T.W. Wood Art Gallery, Vermont



















"The body is the inscribed surface of events, traced by language
and dissolved by ideas, the locus of a dissociated Self (adopting the illusion of a substantial unity) and volume in perpetual disintegration."
Michel Foucault, The Subject and Power

In his analysis, Foucault indicated that the body has become, in the process of acculturation, the site of negotiation between materiality, psychic drives and social and cultural inscriptions, which inscriptions impose a gendered physical identity, memory, desire, and representation that are marked by the dominant political and historical discourse. Positioned as it is between the symbolic order of signs and images and the real, the culturally inscribed body has become disconnected from the real and is defined by a language that imprisons us in models of subjectivity that sustain forms of institutionalized exploitation. A powerful tool in the mechanism of power, it creates a narrative that defines and perpetuates culturally constructed identities and upholds stable categories of sexual difference. In order to reclaim the body and to reposition it requires an inquiry into the reconfiguration of individual subjectivity and social and political relations. To do this it is necessary to lay open the system that produces meaning in our society, namely the formation of language.

This work attempts to create that fragile terrain of diffuse and multi-layered meaning, which embraces traces of the archaic body that escapes phallic expectation. Elements of it may be recognized insofar as we share a language and sense of subjectivity but it is not intended as a fixed entity. It is contingent on each viewer and how he or she is informed by his or her memory and language of desire. The encounter of plurality, the interplay of inner and outer, interior and exterior, presence and absence and the possibility of infinite re-combinations allows for the displacement of the logic of our present mode of mental and visual consciousness and a shift away from the dominant discourse, thus invoking a moment beyond appearance where one may encounter the feminine.

All text and images © Andrea Maguire