Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Topic 6: Life as Art

Throughout my life, I have felt compelled to dress up in costumes. It is not just a love of extreme/crazy fashion, it is also, for me, a window into other worlds, alternate subjectivities. My life was changed when I read Jean Genet's play "The Maids".
Genet proposes that we are made up of scripts anyway - the proscribed script of 'mother' or 'woman', 'rich' or 'lower class', 'latino' 'white' or 'black' may write a good deal of who you think you are, what music you listen to, the way you dress or speak, what kind of people you interact with, ect. External culture imprints expectations on an individual, and it is hard not to feel compelled to follow these. For me, from a young age, both what my parents thought for me, and my peers, perhaps shaped the person I eventually identified as myself. But always, there has been a split, an impulse to slip around this system, and one of the ways I've accomplished this is by wearing different faces, internally (in my own fantasy worlds) and externally (with the sort of clothing I'm wearing.) If everything is a construct of your environment, and nothing, or very little, is some essential inner quality (you aren't born with proscribed tastes or mindsets or cultural preferences, after all) than everything can be deconstructed, and reconstructed.

It is perhaps good to think about subverting the expected scripts or characteristics that your environment lends you, and since Genet, I've been more conscious of it.

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