Less is Authentic

As I read through this book, listen to our discussions, and study the readings assigned as addendum’s to the story I find myself asking why.  By and large I feel it’s not as complicated as I feel I am making things.  At the same time I have little to no confidence that I am fully understanding the three way dance between radicalism, gender/sex, and time/speed.     Our discussion of Giddle on Monday tore free an idea.  Perhaps the beauty of the three is the idea that less is authentic.  The loss that comes with radicalism is in itself the freedom from the social constructs that allow the participant to be a rocket launched into now.  I feel that I understand the relationship between Reno and the world she is starting to belong to when Giddle states, “But the thing is, I became authentic.”(p.90)  In tandem with Judith Butler’s quote, “to be a woman is to have become a woman, to compel the body to conform to an historical idea of “woman,” to induce the body to become a cultural sign, to materialize oneself in obedience to an historically delimited possibility, and to do this as a sustained and repeated corporeal project.”  To take part in this ideal of the female gender role would against the world that Reno is entering.  Reno’s character is developing into this futurist movement.  As is stated in the Manifesto of Futurism, “Beauty exists only in struggle.  There is no masterpiece that has not an aggressive character.  Poetry must be violent assault on the forces of the unknown, to force them to bow before man.”  The art Reno produces is the authenticity of her own life.  As a woman she belongs to the company of woman who have a command of their own sexual proclivities and freedom of choice equal to the opposite sex.  In every given second that’s the action that’s the art not what’s left behind.  After her crash she is reduced to pulp and bloodied.  I’d argue that as a futurist she has reached that level of beauty of authenticity.  She became the art in the form of now.  To hopefully summarize this rant of loose thought I’d like to answer a question asked in class.  The question being, “Why would she take pictures of straight lines (in the salt flats)?”  The answer, because she simply fought distance and speed to the threat of violence.  Those actions were the art and they could not lie.  Everything was real and everything was Reno.

One comment on “Less is Authentic

  1. Jared, I think that your point about Reno’s process (as opposed to her product) being her actual art is a great one, especially considering her struggle in the next few chapters over whether it will further her artistic career to go to Italy and be part of the Valera photo shoot. She also briefly struggles with whether to use the damaged motorcycle as part of her piece about the salt flats or to fix the motorcycle and continue to ride it. Sandro advises her to put her art first and her personal experiences second, but she maintains her desire to fix the bike and to go to Italy. She justifies, much as you are suggesting, that “the infiltration [of life into art], as I thought of it, was a way of drawing upon myself, my life, just as Sandro had encouraged. You lived your art if you were serious, according to Giddle” (139). In other words, Reno’s art seems to be defined by her actions. Her art manifests itself as drawings on her own life. So, I think that what you are recognizing about the nature of Reno’s art is exactly what she is beginning to recognize about her own art as well. I’m interested to see whether this idea of drawing on one’s own life continues to reappear and become more prominent, or whether anyone else might have any other thoughts about the nature of Reno’s art.

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