Female-ness, Corb, and Contraband

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La Tourette by Le Corbusier. (C. E. Jeanneret-Gris, University of Michigan Photographic Services)

Andreas Angelidakis and Juliana Huxtable kick off the first in a series of partnerships between AN and Façadomy, a contemporary journal that reflects on issues of identity through the lenses of art and architecture.

The portmanteau of Façadomy’s title is mimetic—it’s contents and practitioners are brought together from seemingly unrelated fields. Each issue is based on the work of a non-arts based professional, and the responses by a diverse panel of cultural producers. The result is a polytonal visual essay on a relevant contemporary topic. Gender Talents, Façadomy’s inaugural issue, presents gender at the intersection of art and architecture.

Gender Talents begins with the work of Grimstad, Norway–based sexologist and Transgender icon Esben Esther. P. Benestad who has observed seven unique genders in their work as a doctor and therapist in Scandinavia. The issue is composed of reflections on these categories by Andreas Angelidakis, Kimberly R. Drew (@museummammy) and Juliana Huxtable.

A selection from the first of these 7 genders follows below:

Female (as defined by Façadomy)

Femininity can be accentuated with ornaments, but it is not essential to femaleness. A Female is an individual who describes herself as Female and can be considered one of the gender majorities. Femaleness derives most of its conventions from the characteristics attached to individuals that are chromosomally XX: production of ova, milk-producing mammary glands (after childbirth), a higher ratio of fat to body weight than Males, fairer voice, motherhood and caregiving. When an XX individual with the conventional characteristics of Female also perceives herself as Female, this is understood as Cis-Female. Females may have another chromosomal constellation or may not possess any of the traditional characteristics at all.

A detail of La Tourette. (Andrew Carr)

La Tourette by Le Corbusier.

She looks like a nest.

Once you start to go inside, she is gorgeous, a hallucinogenic beauty of proportion, warmth, and detail.

She is the most caregiving of buildings, with spaces that are sensual, protective, welcoming and, at times, inspire awe. And if La Tourette is a female, the dark blue and red chapel is her womb. You can glimpse at the sky, sense distant sunlight from within, and you never want to leave. La Tourette is the mother you always wanted: flamboyant, caring, generous and superior. She may not be ornamental, or visually glamorous in her facade, but she is thoughtful and smart.

—Andreas Angelidakis

(Andrew Carr) 

FEMALE

THE OTHER SEX. NOT I, BUT SOMETHING OTHER. SCALING THE FOLDS OF LABIA THAT STAND AGAINST THE UNKNOWN. I CLOSE MY EYES AND SEE FLASHES OF OTHER SILHOUETTES, FORMS GENDERED THROUGH RELIEF AND IN THE REMAINS OF NEGATIVE SPACE. I STRUGGLE TO MAKE OUT THE FORMS OF WHAT SEEM LIKE HIPS, BREASTS, BUT THESE POINTS FAIL TO SIGNIFY FULLY, AND HAVE BEEN SHUT OFF; CONTRABAND. SHE IS PERHAPS INSOFAR AS HER WOMB BEARS CERTAIN POTENTIALS FOR RE-PRODUCTIVE LABOR; IF BARREN—SAINT OR NON-ENTITY. A HOMOCHROMOSOMAL RELATIONSHIP THAT (THEY’D LIKE YOU TO BELIEVE) FORGOES THE FIRST WHY OF SUBJECT FORMATION. THE TECHNOSCIENTIFIC CODES CREATED BY THE WRITERS OF CERTAIN MYTHOLOGY REFLECT THEIR BIASES. THEY LOOK AT THE 3-D STRUCTURES FROM ABOVE, ANTHROPOMORPHIZE THEIR CURIOUS “APPEARANCE” WITH AN ALPHABET WHOSE HEGEMONY RESTS ON FORCED SEXUAL ENCOUNTERS. “SHE” DESIGNATES ALL THAT IS NOT “HE,” A SEMIOTIC ZONE OF ABJECTION RENDERED EVERYTIME HE SAYS “BITCH.” TO SAY NOT MALE DOESN’T SUFFICE, THE TENSION BETWEEN THE TWO PARTIES; SPECTACLE DISTRACTION FROM THE KNIFE; CLITERECTOMY. A SPACE OF SHELTER AND COMMUNION FOR ALL WHO “SHE” ASSUMES AND ALL WHO ASSUME “SHE”

—Juliana Huxtable

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