This week we studied about the subjectivity and representation of our bodies; and looked at it as a materialistic object. We covered the wider political implications of object and abject bodies and thought about them in relation to our own individual objects.We were also asked to reflect on an image of our object and understand how it relates to our own materiality.
Butler (1993) talks about examining notions of femininity and queer and the pursuit of these words with materiality. She argues that matter on its own is usually related to origination and principle and states that “The classic configuration of matter as a site of generation of origin becomes especially significant when the account of what an object is and means requires recourse to its originating principle”. I believe that when we talk of matter we tend to locate the elements of which any physical object consists or is composed. These elements on their own tend to assume history and a form i.e. matter is composed of matter (BGSU n.d.). Butler (1993) further proposes that matter is “clearly defined by a certain power of creation and rationality so the significance is to know how and why it matters, where to matter means at once to materialize and to mean”. If our body is simply a matter, then how our bodies materialize, mean or matter is probable on our origination, transformation and potentiality.
Keeping the materiality of our bodies in mind, I have clicked a picture of myself holding my object, the diary. In my previous posts I explained why I chose this object and much is to do with the feeling I have when it’s with me. The representation of this diary is important to me because of what it contains inside. It is a constant reminder for me to be strong and to work hard. I do agree that it is not something I constantly hold in my hand or go through on a daily basis. But it’s been there for me when I’ve needed it. I have moved a few times since I’ve got this diary but I take it with me at wherever I go.
When I hold it, or go through the contents inside I feel myself getting stronger, getting level headed. It also makes me smile, reminding me of the people I’d met at the time – people from different walks of life. I embody the diary as a part of my body. I sense it in my core.
Thinking of my object with Judith Butler’s work in mind, I become conscious of my body in relation to my object – in the sense that we’re both simply matter. Ahmed (2000) also talks about the awareness of the skin when touching a material “the skin marks the policies and differences between inside and outside”; I understand the subjectivity of my object and that it has its individual agency but like I mentioned above, it continues to exist as a part of me.
- Ahmed, S. (2000) Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality (Transformations). London: Roudedge
- Butler, J. (1993) Bodies That Matter: On The Discursive Limits of Sex. London: Roudedge