Garments contain openings. Cloth surfaces reach edges which fold back inwards. When a garment surrounds me, cloth creeps into crevices, in concert with my body’s refrains. It is worth writing about indeterminate edges before going into orifices.
I am already inside.
The terms (sithe), (simultaneity), and (sigh) are etymologically linked in the Oxford English Dictionary as an occasion of ‘at one and the same time’ and a repeat ‘at varying times’. The act of cutting—(scythe)—has something to do with the occasion of these terms.
Here I remain and return to the unravelling of edges—fringe as both a starting and ending point.
I am on the inside making my way out, speaking through cloth. My voice is absorbed in a garment—a body with its own pulse, shaped by hand and machine. I begin in the middle, between parts gathered and parts dispersed. The discard is located elsewhere. The remnants of writing remain.
Distinctions are less clear. I dress every day to create a transition in my body from hair to toe. It is day sixty of distancing in Illinois. I am in the company of my organs. The stakes are high. My daughters are out dancing at Le Bal Bullier after dark. I am in place. Thoughts expand and contract as I breathe in domestic experience and the decorative impulse. Appliqué the applied arts, and apply this to kitchen surfaces. Man number one stitches pieces of cloth together from the inside out. Sonia Delaunay walks up to the stage and offers a cut piece to Yoko Ono. I seek dark pockets, hungry orifices that invite Gertrude Stein to dinner. Pressing is more important than sewing. I enter the facade of my body in a sitting position. Yoko Ono performed Cut Piece on the same day Martin Luther King began his historic march on Selma. My father had a beard—Robert Delaunay hands him a paint brush. To an extent women were liberated by the modernist movement, but sidelined to the applied arts. Seamstresses are confined to the interior of a garment. Chanel stitches man number two into a long dress. My mother is centered on stage and smiles for the Maysles camera, upping the ante with each performance as her wardrobe is diminished. This work was not thought of as a traditional Fluxus piece, and only considered a significant feminist work retrospectively.
There is a gap between tomorrow and yesterday.
Kristin Mariani, 2020
a cloth, video, 4:43
the way in
scythe with holes
red window, video, 2:46
this dress and its body, elsewhere
cloth and dress photos: Joerg Metzner
scythe photo: Grace DuVal