2021

MEDNING

Mending the relationship with my body.
Metallic photographic sculpture, letter and video performance

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Dear body,

 

Recently, you’ve been through a hectic period. Little time to stop and breathe calmly. I recently read Uzma Z. Rizvi's essay “Decolonization as Care”, which made me aware of this. She writes: “More and more we are propelled into a system that requires all labor to produce at breakneck speed, suggesting that somehow the survival of-the-fittest model of labor capitalism is achieved with a lack of all human needs: food, sleep, air, love, etc. The late capitalist model has alienated the human body to such a degree that we no longer are allowed to be human to be considered successful. ”

I know you have felt the same way recently. That's why I want to challenge you to stop and take a deep breath. Feel what is happening inside and outside yourself.

 

And what do you feel when you are challenged to do so?

 

Three years ago you got into a serious accident. An accident that brought a lot of pain, sorrow, but most of all a long recovery period, which you still find yourself in. Even though many things have been healed, a permanent mark has been placed on you that will always remind you of this event: Scars.

 

I remember how hard that was for you, those scars. At a certain point, when you had to learn how to walk again, you had to try to walk in water. You couldn't carry yourself yet, but the water could. But even getting there turned out to be quite a struggle. It was the first time you had to appear in a bathing suit, revealing the scars you could no longer hide under clothes. In the end you did so anyways, but did you really come to accept it?

 

Rizvi writes: "It is important for us to think through how we might make sense of the many different ways we might imagine past bodies, or othered bodies, or any body that is not a normative privileged body." You were affected. You felt stared at. Abnormal. All around you, you saw the "beautiful" bodies you didn’t have. How do you convert this into healing and care? How do you make sense of this?

 

She also writes a piece on materials. "In many ways, the relationships I have with materials are as intimate as with humans in a contemporary moment." This must be recognizable to you. By healing the relationship with your scars, you first had to heal the relationship with the accident. An important part of this has been metal. You are full of it now, dear body. It strengthened you where you were injured, but it also reminds you of the cause itself. After all, the accident was caused by a car. By working with this material you could develop a new loving relationship with it and properly process your conflicted feelings on the subject.

 

And when you were ready. You started to show yourself again. ‘Look, this is me, and I am allowed to be me!’ Hopefully, by sharing a bit of yourself, others will too and we’ll create a situation where having a non-privileged body is okay. Because bodies are simply not perfect.

Dear body; I hope you have started to love yourself a little more now. That you have not only started to accept yourself, but also started forgiving. You don't have to be so strict with yourself anymore.

 

I think you are beautiful. Do you think so too?

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