Reversing Vandalism: Online Gallery

Image by Amy E. Conger
RV-036 Amy E. Conger

Title: Queer Reader Mandorla
“(_A Queer Reader_, Patrick Higgins ed.) Inspired by the damage done to this book, the major shape in this work is a mandorla (the almond shape formed by the intersection of two circles). Symbolically, this is the space where opposites cease to contradict each other, where there is no more “us against them”. The eyes of the beautiful image (by Pierre eet Gilles) on the dust jacket were cut out in this shape. This haunting wound to the book might fill us with a repulsion against the vandal, but to push him away in our hearts is to deny the shadow side of our culture that allows such hostility to flourish. He is us, and we are him. In the course of creating this piece, I cut the binding off the book and sliced the pages with a knife to create the leaf and petal shapes. These actions felt very close to vandalism and so, emphasized how close we are to one another. This mandorla embraces the wounded, queer figure at the center. There are echoes of the _vagina dentata_ here, perhaps reflecting my anger at the vandal's attacks on feminism and queerness. But the mandorla moves these destructive feelings outward into creation; it's a symbol of healing transforming hostility into compassion.”

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