Visibility & Femininity

This image has a story.  The nudity depicted within it came to symbolize a very particular kind of shame and humiliation for a very particular (kind of) man.  This shame, and this humiliation, was the by-product of a public life that swore off desire, and–when it came to matters of the body–never hesitated to wield righteous Christian morality like a threatening razor-sharp blade.  The man who owned (and hid…) this image was very good at condemning…he was even better at lying…and sublimating.  He was a Master at sublimating: pushing his desire into a dark place of dread and violence…

When my (Christian fundamentalist) Grandfather passed away, I was tasked with going through a lifetime of “stuff” that he and my Grandmother had accumulated.  This was not a task I took well to, as the memories of His brooding presence, and occasional feigned caring mixed with my Grandmother’s beautifully sweet and thoughtful gestures, the marvelous meals she would make, and the secret games of pretend we would play together, felt like just too much to bear for a heart already heavy with loss….