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Response 39 - Obscured yet banal


Thanks for the astute and sophisticated task, Alan, to produce a deformative version of the work I presented to Aarhus University academic Andreas Roepstorff. It was interesting to think about what was being obscured in my meeting with him and in my presentation and try to detect what might be taken for granted, be unstated or ‘unshown’. This response does not do justice to the task. With more energy something much more profound and interesting could have been done with your parameters. But — as we have discussed between us — this is the case with many of the tasks/response in our project. The images I have produced below are a first brainstorm of how to work creatively with ‘deformative criticism’.

Obscured and banal

On my first few readings of your task there seemed to be a contradiction between, on one hand, emphasizing or highlighting what was obscured in my meeting with Andreas, while on the other hand making a deformation version that prominenced the banal. How do these two modes (one hidden and one obvious) go together? Can something be obscured and banal at the same time?
I rediscovered an app on my iPad that I treasured during my MA work: Notes Plus. The app allowed me to work with text, images and drawing to put the work-in-progress text I had written to prepare my conversation with Andreas into a new context. My hope was that it would uncover something obscured yet banal. You asked me to consider the ‘discursive pawns’ and ‘cannon fodder’ in my own self-representation. Well, I think my response below is trying to get closer to answering this in images, colours and representations.

Pregnancy as a deformative method?

I was — by default — going to apologise for the lateness of this response. Truth is, this response should have been published over a week ago. However, it doesn’t seem neither fair nor useful to ignore the realness of pregnancy. I am 26 weeks and the tortoise-like pace of my body, that I recognize from my previous pregnancy, has started to set in. I am physically and mentally slower and attempts to speed up will either result in extreme tiredness, emotional outbursts or pain. In other words, there is no way of ignoring the insistent presence of my changing and grotesque body. My question for the final 12 weeks of our projects is how I can embrace these circumstances and make them work to my advantage? How can pregnancy itself be a parameter (and a practice) that determines working methods and celebrates the uniqueness of this experience?

See here for next task.