Tuesday, 24 February 2009
It’s a relief to be posting visual art, I feel on firmer ground here. Poetry is still so new a medium and I feel my failures in a dim and acute way (if that makes sense). It feels like I’m speaking with a faltering, croaky voice, a voice that is mine but also alien, or at least untried. The lack of familiarity comes partly from not haven’t made use of this poet’s voice for very long, but I feel similarly about my voice in general. Fact is, I do not speak enough. Everyday conversations with people I don’t know are few and far between and have become strained because of those periods when fatigue literally usurps my powers of speech. It's made me incredibly self-conscious. When I took to reading poetry aloud (long before I even wanted to write any) it was partially to re-acquaint myself with my own voice.
But enough of that: I’ve finally finished my pair of shoes. Made from brown tissue-paper they are ever so light. The layering of the shoes’ 'upper' is very thin, for the sole slightly denser, to link with the reality of such a raised sole's volume. I’ve chosen a small pair of boots as a toddler would wear for her first steps outside (also the first pair used in And where, and how). The shapes are hollow, air-filled, like empty egg-shells. This is less an act of remembering than imagination (but still of remembrance?), as my cousin was five years older than me and I wouldn’t have been around to see her as a toddler. I don’t even know if she would have had a bootie with a raised sole at such an early age, but my memory of her is inextricably bound up with these shoes, for better and for worse (I’ll come to this in another post).
There is an ambivalence about the shoes being cute as well as disturbing. I do feel touched by them in themselves, but esp. - when looking at these photos - by the way the laces curl up together. Made me think of Roland Barthes’ punctum, the unexpected detail that pierces one’s heart. The shoes pronounce a series of lop-sided relationships - my mind is whizzing away...
PS. The poem is still in flux. The changes appear below, in
Lopsided (4), which I keep up-to-date.
Material: tissue paper
Dimensions: 14 cm x 15 cm x 14 cm