"BODY BUILDING BUNNIES, SERIES 1"
VIDEO, AND INSTALLATION
“We are therefore dealing with a real Human Comedy ... What the public wants is the image
of passion, not passion itself ... This emptying out of interiority to the benefit of its exterior signs, exhaustion of the content by the form, is the very principle of triumphant classical art. Wrestling is an immediate pantomime.”^77
What the public wants to see in regards to spectacles and thus theater is an artifice, an exaggeration, an exterior twisting of the truth. The brutality and filth within the food industry; the smells, secretions and fleshiness of the body; the endurance, trained technique and the internal bleeding of a fighter does not want to be known. If one wants to see a real fight, watch a Judo match, with no padding or protective gloves. If one wants the veil of coatings and glazes lifted from ornamental cookery, go down to Chinatown and buy a deep-fried pig head, or one of those smoked ducks hanging in the window: head, dangling neck, and end orifice. The artifice is on one end of the spectrum; the other end is truth. And, artifice (distraction) is advertised and consumed as more interesting than the real (boring). Along the words of Barthes, “... he [the spectator] would probably die of boredom and indifference if wrestlers did not quickly return to the orgy of evil which alone makes good wrestling.”^78
Circling back to exaggerations and the spectacle of appearances, they are attractive to the majority because they are clear, definite and therefore safe in the spectrum of gender and role. There is no fuzz of ambiguity. Susan Sontag also mentions the epicene, or as how I interpret: Iman, David Bowie and even his contemporary, Tilda Swinton. They are extreme cases of indeterminateness of their gender, which makes them attractive.
So, what makes the world go round? What keeps us distracted from the real, from seeing a truth, a truth in life and within our authentic selves? Drama! Theater! Illusions ... and it can be pretty entertaining.
77. Barthes, Roland. Mythologies. New York: The Noonday Press, 1975. Print. pp. 16-17.
78. Ibid., p. 21.