Saturday, October 28, 2017

shining stars

Una publicación compartida de Helena Suárez (@ladelentesuy) el


we used to. shine, yeah.
we had sparkling conversations in glitzy bars. brilliant ideas. dazzling friends...
on radiant summer days, yes.
we were building a bright future. we would show them.
glowing reviews.
incandescent.
somethings were glossed over. some things. dullness.
lost in the luminosity of our stories.
you were not even a glint in your mother's eye.
and we blazed away, particles out in all directions.
until all that was left was the shimmering embers of our golden past.

Monday, August 14, 2017

headache

this. words on a screen. headache. cloudy skies. a Norse God. novacalamina. tiny figures of either floating behind your eyelids. tight stomach. your present absence. a funereal pyre for future playful imaginings. altar of masculinity. a single rivulet of blood streaming down your legs. desolation. de-solation. the end of solitude. of sunshine. of walks between bars. patched together, frayed. we once joked about your triumphal arrival, angel song, arc of triumph, welcome wreath. I'll remember you there, floating just above the land, making stories with your tightened strings.

Monday, July 10, 2017

goodbye

Untitled
you came and filled the space. quite literally.
we played eighties songs.
(yes, i did know all the lyrics, and, yes, you laughed)
we discussed nuts. nuts!
i made your Facebook page.
you fixed my lights.
we summoned empanadas for bedtime.
and invented dulce de leche wraps.
we once watched Batman vs Superman.
all.
three.
hours.
i liked testing techniques on your endless back.

no, you were not the one for me...
but I'll miss you.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

week 2


sad heartbeat tears eyes
headache heartache pressure
hurt strong energy
love pain manipulation

Friday, March 10, 2017

collage

Una publicación compartida de Helena Suárez (@ladelentesuy) el
the question was: is collage a feminist art form? well. it is feminist if it's intention is to highlight, trouble and destroy the unjust hierarchy of gender structures that assign different roles to bodies read as masculine and bodies read as feminine, binary bind. it is art if it claims a place in the cannon. or is it that simple?

collage is: different things assembled together - images, sound, time. textured. tactile. sticky. cut & paste. time passing in the making, in the viewing. the experience of it.

collage is, like life itself: different things assembled together. you pick and choose and then you give them meaning.

40s and beyond
guilt never stops!
'you never know what's round the corner'
stand up, speak up. without leaving the house!
is there heartbreak ahead, after This Life?
my share of tragedy. my biggest regret is I didn't have more. summer fruit crumble.
(I feel the most beautiful when I'm dancing with my friends)

Thursday, March 02, 2017

mellow yellow

Una publicación compartida de Helena Suárez (@ladelentesuy) el

we spent an afternoon opening boxes and thinking about the vibrancy of things. things that evoke... other things: lucha libre, stalking, exhibitions, protests, suicide. some of these things are considered things, others are considered concepts, events, cultural expressions, human activity. i wonder: how much of the 'vibrancy' of an object is related to their transparency as to the hands that made them? how much is the object itself, its texture, smell, temperature, weight...how much is the desire to touch, however metaphorically, those other hands? are we reaching for the human behind the non-human? is the non-human ever really vibrant without us there? breaking down human centred hierarchies, yes. but is it necessary to claim agency and life for us to do so? or is this not, once again, just putting the centre back on us? (we are human, we have agency and life. you are not human, in order to value you, we have to pretend you have agency and life just like us)

i love those yellow socks. daffodils. spring time. glorious. and an unhealthy relationship to phones.

Friday, February 24, 2017

vibrancy

Una publicación compartida de Helena Suárez (@ladelentesuy) el

Bennet writes on/of/about/around Vibrant Matter.

vibrancy. paying attention the vibrancy of things. (things, not of objects: stuff, thingymabobs, whatchamacallits, thingys, youknowwhats... whatever they are before our marco teórico makes them into objects) paying attention before we start paying attention. making things strange, repeat, rewrite, repeat, rewrite, repeat, rewrite, repeat... dislodging the human. disconcerting ourselves and in the confusion letting life-other emerge. what is "the human"? what is "the non-human"? where is the line and does it matter?

material things, organic and inorganic, have a life of their own. beyond anthropomorphising. beyond cuteness. life wants to live. and it will continue to do so whether we theorise it or not. that's (one).

(two)

a set of glasses.
plastic, tortoiseshell acetate, metal.

my glasses have had, at times, more life than i myself. for starters, this blog belongs to them. everywhere I go, they go before me. well, almost. my nose goes before them. they arrive and modify the scene. without them, the experience...not fully human? do they make me? do they mind? and before I, what then? an optician's workshop, a plastic manufacturer, a designer. and before that, what? forests, mines. trains, planes. cellulose, metal. carbon.

bang!

(three)
I have a box in Uruguay full of old glasses, and who's to say they are not guarding my self?

Friday, February 17, 2017

porn

Una publicación compartida de Helena Suárez (@ladelentesuy) el
"The laughter of someone supposed to be impressed always complicates the life of power."
Isabelle Stenger, Another Look: Relearning to laugh p44
when the lecturer brought up laugher during the session about porn, initially, i wasn't sure where it sat. a laugher that doesn't know where to sit is an uncomfortable laughter. a nervous giggle.

when i was a teenager there as a lot of nervous giggling around porn.
you'd go to a friend's house and there'd be a bunch of you: boys... girls... beer... and, suddenly... porn! one of the boys (always the boys) would say ...i've got a movie! and you ...do you stay and watch it? do you run to mum? and, then ...do you let him kiss you? do you let him touch?? ...and, later ......do you touch it??? .........and, later still ...is that how it's meant to feel?!?!?
"[T]he laughter of humor [...] is comprehending and appreciative without expecting to find a secure position. It is able to disagree without being awe-stricken or trying to be awe-inspiring."
Isabelle Stenger, Another Look: Relearning to laugh p52
when you're a teenage girl you're always in an awkward, insecure position, which you're constantly trying to secure. i think this is where it might go wrong. somehow, you're always trying to impress and you're always impressed (someone is always cooler, cleverer, sexier, more daring than you). a neverending emotional exchange of marks (Sara Ahmed, The Cultural Politics of Emotion p6). how could you assume the kind of laugher that Stenger proposes when laugher for you is the only way to hide your awe? it's difficult to disagree, so you agree, and you stay.

watching boring porn on boring summer afternoons. a mass of teenagers in a small room. beer bottles and giggles. learning to kiss, learning to fuck. (also: learning heteronormativity, learning that women are objects, learning humiliation is supposed to be sexy, learning consent is optional)
"The first challenge to which a minority [women being a 'majoritarian minority'] must respond is to not let itself be fascinated by the majoritarian norm [...] And one of the many ways to meet this challenge is “not to be too easily impressed"..."
Isabelle Stenger, Another Look: Relearning to laugh p53
we played the game of not being impressed by the majoritarian 'norm'. we gossiped: 'it wasn't that big', 'it was a bit crooked', 'it didn't go hard'... this is how our girly laughter effected our resistance. (some of us) couldn't say a straight no, but we could still laugh, and look unimpressed.

back then we didn't have the internet. or mobiles. or whatsapp. how did those boys (it was always the boys) get their porn videos? someone's dodgy uncle? a seedy newsagent 'video club'? today porn is sort of everywhere, and sort of made by anyone.

a few years back i came across a porn website, which is not necessarily a porn website. one day, Madelein Holden got fed up of getting ugly unsolicited 'dick pics', so she decided to show she "wasn't too impressed" and started critiquing the pictures. a one woman effort to promote a more artistic, diverse and, crucially, consensual approach to dick pic sending.

critique my dick pic is, as you would expect, full of penises (straight up, so don't click if you don't want to see penises). critique my dick will sternly rebuke any sender whose style or approach lean towards non-consensual, violent or harassing dick pics. everything else goes: penises of all shapes, sizes, ages and colours, human and non-human, alone or in groups. together they make stereotyping impossible

what i love about this site is the use it makes of humour. while their artistry might be ruthlessly criticised, senders and their dicks are never made fun of, instead witty photographic critiques are added to each picture and a grade. sometimes, but the pictures itself might make us laugh (some are very intentionally funny, some unintentionally so), but the site invites us to laugh with, rather than at the dicks (or their owners). it's a gentle approach. a vulnerable approach. an approach where you don't need to hide behind your laughter. an antidote to the online proliferation of naked female bodies, but also to the proliferation of irony and sarcasm, and the constant assertion of a tiresome brand of masculine aggression and control.



Friday, February 10, 2017

feminist skin

Una publicación compartida de Helena Suárez (@ladelentesuy) el

"What if the skin were not a container? What if the skin were not a limit at which self begins and ends? What if the skin were a porous, topological surfacing of myriad potential strata that field the relation between different milieus, each of them a multiplicity of insides and outsides?"
(Erin Manning, Toward a Leaky Sense of Self, 2009)
i posted this picture of skin on facebook, along a question: "feminist skin?" a response came, presto. "don't generalise," wrote a man. i chided him for not noticing the question mark, for failing to notice that, indeed, i wasn't generalising. mansplaining. yes, of course. hairy skin might be feminist skin, but then again, it might not. i am hyper aware of the ways in which skin "fields the relation between different milieus." this ranges from decisions i make about whether to keep some body hair but not other, according to where i'll be and with whom, to decisions others make as they encounter my hairy or hairless skin. some feminists look at me with suspicion when i reveal hairless skin, others do so when hair shows up. same with make up, body creams, (head) hairstyles... sometimes i feel i can't win. in south america we talk about "el feministómetro." a device for measuring the depth of your feminism, how far it may be under of your skin.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

selfie

Una foto publicada por Helena Suárez (@ladelentesuy) el

skin. screen.
self. selfie.

i had a lot of thoughts following that class. mostly: that i was speaking too much; that i was annoying the lecturer; that colleagues were fed up with me; that i was missing the point; that i was out of my body.

out of whose body? what body? out of body experience. skin crawling. goose bumps. bumpy road. road rage. emotion.

i choose this selfie for the selfie lecture. in it can be seen: my self, my computer (my represented self), my headphone cable (my connection to my self), my specs (myself, ladelentes).

my face is best viewed side on, i've concluded. darkness out of sight.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

queer

poetry is being together in this space, all queer and ready to dance.

Friday, January 20, 2017

orientalism

a skirt. a gift. a gift from a faraway place. a retreat, holiday, escape. a colourful piece of fabric. exotic. vibrant. summer. i wear this beautiful cloth as a skirt, a dress, a provocation. i am aware of its possible connotations, yes. the othering of these remote 'cultures' that we might visit to find ourselves (we are not the other). but. but. but. i am the other (am i?). i am the other of men and the other of european and the other of the other. and, so, when i wear orientalism i wear it as self-exoticism, as femme as fuck you. i wear it to tell you i won't wait for you to position my body - i don't care for your vision of me. i position my body right wherever: woman, sensual, exotic, erotic. signifying goddess. i know these are the words, concepts, prejudices that will pop into your mind. your orientalism/sexism. i fuel it. to others' peril? perhaps. this is the danger of this game.

in class we talk. i feel a familiar latinamerican discomfort (compounded by naturalisation): not european, not not european. i think: i feel there are points of contact (or divergence? or overlap?) between the politics of passing and the politics of appropriation. i think/feel. western/oriental.

i didn't say this in class: the official nationality of people of my country is not 'Uruguayan' but 'Oriental'. this is what my Uruguayan passport (if I had one) would say 'Nacionalidad: Oriental'. my country so shy it doesn't have a name, but a location. 'the republic to the east of (oriental to) the river Uruguay'. oriental. eastern. southeastern (current geolocation: London SE).

i also didn't say this in class: i start this weekend a Thai Yoga Massage course.

i couldn't say this in class: as i waited for the tube in Canada Water a pair of African women checked out my skirt and discussed it with smiles. I didn't talk to them, but walked up and down the platform in front of them, discreetly giving them a show. pretty pleased, they seemed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

sunshine

running today. moving into and out of sunny spots, feeling the temperature change. i know i should look for the sun, but darkness calls me. i have no idea why things are the way they are, only that that's how they've always been. so.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

the source of sadness

a love story. a love story is always a story of disappointment. a forever oncoming failure to meet universal expectations, to organise these fantasies suspended into molecular structures of being. gravity attached me to you, one day. I circled circled circled you and you stayed motionless in mid-air...lips parted, watching me fall, not catching the drift. love is motion, always: falling, grasping, touching, leaving. holding on. love is sadness, always.
not enough, it seems. 

my friend who's a dancer says: so, she disappointed you. 
I say.

Friday, January 13, 2017

media

Week 1. Looking for gender at Goldsmiths, we aimed for erotic encounters.wandering the corridors of Goldsmiths looking for the erotic, I find protuberances and holes (so fucking literal), others find explosions, fruit, chocolate... we are guided by our eyes, notes Clare. do smells, sounds, textures, temperatures, tastes have gender? you bet they do, but the privileging of sight uber alles is embedded in patriarchal structures of thinking. the omnipotent gaze. seeing is believing... still. something beyond the senses can and does take place. an encounter: a man checks me out. i am a woman, being checked out. although mostly i am a new pair of silver boots. electricity. an exchange of affect, desire, loss, history... pheromones? all in the space of no time at all and in one direction. i don't check him out back, i just let myself receive the information. i play it this way. gendered femme female. pigtails and silly voice. we are all women in the course (surprise surprise) and mostly women in college. we discuss this, history, names, the marking up of territory, a space populated by (mostly) female bodies designated with (mostly) male names. a bit like science (males naming everything). question for later: what is 'media'? is the body 'media'? is the space between us 'media'? im-media-te, media-te. media as what happens between object-subject, subject made object and subject-subject. media as interpretation. media as (female) half (you put the rest in).