Reading Week 5: Louise Borgeois excerpts from Destruction of the Father

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6 Comments

Louise Borgeois speaks in such an entertaining and intelligent way that gives the sense she has complete control over this interview. As I suppose is sought after in any interview, the interviewer barely says anything. Only a word or short sentence is enough to drive Louise into these in-depth descriptions of her work. I enjoy when she begins with "I don't want to be bookish, but I am going to be." This really highlights her understanding of her context within an interview, but also that she uses whatever tools she can to communicate, much like her art.

I enjoyed the seeming inseparable connection she projects between the forms in her work and their symbolism, she doesn't seem to see them as separate. Each form she describes is a jumping off point for a stream of meanings and associations in her life, there doesn't seem to be any calculation or question about the associations, they are just a natural language to her.

I agree with the previous comments. Her understanding of herself and her work is so apparent. I think this understanding goes along with her honesty and bluntness when explaining the meanings behind her work. I especially appreciated the part in the interview where she is talking about "killing your parents" and the interviewer asks her if she is being literal or speaking metaphorically. Her response being that she "never talks literally. Never, never, never. You do not get anywhere by being literal, except to be puny." Her honesty is in her metaphors and her commitment to them in her work.

Assuming that she is truly never literal, her embrace of resistance ("If there was no resistance I could not express myself. I can express myself only in a desperate fighting position, p155) is fascinating to me. As fallible humans living in a scary world, we resist so much. I try to catch myself, talk myself into relaxing and going with the flow, that I make things harder than they should be. For her, however, the struggle is the power. Might accepting the fight against the elements that resist us ultimately make the process more effortless?

Some artists let their material tell them what it wants to be. Others find their meaning in that mutable space where power meets power. I tend toward the latter, and it was refreshing to read such vivid descriptions. She speaks in images.

She seems like she would tough to interview. How do you take some of those she says and think of what to say next on the spot? I have a feeling that me be why the interview had such short prompts and got long answers. I think the power dynamic in this interview was tipped in favor or Borgeois. She's going to say what she's going to say.

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