"Disgust is urgent and specific; desire can be ambivalent and vague. The former expects concurrence; the latter does not. I should clarify that in what follows, the word “desire” refers not to sexuality or sexual practices, or to psychoanalysis’ highly exacting concept of drive or libido, but rather to the vaguely affective idiom broadly used as an “index of [literary] heterogeneity” by late twentieth-century literary theorists across methods and affiliations. That is, I mean the “desire” associated with images of fluidity, slippage, and semantic multiplicity—what Kristeva in Desire in Language (111) calls polynomia or “the pluralization of meaning by different means (polyglottism, polysemia, etc.)”—which has become technical shorthand for virtually any perceived transgression of the symbolic status quo."
- Sianne Ngai, "Ugly Feelings"
I think dismissing female pain as overly familiar or somehow out-f-ate—wice-old, thrice-old, 1001-ights-old—asks deeper accusations: that suffering women are playing victim, going weak, or choosing self-ndulgence over bravery. I think dismissing wounds offers a convenient excuse: no need to struggle with the listening or telling anymore. Plug it up. Like somehow our task is to inhabit the jaded aftermath of terminal self-wareness once the story of all pain has already been told.
“For a long time I have hesitated to write a book on woman,” is how Simone de Beauvoir starts one of the most famous books on women ever written. “The subject is irritating, especially to women; and it is not new.” Sometimes I feel like I’m beating a dead wound. But I say: Keep bleeding. Just write toward something beyond blood.
The wounded woman gets called a stereotype, and sometimes she is. But sometimes she’s just true. I think the possibility of fetishizing pain is no reason to stop representing it. Pain that gets performed is still pain. Pain turned trite is still pain. I think the charges of cliché and performance offer our closed hearts too many alibis, and I want our hearts to be open. I just wrote that. I want our hearts to be open. I mean it.
AS: My whole life was marked by absence. Art was not about negotiating class but love. It was trying to get love and trying to hold onto it, art was my shadow, my companion... Art was a way of winning, not financial gain, but affection.
AS: I have only a spectator's version of cruising, since it's not something that I do, nor did when I was younger. I was too insecure for cruising. You know what, I make art so I don't have to cruise. It's true... Maybe I'm partly in it to get laid, but I'm also making objects that are a substitute for me. I don't have to cruise, because everyone can look at these displacements and go: "ooh, they're attractive."
- Between Artists: Amy Sillman and Gregg Bordowitz
"Desire's formalism - its drive to be embodied and reiterated - opens it up to anxiety, fantasy, and discipline."
- Lauren Berlant, Love/Desire
3. Insatiability is not a state of excessive desire - it's not wanting it all. It takes no account of substance. Instead it breeds a bottomlessness. A gaping hole. Some call it a wound.
6. Frida's excess radiated from its restrictions. Although her eccentricity made her pain palatable - an oddity - the bleakness of her physical condition - a cripple - gave her pain its colour.
7. My body is a depository of longings, piled up, like dirty laundry. Bedridden, a restless ache of a person.
8. The sweet burden of excess, the weight of a body on another body, the renunciation that comes with admitting defeat, giving in, manic gluttony versus cleanings, renouncing dependency, the lightness of aspiration, aspiring to lightness, giving up.
19. "The wildest thing about me is my arrogance" - Dorothea Lasky, "Wild"
24. If you search for "women and excess" you will find articles on body hair, weight, and discharge.