Thursday, October 24, 2019

from Other Suns (on Anne Lesley Selcer's Sun Cycle)

Throughout Selcer’s art writing and poetry the sun appears to us in so many aspects, both real and metaphorical. For instance, in her essay “Day and Night” she writes “We have a culture that no longer forms, and is no longer formed by an individual body growing up through concentric circles of mother’s arms, family, home, neighborhood, village or town, one which no longer resonates with, as Henri Lebrvre says, ‘days, nights, seasons, the waves and tides of the sea, monthly cycles.’” What has replaced the diurnal rhythms of the sun for Selcer and for us all are the rhythms of artificial daylight as it is extended through night, and the many suns of a billion screens embodied by our computer monitors, televisions, and phones. On the underbelly of an artificial and permanent daylight, is Georges Bataille’s “solar anus,” the sun that no longer produces but endlessly excretes, to which Selcer makes reference in her poem for the mass murderer Elliot Rodger, who killed and injured numerous people on the University of California, Santa Barbara campus in 2014, motivated by the hatred of, in her words, “women and racialized people.” The sun setting on empire, the sun no longer revolving around certain cultural ideals and forms and representations, also gives rise to sedimented expressions of violence enabled by resent and fear.

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