What makes a woman feel like an assortment of disconnected body parts? For a time she might feel like a heart on two legs, walking around bleeding for people, completely exposed and vulnerable. She might feel like an enormous brain with two arms sitting at a desk, primed for little else but thinking and writing. Perhaps she feels like an immense womb, a woman built to give until she gives out.
How do you take a woman out of her body? Must you first call her outside of her name? Some act you must first ask her to perform?
Once a woman is disembodied, literally and/or figuratively, how does she put herself back together?
In the second installment of the Little/Gaines series, Yours Truly will feature poems with Kremena Todorova, Assistant Professor of English at Transylvania University (her most recent work includes “Passing: Fashioning Drag”) to explore these questions and their answers in the installment, “Out of Body.”
Utilizing photographs and interviews from her latest “Nightgown Project” Todorova takes before images of women in their homes wearing what they normally like to wear to bed, and then after images in a nightgown she provides for them. She interviews the women, asking them specific questions including how they feel in the nightgowns after having worn them for several days. On Tuesday, she will show photos from “The Nightgown Project.”
My latest work has dealt largely with the cadavers of African-American women primarily used to aid scientific and medical research. A few of the poems I will present on Tuesday will come from the voices of decedents. This was my entry point into the theme “Out of Body,” however, over the past few months, the work has broadened. I will also incorporate poems that provide a discourse around isolated body parts as well as “charms” to restore the sensation of being fully embodied.
What: “Out of Body”: photos by Kremena Todorova and poems by Bianca Spriggs
Where: Little Fine Arts Library @ UK, Niles Gallery
When: Tuesday, October 12, 7 PM (Reception to follow)
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