Re: Personal Hygiene

A mass email; menstruating bodies soiling once purified spaces with their blood and overtness of feminine sexuality. The menstrual complex gives birth to the menstrual taboo; as if your bodies were not enough, now the sight of the manifestation of your blood magic?

While he excretes active substance of spiritual value, I excrete semblances of death. Keep within your soft walls, or confront the examination interlaced with exposing the female carnality.

Image and text are used in dialogue to explore the multi-layered process of deconstructing the notion of menstruation and the position of a menstruating body in the context of today. A menstruating body is a contested body, understood through historically and culturally defined taboos and ideologies. The images in both content and form work to translate the performative nature of the body to the viewer, from within the confinement of the private sphere. The text; now floating within a voided context, works as image, where the overlaying, cutting, splitting, exposing and concealing of both layers become tools to further dissociate the objects from their object-hood. The result is an estrangement of the subjects as familiar bodies, now upholding themselves as signifiers. It is through the proliferation of the signifiers that the generation of any meaning, or any signified, is possible.  

Lana Barakeh is a Palestinian visual artist and architect based in Beirut. She received a BA in Architecture from the design program at the American University of Beirut, and is currently working primarily with photography, film and installation. Her work explores notions of displacement and domesticity, thinking of the image conceptually particularly in relation to archival image records as sites for creative processes.

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