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Time Is the Thing a Body Moves Through

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How do the bodies we inhabit affect our relationship with art? How does art affect our relationship to our bodies? T Fleischmann uses Felix Gonzáles-Torres's artworks—piles of candy, stacks of paper, puzzles—as a path through questions of love and loss, violence and rejuvenation, gender and sexuality. From the back porches of Buffalo, to the galleries of New York and L.A., How do the bodies we inhabit affect our relationship with art? How does art affect our relationship to our bodies? T Fleischmann uses Felix Gonzáles-Torres's artworks—piles of candy, stacks of paper, puzzles—as a path through questions of love and loss, violence and rejuvenation, gender and sexuality. From the back porches of Buffalo, to the galleries of New York and L.A., to farmhouses of rural Tennessee, the artworks act as still points, sites for reflection situated in lived experience. Fleischmann combines serious engagement with warmth and clarity of prose, reveling in the experiences and pleasures of art and the body, identity and community.


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How do the bodies we inhabit affect our relationship with art? How does art affect our relationship to our bodies? T Fleischmann uses Felix Gonzáles-Torres's artworks—piles of candy, stacks of paper, puzzles—as a path through questions of love and loss, violence and rejuvenation, gender and sexuality. From the back porches of Buffalo, to the galleries of New York and L.A., How do the bodies we inhabit affect our relationship with art? How does art affect our relationship to our bodies? T Fleischmann uses Felix Gonzáles-Torres's artworks—piles of candy, stacks of paper, puzzles—as a path through questions of love and loss, violence and rejuvenation, gender and sexuality. From the back porches of Buffalo, to the galleries of New York and L.A., to farmhouses of rural Tennessee, the artworks act as still points, sites for reflection situated in lived experience. Fleischmann combines serious engagement with warmth and clarity of prose, reveling in the experiences and pleasures of art and the body, identity and community.

30 review for Time Is the Thing a Body Moves Through

  1. 5 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣

    Not too interesting. Not too good writing. Not too medically informed. Not too healthy a relationship with oneself portrayed. The main protagonist is seriously at odds with their body, looks, sex, life, people... many things. I don't think their main issue was their sex or whatever. This protagonist came across as abused, taken advantage of, misunderstood person who suffered way too much and not just from gender dysphoria but from general lack of self-sympathy, which is an entirely too painful thi Not too interesting. Not too good writing. Not too medically informed. Not too healthy a relationship with oneself portrayed. The main protagonist is seriously at odds with their body, looks, sex, life, people... many things. I don't think their main issue was their sex or whatever. This protagonist came across as abused, taken advantage of, misunderstood person who suffered way too much and not just from gender dysphoria but from general lack of self-sympathy, which is an entirely too painful thing to happen to anyone. People who are genuinely in love with themselves would be totally ready to forgive themselves minor physical idiosyncrasies such as the make up of the body structure, complexion or the set of privates. A good psychologist would have come a long way to help. The use of the word 'slutty' I found particularly not healthy: Q: In my early twenties the acne quieted on my body, and my face calmed down slowly, and then I became actually slutty. Just like how I had started wearing makeup when the acne came fully on, exactly as the acne began clearing is when I started slutting my way to the top of the slut class, this new me confident enough to put on a black slip and head to the Eagle. No surprise, then, that it was not until I started to take testosterone blockers that the acne actually stopped—although the hormones would also come, eventually, to mean good-bye to the hookup culture of anonymous gay men, to the bears and twinks of my youth. It had been testosterone, of course, that had been the problem all along. The doctors had tried all sorts of things, keeping me on harsh antibiotics for years, which wreaked havoc on my body’s ecology and permanently damage-dried my skin. The heaves in my digestion and my horrible sensitivity to light are from those antibiotics, with their long, long lists of side effects. I am reminded of this history, the same pain intensifying every time I have to take antibiotics for chlamydia or strep or whatever. (c) Q: At the same time, my days become increasingly filled with professional activities: presenting ideas to a committee of strangers, attending a meeting followed by another meeting, giving a lecture. Each of these are instances in which I have to talk, and in which everyone else listens to me and looks at me. The way people react, I know that they are thinking about what they would call my gender and, in the way most people find gender and bodies to be irreducibly the same, that they are thinking also of my body, the small weight of my breasts maybe visible in a sweater. I know that when I am talking to a large group of people, in their heads are odd confusions about me, and that when I am talking one-on-one, a slight nervousness sometimes—the fear that they will say the wrong thing, and their language will reveal how they see me. (c)

  2. 5 out of 5

    John

    I think this is the first book I truly loved in 2019. It's such a wonderfully built essay/book, circling and weaving, always on the move. Mixing criticism & autobiography, it reads similarly to Maggie Nelson, and anyone who liked Bluets or The Argonauts should probably read this (especially because there's not the weird fetishism-y vibes of trans people in this one). The way that Fleischmann discusses their identity, their resistance to much of the firm language relating to queer identities, I think this is the first book I truly loved in 2019. It's such a wonderfully built essay/book, circling and weaving, always on the move. Mixing criticism & autobiography, it reads similarly to Maggie Nelson, and anyone who liked Bluets or The Argonauts should probably read this (especially because there's not the weird fetishism-y vibes of trans people in this one). The way that Fleischmann discusses their identity, their resistance to much of the firm language relating to queer identities, is truly everything to me. I didn't expect to see myself so reflected in this book. Also, there's a lot of just really fun stuff and many moments of humor! This is really truly excellent and you should definitely not sleep on it! Also, be on the lookout for an interview with myself and Fleischmann, which should be out in June (when this book comes out!). EDIT: Here it is! https://electricliterature.com/t-flei...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Oliver Baez Bendorf

    "I know it's not that simple, tit for tap, but I don't want to give any more of my touch to language. I just want language to generate more touch." A book about Felix Gonzalez-Torres, ice, and sex, but also coming into one's body and how or why to live and love "uninscribed," as a writer. I read this out loud to a lover in two three-hour stretches over two days. It's tender, agile, and smart, and I didn't want it to end.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Leo Robertson

    I bought this thinking, as per the description, it would have a lot to do with Felix Gonzales-Torres' work. I was excited for a contemporary take on it. I first encountered Felix Gonzales-Torres' work in the Astrup Fearnley gallery in Oslo. Untitled (Blue Placebo) was on display. The piece, for those who don't know, is a pile of boiled sweets wrapped in blue cellophane. 130 kg of which, to be precise, the weight (as I understand it) of Gonzales-Torres' lover Ross, who eventually died of AIDS. The I bought this thinking, as per the description, it would have a lot to do with Felix Gonzales-Torres' work. I was excited for a contemporary take on it. I first encountered Felix Gonzales-Torres' work in the Astrup Fearnley gallery in Oslo. Untitled (Blue Placebo) was on display. The piece, for those who don't know, is a pile of boiled sweets wrapped in blue cellophane. 130 kg of which, to be precise, the weight (as I understand it) of Gonzales-Torres' lover Ross, who eventually died of AIDS. The blue placebo refers to the drugs Ross was taking to mitigate the effect of HIV. The piece was not only on display but for literal public consumption: you're allowed to eat the sweets. It was quite an amazing thing to interact with. It's a memorial to a departed loved one, a joy shared--but also a commentary on the medication, which might as well have been a stack of sweets for all the good they did. It's a quasi-religious experience, eating of the body. It is so beautiful and sad. A bittersweet gift. Sorry but I think that off-the-cuff review is a better description of the experience than appears in this "essay"--don't essays have a point, a thesis topic or something? I'd call it a ramble--which seems to be about... what this person got up to for a while. There were some interesting observations, in the way there are inevitably some in a first draft if you just type long enough... It is largely concerned with sex, and a little to do with the author's interest in describing ice? Also a vague disdain towards capitalism and climate change. Maybe? I'm kinda glad that people are carrying the Samuel Delany torch of mixing it up, refusing categorisation, sleeping around all over the place in spite of the still-strong (even stronger?) opposition to this as a lifestyle. And I'm glad they put it in books so I can observe it from a distance and be even surer that it's not for me... But I've also left with more of the one thing I'm always trying to combat, the one thing I always want to suspect is "too easy" and "not true" and "we must be missing something" and "there must be something here", which is a stronger notion that the conceptual art world is pretty bullshit.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jerrie (redwritinghood)

    This is a long essay about the artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, ice, and sex. No, that is just the superficial description. It is about transformation in the uninscribed. As a trans person, the author focuses a lot on the transitions of the body, whether through aging, gender, or death. Also explored are the relationship between love and desire, societal change, and, of course, the transformations of ice (breaking, melting). Complex, but grounded. Graphic, yet compassionate. The flow is a bit chopp This is a long essay about the artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, ice, and sex. No, that is just the superficial description. It is about transformation in the uninscribed. As a trans person, the author focuses a lot on the transitions of the body, whether through aging, gender, or death. Also explored are the relationship between love and desire, societal change, and, of course, the transformations of ice (breaking, melting). Complex, but grounded. Graphic, yet compassionate. The flow is a bit choppy, but this is well-worth a close reading.

  6. 4 out of 5

    M. Sarki

    Not my cup of tea. Not fair to review a work on a subject I know nothing about. But I will rate the book as OK even though it was not.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alanna Why

    Picked this up on a whim from the best bookstore in Toronto, Type Books on Queen Street West, with my friend Lewis. I had never heard of it or the author before, but it only took me a page before I fell in love: "Another, in a typo, says he likes to "cook and choirs." It's a lyric essay/poem mixed with art history that offers a lot of nuanced ideas about gender, sexuality, relationships, art and the constraints of definition, which are pretty much all of my favourite things to read/think about. Picked this up on a whim from the best bookstore in Toronto, Type Books on Queen Street West, with my friend Lewis. I had never heard of it or the author before, but it only took me a page before I fell in love: "Another, in a typo, says he likes to "cook and choirs." It's a lyric essay/poem mixed with art history that offers a lot of nuanced ideas about gender, sexuality, relationships, art and the constraints of definition, which are pretty much all of my favourite things to read/think about. It reminded me a lot of The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, which I also enjoyed, but I liked this version of those ideas even more, probably because T. Fleischmann is clearly an ex-anarchist, which makes them all the more endearing to me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Isaac R. Fellman

    A beautiful punk book that explores a lot of weird trans feelings without knocking too many of them down. I feel glad that Fleischmann’s editors trusted this book to be itself and didn’t try to argue the author out of the very necessary digressions and pauses.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marija (Inside My Library Mind)

    i love adding books based on the title ONLY

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    3.5

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joerg Rings

    I really longed to like this more, not least because the title embodies everything I think literature I live us about. And there are raw gems of brilliance in this book which I think make it worth reading, but at least 80 percent are just a slog, that feels like it just throws edgy queer sexuality in your face on repeat in a way to implicate placated emptiness in life all over. It just feels gratuitous and uninspired.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    4.5

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emrys

    A lyrical wander through art criticism, memoir, and trans history. Defies and absolves genre. Highly recommend!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tom Hrycyk

  15. 5 out of 5

    Liz Amilkavich

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Gold

  17. 4 out of 5

    Graham

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rae

  19. 5 out of 5

    Autumn Barksdale

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eva Wolfie

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Sternick

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chris Muscardin

  23. 4 out of 5

    Isaac

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katharine

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jes

  26. 4 out of 5

    Milo

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nicole MacSween

  28. 4 out of 5

    kate

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Schuh

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tom

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