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SEPT 2020 




Susan Jahoda and Robert Blake


THIS BODY IS NOT A DANGER TO ITSELF OR OTHER BODIES  was created by HYBRIDAXE (Susan Jahoda and Robert Blake), in response to an invitation to participate in Banned on Campus, an exhibition at the Hampden Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, October 27-November 18, 1994. We performed the work on the evening of November 10. Each artist spoke every other line. What follows are two excerpts from the project.



THIS BODY IS NOT A DANGER TO ITSELF OR OTHER BODIES

A HYBRIDAXE Performance Score in Two Parts

Part 1

This work is a collaboration, a word which troubles us,
We accept the imposition of a limit.

We are not free. Rather, as we proceed, we accommodate
our separate contributions under a unity called collaboration.

Our limits—be they related to labor, race, gender, class, and
lived experience—are mostly recognized.

We agree to proceed with our differences, our slippages.
We act together as we are seen separately.

Collaboration with an enemy is something else.
It reeks of betrayal, and the condition of occupation.

The collaborator leaves the high ground of resistance.
Worse than hypocrisy, it is a sign of surrender,
a delayed death.

The body is emptied of the beliefs which feed its being.

What is the relationship of the spectator to the performance?

Seeing can become not only believing,
but agreement and participation.

Part 2

THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT HAS NO NAME
THIS IS WHERE MY BODY BEGINS
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT IS INNOCENT
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT HURTS
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT SMELLS
THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PART OF MY BODY
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY I WANT TO HIDE
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT’S NOT MINE
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT’S IN THE WRONG PLACE
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY I’VE FIXED
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY I’VE CHANGED
THIS IS THE MOST SENSITIVE PART OF MY BODY
THESE ARE THE PARTS OF MY BODY I’D LIKE TO BE VISIBLE
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT’S WOUNDED
THIS IS MY FOREIGN BODY
THIS IS MY POSITIVE BODY
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY I CAN’T SEE
THIS IS THE OLDEST PART OF MY BODY
THIS IS THE MOST ARID PART OF MY BODY
THIS IS THE MOST RECENT PART OF MY BODY
THIS IS THE SADDEST PART OF MY BODY
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT’S TIRED
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY I LIKE TO TOUCH
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT GETS AWAY FROM ITSELF
IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH MY BODY?
THIS BODY IS NOT A DANGER TO ITSELF OR OTHER BODIES
WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE OF DEVIANCE IN MY BODY?
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT WILL ALWAYS REMAIN THE SAME
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT PASSES
THIS IS MY TEMPORARY BODY
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY BEARING WITNESS TO ITSELF
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT WON’T STAY IN PLACE
THIS IS MY SECOND BODY DESIRING THE INTERIOR OF THE FIRST
THIS IS MY WHOLE BODY
THIS IS THE HISTORY OF MY BODY
THIS IS MY ANCESTRAL BODY
THIS IS THE BODY I WILL SURRENDER
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT’S UNMARKED
THIS PART OF MY BODY COMES FROM MY MOTHER
THIS PART OF MY BODY COMES FROM MY FATHER
THIS IS THE BODY THAT BELONGS TO ME

THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT’S SLIPPERY
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT TASTES SWEET
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT’S SHARP
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY I PUNISH
THIS IS THE INNERMOST PART OF MY BODY
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT’S SOFT
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT’S SMOOTH
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT’S INVISIBLE
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT TAKES UP A LOT OF SPACE
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT’S SILENT
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT’S FEARFUL
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT’S RITUALIZED
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT ACHES
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT’S RAGGED
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT BLEEDS
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT’S HUNGRY
THIS IS THE PART OF MY BODY THAT CRAVES
THIS IS MY BODY THAT COMES FROM PLANTS
THIS IS MY BODY THAT COMES FROM ANIMALS
THIS IS MY BODY THAT COMES FROM STARS




Contributors’ Notes
Susan Jahoda is an artist, educator, and organizer whose work includes video, photography, text, performance, installation and research based collaborative projects. Solo and collaborative projects have been created for venues  in New York, London, Paris, Basel, Seoul, Copenhagen, and Moscow. Currently, Jahoda is a core member of BFAMFAPhD, and a co-founder of The Pedagogy Group, collectives of socially engaged artists and educators based in New York City. She is the co-author of Making and Being: Embodiment, Collaboration and Circulation in the Visual Arts, Pioneer Works Press, 2019.
Robert Blake is an artist, writer, educator, and curator. He has exhibited in New York, Paris, Arles, France, Sweden, and the Island of Reunion. In 2016, Blake began saving the plastic blister packaging for one-year of his daily consumption. These orphaned and ecologically dangerous objects are the source for “Oracle,”  a suite of scanned, printed and gold-leafed images imagined as relics from an extinct civilization. He is the founding Chair of the International Center of Photography’s Creative Practices Program from 1985-2008. From 2009 to the present, he has been the Director of Special Projects for 601Artspace.org - a non-profit exhibiting space in the Lower East Side, NYC.
HYBRIDAXE made films, wrote texts, and did performances from 1992-1998



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