Butterfly Collection

I have been fantasizing about seizing and containing the tyrant emotions that govern my body and turning them into souvenirs. Neurosis incarnate! This is a collection of covert clay recordings of my stomach during moments of anxiety, stress and/or excitement, in my daily interactions with others. Each recording corresponds with a handprinted postcard.

In my attempt to record a broken heart in clay, (or butterflies in my stomach, or the words stuck in the back of my throat) are several intentions:
1. To turn it to dust.
2. To remember it.
3. To forget it.
4. To acknowledge that a present vulnerability will soon be forgotten, or that a forgotten vulnerability may yet warrant recall.
5. To give myself a task to do to, like putting on armor, or cleaning up a spill.
6. To escort it from inside to outside my self; to create distance and proximity.
7. To have an active hand in its departure.
8. To contain it; keep it from running amok.

I had a mind to lend material weight to such things, so that I might relieve myself of some of their burden. So that I might really make one sing with the proper lighting. Or the proper projection out of a car window while driving over the Mississippi.

In her essay on the abject, Julia Kristeva exemplifies our bodily fluids and waste as “what life withstands, hardly and with difficulty, on the part of death.”  Such is the emotional ambush within my borders that I must constantly cast out in order to survive.

There are some cultures that believe that with each photograph taken a thin layer of its subject is removed, and that these layers are finite and can be depleted. Kristeva too claims there is a finitude of that which the body can jettison to stay afloat. “Such wastes drop so that I might live, until, from loss to loss, nothing remains in me and my entire body falls beyond the limit—cadere, cadaver.”