Performance and Interactions > Building a Body

bodybuilding, art, performance, figure competition, sculpture
Pose 6
Documentation of performance

Humankind has always had an interesting relationship with our corporeal forms. Somehow, we can't just leave them alone. We've been tattooing and piercing ourselves for innumerable ritualistic explorations since we've been able to hold a spear. We've fattened up, skinnied down, muscled up and leaned out depending on the fashionable fad of the era. We dye our hair, get nipped and tucked, pluck out the unwanteds, shave the rest, and paint and adorn ourselves with pigments. Today, we get full body covered, holes stretched, branded, plasticized, implanted, artificially grown and stapled. We are born and we grow. Somehow for many of us, the second we are able to understand that it is our image that looks back through our eyes in the mirror, we strive to make that image our own, an expression of our inner world. Our bodies become a repository of our mental conception of self, a physical embodiment of whatever bliss, life-changing moment, neurosis, whim, positive or negative thought manifestations that we need to exhibit outward of our inner being to the rest of the world.

We make our body our temples in many abstract ways for sure.
I think for me I've always had a strange disconnect with my body. I used to not really understand my reflection in the mirror when I was a kid and I was obsessed with it. I couldn't quite make ut who that was looking back at me and what was this "body" that I lived inside. That grew into a bizarre dislike of my figure and form and led me to anorexia and bulimia in my teens and 20s. I was sick a lot too. My body seemed to always revolt against me and it led me to be very careless about it. It became a dumping ground rather than a temple. It became something that I could force to its limit and see what I could get away with before it crashed. Crash it did. Fibromyalgia set in with a vengeance. There's something about pain that makes one very aware of your body.
Then after working through a sublime vision, I began to heal. I started taking care of myself, doing yoga, meditating, eating better and my body was responding better but I was still always sick. Stress, work, life, the crumbling of a relationship the death of my grandmother pushed my illness to it's max. I went to bed every night hoping that somehow I didn't have to wake up ever again. Then it was discovered that I had a sever gluten allergy and miraculously all of my troubles melted away. No more sickness. My fibromyalgia became decidedly better. Quality of life became worth living again. But I wasn't quite where I wanted to be.
Since starting this project I haven't had a fibromyalgia flair up at all but I kept having back problems. It was discovered that I have pretty gnarly scoliosis which I have been treating regularly alongside my workout routine which has certainly created some physical challenges. But it seems that by strengthening, straightening, sculpting and eating the proper fuel, all of these things are coming together and for the first time in a long time, perhaps ever more strongly than at any time in my life, I feel like my body is actually Me.
I suppose part of this project has been to actually create a temple out of my corporeal form and to worship at my own alter. To synthesize and become one with the body in which I live. To look on the outside as I feel inside.
To become a whole being.