Art for because of before: Vulnerability

This week…

  • I wrote a review of ‘Lifeblood’ clothing launch for Accidental Discharge magazine, and bought a Guerrilla Girls tea towel.
  • I read The Future of Work by Tim Dunlop, reread Lean In and started reading The Odd Woman and the City after listening to Vivian Gornick on the NYPL podcast. Listened to Remember us to Life by Regina Spektor & rediscovered her old hits.
  • I wrote a piece on nationalism and abortion in Poland for Overland magazine.

How to exercise grief with vulnerability, and stop worrying about it has anything to do your character.

Last night, I attended a launch party for a clothing label with a friend Indigo and bought my first piece of art. It’s a big moment for me; I have become an art collector. I have invested my money into another person’s work. As i sat down with my little white wine, I mulled some thoughts over about the artwork. I liked the title of the collection: “lifeblood” – interesting, because it correlated with my own recent revelation about a friendship I had lost, or perhaps it was never a friendship at all.

And over the week, I keep thinking about it because I have been thinking about being solitary, and ‘Ive been mystified by this recent grief about a friendship, about losing someone I cared about so much without much of a word. I have been exploring the notions of grief, but in some way, it always cowes back to me in terms of  vulnerability. I am trying to be vulnerable without it being seen as damaging or weak.


So i wanted to see who else has been writing or working or talking about vulnerability. And the things i will get to  talk about during this very first part of Well In Theory, well, they’re about control and about exposure: who gets to control the exposure? Who has your soul? Who choses to make your vulnerable?

In a piece in the Guardian, ‘The future of loneliness,’ Olivia Laing discusses the online-offline dichotomy of presence and essence.

Laing avoids both the alarmism and Pollyannaism that so often mark essays about technology. She identifies the unique double-bind of life online, which affords us unprecedented control over our image while making us ever more vulnerable. “We aren’t as solid as we once thought,” she writes. “We are embodied but we are also networks, living on inside machines and in other people’s heads; memories and data streams. We are being watched and we do not have control. We long for contact and it makes us afraid. But as long as we are still capable of feeling and expressing vulnerability, intimacy stands a chance.” —Dan Piepenbring

I found this marvellous artist Kiki Smith, an American artist who explores themes of sex, nature and rebirth in her work. In an interview, she talks about the body conceptually, about the different factions in society are trying to vie for control of the body, or the ideologies and philosophies of the body.


Lying with the Wolf is one in a short series of works executed between 2000 and 2002 that illustrates women’s relationships with animals, drawing from representations found in visual, literary, and oral histories.

In a sense, she is trying to reclaim the body from society for the individual. She says ” I know, in my life, I feel oppressed a great deal by all these ideologies that I’ve either internalized in my own psyche or am politically and socially confronted with every day”.

It tries to make people look at and examine those philosophies and ideologies that own you in every aspect of your life — be it religion, government, health, gender definition, or whatever.






Next week…

  • I go visit Canberra for a day and a half. Fancy.
  • I am researching Slavic folklore for a story about motherhood and immigration.

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