“I have nothing to declare except my genius,” said Oscar Wilde to the customs agent: Safety Edition
Fig leaves, designed to cover, but always accentuating, reference not just the monumentality of the sculptures to which they were meant to conform, but also the power made visible in the occupation of space and the expenditure of resources to render such gestures. Phallic associations with power and genius are not easily critiqued without provoking essentialist accusations of envy. This rhetorical camouflage does not obscure that the nature of what is objectionably lacking is rooted elsewhere, namely in the representation of certain bodies and cultures, which are instead obscured entirely from public veneration. Concurrently, the complex politics of exposure prompt recognition of the violence in defoliation. This is especially so at a moment in which “biological sex” is perverted to mean not the range of biological diversity in regards to a spectrum of sexual characteristics, but rather an immutable, “true,” and binary classification that has the effect of an invasive cis-sexist kudzu. In such a moment, armor that is both affective and made of metal may be necessary.
bronze, articulated safety zone