Delirious Hem

As a queer racially ambiguous brown girl, I am very aware of the way my body exists in the world, the way it moves through space, the way it is read and judged by people. When speaking about the Croatian performance artist Zlatko Kopljar, Serbian art theorist Miško Šuvaković described how Kopljar uses his body as a “‘probe’ for testing the micro- or macro- social horizon of reality.” But I can’t help but feel like my body is always a probe—that every insulting racial comment or sexual advance on the street is a micro-encounter that reveals larger power arrangements. The demarcated space of the performance event and the practice of injecting your body into spaces that are hostile to your presence (as a way to have some kind of revelatory contact with power) are irrelevant to me. My whole damn life is a performance art piece in that people are always interacting with my body in ways that expose the “macro- social horizon of reality.”

 

This short passage is excerpted from a piece called “THE SKIN-CLOTH: Race, Fashion, Hygiene, Writing, and Embodied Movement Through Space,” by Jackie Wang, a post from 24 April 2011 at the blog Delirious Hem.

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