Francesca WoodmanSome Disordered Interior Geometries (1981)

Although it’s on some level problematic: I have moments where I think of Ms. Woodman as if she were both still alive and as if she and I were a couple.

Let me try to clarify that so it’s less presumptuous and entitled: I read a lot of critics who bemoan her enduring appeal. They say she wasn’t really all that good. That she’s only canonized due to her broad public appeal–a sort of way to put asses in the seats–so to speak.

I don’t agree with either perspective. If anything Woodman was a great deal better than even her current popularity speaks to–her work still suffers from centuries of entrenched art historical sexism.

As to her enduring appeal, there is a way in which her work comes across as not exactly conversational but… wait, I know how to say it! I just need to steal from someone smarter than me.

In her brilliant summary of the best movie of 2014–Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive–the lovely and amazing Knitphilia describes the interactions between Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston’s characters in the film thusly: “the pair conversationally present amazing trufax to one another as love gifts.”

As vampires both have lived for centuries, they’ve seen and done it all. The range of new experiences open to them is if not long exhausted, finite. Yet, amazing trufax–and, and! Books and Art and Music as avenues of transmission–are something that can still stir awe in them.

That’s how I feel looking at Woodman’s work! It’s as if the medium is the message and the message is a constant stream of amazing trufax, little loving offerings that this insanely talented young woman who died shortly after my birth keeps leaving behind for me to glimpse if I pay careful attention.

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