#meme Photo given to me by @amby_pamber
Those familiar with my work may have noticed a certain motif: cars—crashed cars, abandoned cars, former cars. Why? Well, a car in-tact is an object. It represents the basic dialogue of American values: new money, class structure, priorities, information about taste and family. But a crashed car is not an object. A crashed car inherently has a narrative. By merit of its gaping, goreless wounds, it informs us of the most personal, solitary, ultimate moments of its passengers—death, or a glimpse thereof. A crashed car is a relic, the skin shed by the snake and its death-rattle. It requires no gore, no remnants of humanity to make us pale and wince. We are simultaneously enraptured and revolted—indeed, placed in a state of abjection. We can’t tear our eyes away, queasy and horrified as we are. A crashed car is a subject—one that percolates into our minds, our chests, our throats.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, I have sometimes felt that a car crash is the manifest destiny of narcissists, klutzes, and the innocent alike. Cars are a method of transportation: car crashes are the same method of a different transportation. Surely, a pedestrian lying in the road comforted only by the DMT released in that ultimate and penultimate moment of life and unlife would see those staring headlights as lights ascending them to heaven; is this the rapture? And we, we all stare at the spectacle—the muse to the likes of Fitzgerald, Warhol, J.G. Ballard, and Cronenberg alike—simultaneously removed and utterly involved. It is an event we simultaneously understand and cannot fathom. It is at once alive, dead, and abiotic. So human, and yet so robotic. Surely this unholy union of man and machine sits comfortably in the Uncanny Valley.
When I represent these destroyed or derelict cars in my work, I hearken to my homeland. But these rusted clumps so feared and fascinated also represent me. My car crashes are self-portraits. I feel similarly both objectified and subjectified—idealized by some and demeaned by strangers conditioned by a world of lenses and privilege. Passersby gawk and stare, simultaneously seeing my humanity and displacing me as an alien. One’s identity, to some extent, is carved by painful experiences as well as pleasurable ones. We define ourselves contextually, by reflecting or deflecting the other. You can’t see my rusted car guts and my bloodless dents, scrapes, and wounds. Not until I paint them. Not until I display them for you in a gallery, sprinkled with our shared existential fears like chopped nuts on a sundae.
So don’t tell my my work isn’t personal. What could be more personal than death?
Just made this new #meme! #nofucksgibbon #nofucks #kendallefiasco
His rage echoed in me. It echoed in us. It tolled like a vast and concussionous church bell, the clapper slamming against my skull, reverberating through my ribs and down my spine.
The headache’s subsiding now.
Let’s bring messy hair back.
by Kendalle Fiasco, 2007
Don’t grace my face with “pretty,”
Bat a blind lash in memorium
To these long-lost wars
And kiss-pink scars
This battle-fortress stressed and pressed
With guilessness and likelessness.
It makes me feel there’s something worth preserving,
And my face is undeserving.
Tender tongue, tie back thy lashing compliments!
Retreat into that cunning cave
Where blind men wait
Left to anticipate
Our shadows intricate
That they might intimate
At our projectile mysteries and social quandaries.
They are satisfied with ignorance; so may we be.
Getting ready to gend some benders at the screening of #Exposed tonight at #MoMA with Rosanna! These pants are actually from the thirties.
Feminism is having a wardrobe malfunction.
Does your brand of feminism remove barriers for women, or simply move them around? Does is expand options for women, or does it just shift them? You don’t liberate women by forcing them to choose option B instead of option A. What is comfortable for you might not be comfortable for someone else, and it’s entirely possible that what you see as oppressive, other women find comfortable or even downright liberating.
Before you think the girl in the middle is a strawman, let me tell you I used to be her, back in my misguided youth. I considered myself the standard to which other people should adhere. But that was stupid. It’s not up to me to tell people how to dress, and it’s much nicer to let everyone choose for themselves.
Some women would feel naked without a veil. Some women would find it restrictive. Some women would feel restricted by a bra. Some women would feel naked without one. Some women would feel restricted by a tight corset. Others love them. Some wear lots of clothes with a corset. Some only wear the corset and nothing else. What makes any article of clothing oppressive is someone forcing you to wear it. And it’s just as oppressive to force someone not to wear something that they want to wear.
At California Adventure in the early 2000s with my best friends at the time: Gillian, Teresa, Catherine, and Sam! I think we were twelve or thirteen. #tbt can you guess which one I am?