Conceptual Cluster 6: Chora

by malkoshka

podomka 2002 kuchnia3 kuchnia2

I was your house. And, when you leave , abandoning this dwelling place, I do not know what to do with these walls of mine. Have I ever had a body other than the one which you constructed according to your idea of it? Have I ever ever experience a skin other than the one which you wanted me to dwell within? (Luce Irigarey, 1992:49)

In 2002 I created the „Pinafores”, work which examined women’s home opperssion.

The work consist of objects, action, performance and photos. Pinafores can be made of an oil cloth. They are inexpensive, easy to keep clean, water-proof, and everything washes off them. Their appearance is reminiscent of summer dresses. They are also sexy, hence attractive to men. Pinafore is the universal outfit of the housewife. A woman wearing a pinafore can fulfill culturally imposed functions: mother, wife, lover. A pinafore is an apparel that – using a special pattern designed especially by the artist – can easily be manufactured by its prospective wearer.

I found a great comment to this work of mine in the text if Elisabeth Grosz „Woman, Chora, Dwelling”:

(…)men place woman in the position of being ‘guardians’ of their bodies and their spaces, the conditions of both bodies and space without body and space of their own: they become the living representatives of corporeality, of domesticity (…) it relegates woman to the position of support or precondition of the masculine – precisely the status of chora in the Platonic tradition.

 (…)The containment of woman within a dwelling that they did not build, nor was even built for them, can only amount to a homelessness within the very home itself: it becomes the space of duty, of endless and infinitely repeatable chores that have no social value of recognition, the space of the affirmation and replenishment of others at the expense and erasure of the self, the space of domestic violence and abuse, the space that harms as much as isolates woman. Is as if the men is unable to to resist the temptation to colonize, to appropriate, to measure, to control, to instrumentalize all that they survey, reducing horizon (the horizon of becoming the measure and reflection of positionality) into the dwelling.