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It is the mind’s desire to collate and make sense of things; we insist on order where there is none, and attempt to find meaning in what is unknown. A theme usually emerges in each of our issues, despite our dogged search for writing that is based on its variety and temporal relevance. I’m unsure whether this proves a subconscious zeitgeist—that informed by cultural trends, many critics and artists are mulling over the same topics and ideas in a specific time and place—or if it is simply due to our desire to seek out connections. Still, as Carla designer Haynes Riley and I went into our discussions about the cover for this issue, I observed a thematic linkage between the words of our contributors.
In these pages, the human body is depicted in crisis, in pain, in a state of dysfunction; but also in a state of rejuvenation, celebration, and pleasure. Evan Moffitt writes of proudly “bedecked” bodies in his essay about Laguna Beach’s Pageant of the Masters, while Ben Lord discusses Faith Wilding, whose biomorphic forms proclaim the power of the goddess. Amanda Ross-Ho takes a more systematic approach in her portraits of Erik Frydenborg, diagrammatically segmenting his body into hands, belly, and leg. While many of the essays featured discuss the body directly—Carmen Winant relates an athlete’s self-discipline to the rigor of an artist’s studio practice—others speak to the ability of inanimate objects, installations, or architectures to function in a way that mirrors the human form. Eli Diner’s review of Honeydew at Michael Thibault discusses an installation that is simultaneously generative and in decay. Similarly, my essay about Arturo Bandini discusses the gallery’s architecture as a perpetual body, immutable yet in constant evolution. Is this “body talk” a symptom of our post-summer season—languid sun-drenched physiques still on the mind? I hope you will join us this issue in glorifying, dissecting, and re-imagining the body in all of its vulnerabilities and fortitudes.
Originally published in Carla Issue 3.