19 - To 30 July
Living in the subject body means living within certain parameters. Our bodyminds are restricted by learned behaviour, both intentional and unintentional, due to the influence of cultural normativity. Through the white noise of culture’s codifications, we forget that we exist in a naturally fluid space with potential to be explored.
“Please do not sit like that.”
This idea of normativity is used to define our positions both within ourselves and society at large, and seeps into us in ways often unnoticed. When cultural normativity turns bad, people and their behaviours are classified, restricted, catalogued, stereotyped, deemed unacceptable or unattractive, and objectified, in ways that inherently exclude some, and privilege others. Cultural normativity means drawing lines and forming categories that are arbitrary in an inherently fluid space, in order to assert control.
Instead of using the line to control, Carolyn Mackenzie-Craig uses the drawn line to render such categories fluid again, specifically in relation to genders’ social inscription on her own identity. In repeating daily gendered movements over and over, she kinaesthetically deconstructs them. She uses these tools to identify where there is room to move, and to what extent these categories hold power over her. With repetition within constraints, micro-differences appear that exist outside of fixed knowledge. This is her entry point into codified structure from a fluid perspective, where new meanings can be created or discovered: the grey area where identity is still free.
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