Watch Your Lip!

We cannot say for sure what she sees and looks at.  She enacts a mouth that, the text tells us, serves the pleasure of a man and nothing more. And yet there is also the pleasure of reading, of mouthing the words, a pleasure doubled in my reading live over the recorded reading. As I speak, trying to keep up with the recorded text, the focus of my mind is not on what I’m saying but, on the task, I have set myself. I inevitably fail to keep up. This slippage between the words I read, and the recorded words represents a disconnect between language and the speaking embodied subject. Body and language fail. Like the hysteric it’s the role I’ve given myself to perform which becomes my very refusal of that role, in failure.

Bruce Fink tells us that

[…] Every human being who learns to speak is thereby alienated from her or himself, for it is language that, while allowing desire to come into being, ties knots therein, and makes us such that we can both want and not want one and the same thing, never be satisfied when we get what we thought we wanted, and so on.

It is this disconnect between the embodied speaking subject and language which led me to research the topic of hysteria, and to adopt the overarching strategy of making works situated between image and text.

Still from Peckham 24, live performance, May 2023

Still from Stroud Film Festival, March 2023; live performance.