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  • Writer's pictureCristea Zhao

9. Parallel Practices: Joan Jonas & Gina Pane

In Pane’s own statement Letter to a Stranger, she criticized our modern society that is deceasing and depriving us of our ‘material/spiritual’ instinct. The language of body is deployed and domesticated into entertainment, ‘giving the individual the illusion of freedom while in reality society alienated him, transforming one’s psychomotor potential into a force of productivity’ (Pane).

This system formats our body in favor of meeting the normative demands of its functioning. In such conditions, our body is constructed socially, and in Pane’s works, exposing and denouncing it and using the body to reclaim our psyche clearly fits in her agenda.

Silence- words being empty of their meaning- being used as images obeying the structural law of languages, while body itself is a form of writing in search of the other (the viewers who constitute the works).

‘I open my body you can see your blood therein.’

‘the language of body as the language of female’

The performer’s body (’my’ body) is inevitably united with viewers’ (the Other’s) body, during which viewers’ position is not only there to witness but to complement. 

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