top surgery

Cutting the Cocoon

Today is the longest day since surgery. I’ve been sleeping up to sixteen or eighteen hours a day, bonding with the bed and Jessica Jones and Alan Hollinghurst. I’ve had in depth dreams about popping pimples. Instead today I’ve been active and creating from 7:30am to…it’s looking like 2am.

Pieces return bit by bit.

I walked on the beach in Fort Lauderdale this morning.

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Having a camera that can do my imagination justice again supports my willingness and desire to share and create. I wanted to do everything before, but it never looked quite right without the details.

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After getting dirty and enjoying the sea breeze, I went to work on the current video project. I’ve been inspired by such a barrage of strange, different things lately, and I’m sure it will show. I’m all about strange art film though. Two of my current muses, are L’Etrange couleur des larmes de ton corps, or The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears, and Selfie – A (Short) Book. Both of these have a lot to do with the nature, and even inherent violence of art, photography specifically, about expressions of the body, and with nonstandard use and abuse of film stock.

Perhaps where my theme becomes most evident is in my favorite poem from Richard Siken‘s new collection, “Portrait of Frederyk in Shifting Light.”

And everyone secretly wants
to collaborate with the enemy, to construct a truer
version of the self. How much can you change
and get away with it, before you turn into someone
else, before it’s some kind of murder? Difficult,
to be confronted with the fact of yourself.

(Read the rest of the poem. Read everything Siken has written. After you finish the blog.)

Did I mention I just got surgery? Of course Im fascinated by body horror, by the constructed doppelgänger of the selfie, by the mutibility of art and identity! And ftm top surgery (double incision…) is classified as cosmetic, which bears weight even though it’s untrue. But having my breasts removed, my chest restructured, not only makes me smile every time I look down, but also has gotten my mother to call me her son (at least more consistently). The effects are tangible. At the same time, I’m unable to do the kind of work I was doing while recovering, and am attempting career introspection and overhaul. This is a time of positive, but intense, turmoil.

And as everything does, my experience has jumbled up in my head to create art. I’m finally feeling good about making video again, and it’s everything. So after the beach I walked to Starbucks, worked on a video that involves drawing and musings on identity and a lot of selfies, and then waited in the purgatory of Christmas carols to be called into the doctor’s office — the place where my cocoon would be cut away —

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Forgive me if I keep the results to myself a while longer. I’m (still) too covered in bandages for a selfie at the moment. Suffice to say, no regrets.

As to the art incubating inside me, video rendering on my computer as I write, that will see the light very soon. Yes, on this blog.

Love,
Charles

P.S. Thanks for stopping by.

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