August issue of InTheFray Magazine

Gardenia petals and ugly art dolls

This month’s InTheFray Magazine features poetry collaborations that combine poetry, art and music from Belinda Subraman, Linda Bennbinghoff, Annette Marie Hyder, Dawn Petty, Robin Urton, Ugly Shayla, Ken Clinger and John Lisiecki.

Whose cries are not music
Visual poetry featuring the art of Robin Urton, the poetry of LindaBennbinghoff, the music of Ken Clinger, with reading and production byBelinda Subraman

YouTube link to video

Check out the rest of the collaborations here

Have a peek into the creative process here with first drafts.

Butterflies, ephemera

Anna Nicole, By Lori Precious

I don’t want to talk about Lori Precious’ infamous butterfly project, the one in which she created mandalas inspired by stained glass windows and executed through the medium of iridescent butterfly wings, the one that was followed by the Damien Hirst vs. Lori Precious controversy. I wont talk about that here. You can read about it elsewhere.

What I want to talk about is her Starlets project, in which she recreates the obituary photos of starlets–in gossamer. She says:

In Los Angeles we’re surrounded by beautiful women whose ambition is to be a star. Beauty is so abundant that it becomes commonplace and disposable. In my new series, Starlets, I’ve recreated some obituary photographs entirely from butterfly wings. In the cameos of these women in their final role, the butterfly wings represent the fleeting nature of beauty and glamour. Around each butterfly portrait is a kaleidoscopic mandala of delicate wings and debris that captures the story of the starlet’s life.

With her collection of starlets, from Dorothy Hart, a 1940s starlet, to Anna Nicole Smith, Lori Precious is provoking thought about the way that we value prettiness and beauty and symbols of such–whether they be butterflies or women. She calls to mind the way that both are chased after, the way that beauty can be as ephemeral as time measured in lepidoptera years, how there is always so much more than meets the eye.

I find that very interesting. I thought you might too.

By Annette Marie Hyder
From The Consequence of Wings (On Angels and Monsters and Other Winged Things)

I toss my hair at
spread my arms to
the day.

I want to butterfly
from one moment
to the next
unfurl my proboscis
drink deep

have you 
see through
the Ezekiel lenses
of my wings

you gasp
at my arrogance
in flinging
all those colours
(shimmer, shammer, hold me)
back in Sun’s face.

Link to the butterfly book I’m reading right now:
TheDangerous World of Butterflies: The Startling Subculture of Criminals,Collectors and Conservationists, By Peter Laufer, Ph.D.

Other Links of interest

Lori Precious Website
Butterfly Symbolism
The Butterfly Effect
Butterfly Facts

Lady Gaga’s shocking display

YouTube video via The Daily Beast

Purple be-wigged and thigh-high booted, Lady Gaga gives an interviewer what-for about the double standard that women artists have to deal with in expressing sexuality as opposed to male rock artists (right around the 1:55 mark):

Lady Gaga: You see, if I was a guy, and I was sitting her with a cigarette in my hand, grabbing my crotch and talking about how I make music ’cause I love fast cars and fucking girls, you’d call me a rock star. But when I do it in my music and in my videos, because I’m a female, because I make pop music, you’re judgmental, and you say that it is distracting. I’m just a rock star.

Then Lady Gaga is asked a question which provokes her into making a lurid display of her ignorance of what the word “feminist” means:

Interviewer: Are you also a feminist?
Lady Gaga: I’m not a feminist – I, I hail men, I love men. I celebrate American male culture, and beer, and bars and muscle cars…

Not only is she showing her ignorance of what the word feminist means, she is articulating the tired and worn cliche of feminists who don’t like (let alone love!) men. For a cutting edge artist, her ideas are surprisingly outdated. Here we have the oxymoron of an avant-garde individual sealing the envelope instead of pushing it — as far as equality goes anyway.

But where did she get the idea that feminists don’t like beer, bars and muscle cars? Is there some special stratum of man-beer-bar-and-car hating feminists that LG has been exposed to repeatedly thus leading to her erroneous conclusions about feminists in general?

Look it up Lady Gaga

There are many different ideologies of feminism: Socialist Feminism, Radical Feminism, Liberal Feminism, Black Feminism, Post-colonial Feminism and Third World Feminism, to name just a few (here is a link to a quick overview page for those listed).

What ties them all together though, what really defines a feminist, is the underlying belief that men and women should have equal respect and equal rights (Five dictionaries with the definition of feminism).

So Lady Gaga, are you telling us that you do not believe that men and women should have equal rights? It sounds like you want equal rights to be as sexual in your music and your videos as your male counterparts. I would call that a desire for equality in your workplace.  Don’t you want that for the rest of us women too?

Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know

To see some of the many faces of feminism and what feminism means to feminists from around the world, from various age groups and backgrounds, check out the Facing Feminism: Feminist I Know project.