“Virginia Woolf’s amazing essay ‘On Being Ill’—where she interrogates literature’s lack of focus on illness, the collective obsession with the drama of romance over the drama of often inseparable physical and mental ailments—has been a jumping off point. So, I’m writing though some of my own experiences via Woolf and also some other artists and writers.”
Francesca Woodman was a photographer who is well known for her surreal, black and white photography of which she is often the subject. The daughter of a family of artists, Francesca studied photography at RISD and in Italy, ultimately settling in New York City, where she had a studio. She died in 1982 at age twenty-two by suicide, jumping out of the Barbizon building.
“Movement is just another language used to convey an emotional experience or fantasy. There are many things your body is capable of that you are not exactly consciously aware of and Gaga in particular allows you to continually surprise yourself because of its non-structure. The most satisfying discoveries for me are when through movement I find how to articulate something I cannot accurately put into words.”
“When I turned eighteen, the cult just turned into the Devil’s playground. The cult was insisting on things from me and harassing me. They shaved my head, they forced me to do hard labor, I was being told I didn’t deserve nice things and I believed it. I think having my head shaved caused me to go into shock, but I then went to my dance teacher and I said to her that at Synanon, all the women shave their heads. My dance teacher couldn’t handle my shaved head and threw me out the school. And then it got worse and worse and worse.”
“It seems to me that there are only two essential things we bring to our creative work: our tools–language or fabric or paper–and the truth of our own experience, our own psychic realities. For years, I tried to write in traditional narrative forms, but I struggled with moving a plot forward in time. As much as I wanted a kind of cohesive linearity, it was not something I could do. Both the truth of my experience–which is living between places and with rupture–and what I am interested in aesthetically is about resisting boundaries and creating some kind of meaning out of chaos, from fragments.”