Monday, May 15, 2006

I Have a Nice Body

I'm spending the next several weeks working on Human Body Project material (and getting ready to be married on June 10). My plan is to have work (photos, art and writing by participants) posted on the site before the wedding; definitely by June 24 which is the opening of the Southern Alberta Art Gallery's show of local contemporary artists (working on my contribution for that, as well).

I am frickin thrilled by the video footage. The video will be the strongest document. The time-based nature of the event is a quality that, I realize since watching the videotape, is very important to the translation from event to document. Watching the video will create an experience for the viewer that is similar to being at the Human Body Project event. I'm thinking of it like a concert film in that it will basically run in real time. (I'm not sure yet how or if I'll display it on the site).

It's very interesting for me seeing the tape. First of all, I'm surprised by how my memory is quite different from the sequence of events that actually occurred. And, funnily, I look at the naked lady (me) and think: it must feel weird to be standing there naked like that. Also, I'm pleased to report and observe that my body is not as hideous as it appears in clothing store dressing rooms the world over.

It's weird enough watching oneself on video. I'm not used to seeing myself that way at all. Then throw yourself--naked--into a roomful of people! Definitely a strange experience to watch myself. But I'm finding myself actually being loving to that naked me onscreen. In my younger days, I would have decided I looked fat or stupid. But I look at myself with a fair amount of forgiveness and compassion as I struggle along here with the editing program. Watching myself naked on video in a roomful of people has given me a new appreciation for my body. Somewhere on the tape, after it's over someone says something like: she has a nice body. I find myself agreeing. This is what I call progress.

The most interesting and painful thing for me to see about myself was the way I speak. I had no idea how tightly clenched my jaw is nor how closed my throat sounds. To me, I look like I'm holding myself back when I speak. I want to free that up. (A friend of mine also said she was surprised by how little I said. And when I answered questions it seemed to take me forever to form cohesive sentences. This was probably caused by the overwhelmedness I was feeling.)

It's a pleasure to see the event again on video. Alone, dressed, in a video-editing suite, I am more able to take in what people said, for instance. The blog entry I wrote about after the event and the thing I frickin love on the video is how awkward it all is (like my ponderous paragraphs), but also how sincere. It's very beautiful and I can't wait to do more.

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