OLGA BALEMAJuly 17 – August 3, 2015
The body is a membrane. It’s permeated by its surroundings, digesting everyday life, food, culture, technology. Optimizing the body is gaining control of life in general. The body is the machine that is the material carrier of the mind. The body is dirty and needs to be tamed, domesticated, optimized.
“The secret behind Bernadette’s clear, radiant complexion were the herbal enemas she regularly gave herself. And once a year she went to a Haitian woman in the Bronx and had her colon deep-cleaned, a painful and laborious procedure but definitely worth the trouble. It’s amazing what builds up in there. Rotten, clotted matter, and such a pile of it that, after her first visit, Bernadette had made a final decision never to look in that big plastic bowl again at the end of a session, because it disturbed her to know. But the next day her face was as light and clear as a reflection on water and she also felt a lot more positive towards life. Reena was awkward. Think of the waste that’s built up in her over the years, the greenish brown muck coating her lower intestine, yards and pounds of it. The lode of waste encrusted into the walls of her colon. To this day Bernadette had never revealed her beauty secrets to anyone and probably never would. It was really nobody’s business how she managed her special glow.” *
Don’t think about your skin complexion, the shape of your booty – but think of your intestines: your slouchy liver, the winded-up bowel, your crumpled bladder. Invisible and yet visually repelling they are lingering inside you, chaotic and dirty, uncontrollable. And then there are little bones twitching, bent and crooked, mechanically humming, roaring, and clattering: “[…] the hands laugh while the feet cry. The abdomen exults. A knee is greedy.” **
* Bernadette Corporation (2004): “Reena Spaulings”, p. 6.** ibid, p. 157.
Photography: Christoph Westermeier