Arno NollenUntitled (20XX)

Although I can’t make heads or tails of Nollen’s work–it’s too scattered and profuse for me to know how in the Sam Hell I’m supposed to fucking approach it–this image walked in my brain like it was a cat that owned the joint and my brain had a front door I’d accidentally left open.

I can’t explain why I like it. It’s #skinnyframebullshit and the way her right ankle gets cut off is more than a little awkward. Yet, there’s something about her expression in combination with the self-conscious placement of her hands and her slouching posture that manages to reach in and completely short circuit my brain so that my only thought is Jesus Harold and Maude Fucking Christ on Christmas she is Helen of Troy beautiful, people would wages wars over her.

But I think–despite how off putting I find Nollen’s typical presentation–that in this case it enhances the effect of the image. The post-it notes recall a certain studious academic fervor that I suppose is an effort to undercut the sexualization and objectification that come to bear on the image. It’s half good first step and half cop-out but that it’s there at all feels reassuring in a way that it will probably take me another two years to even begin to articulate.

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