the (sc)Roll for a couple of hours, and then spent the evening cooking with Anevay. I felt frustrated to have to stop working... I need to come up with a schedule of how I am going to plan our days! We ended up having a lot of fun. Below is a salad that Anevay made. Can you see the smily face hiding out in it?
Tomorrow I have some more logistics to take care of, and then I plan on a couple of solid hours working on the (sc)Roll. I'm excited about it. Years ago, when I was 21, I threw a box of my old diaries out on the curb. The images I'm putting on the sc(Roll) remind me of so many of the memories I thought I had rid myself of- only now- I'm older, wiser (?), and capable of dealing with some of them...
Today we went to Governors Island to catch the opening of Creative Time's "This World & Nearer Ones", with work by Edgar Arceneaux, AA Bronson and Peter Hobbs, The Bruce High Quality Foundation (see below about this 'foundation'), Adam Chodzko, Tue Greenfort, Jill Magid, Teresa Margolles, Anthony McCall, Nils Norman, Susan Philipsz, Patti Smith and Jesse Smith, Tercerunquinto, Tris Vonna-Michell, Mark Wallinger, Klaus Weber, Lawrence Weiner, Judi Werthein, Guido van der Werve, and Krzysztof Wodiczko.
It was also a chance to catch up with our friends Tricia and Hermann, who just arrived yesterday from Los Angeles... We've missed them being in NY- I couldn't get over how much Hermman has grown!
"I feel like I'm covered in yogurt!" said Hermann while applying sunscreen.
Anevay and Hermann walking down the pathway by the river in DUMBO.
Outside the River Cafe next to the Fulton Ferry (where we took the Water Taxi to the island).
The carousel in DUMBO. I liked the Wind Chimes art installation on the island...
I also liked the film, Isle of the Dead, by the Bruce High Quality Foundation (which is a social commentary based on a body of work by a ficticious artist). Click on the picture below to read a brief description of the film... I find the whole concept of the Bruce High Quality Foundation amusing.
Waiting for the film to start, parts of which I thought were interesting...
Click here for a little more info on the film and the Bruce High Quality Foundation- you can also see a trailor for the film and listen to a song sung by a bunch of zombies.
So... I remember where I was when Thriller came out. Do you?
It seems as though MJ will be remembered more for his music than for all the controversy surrounding him the last many years of his life. I'm glad for this, as his music really crossed a lot of cultural barriers. I trust that the rest of it- all of the negativity- for none of us really know what happened, and truly, he was a rather tortured soul- will fade...
His passing makes me remember a great deal of my childhood- my best friend dressed like him for a year! I'm part of the MTV generation- for that reason, how he looked in the picture below is how is how I best remember him, if only because I had the image when I was seven:
I am Melissa Banigan. I've been many things under the sun, but am currently a single mom raising an amazing kid in Brooklyn, writing novels and short stories, and working on some art (canvases and paper). I also, under the moniker melifera, produce off-the-cusp embroidered clothing and bags.