Tag: wound

A Fire in My Belly: The Wound Media of David Wojnarowicz

by on Dec.03, 2010

Lucas’s discussion of David Wojnarowicz’s “Fire in My Belly” brings our attention to a key term: vulnerability. What does this term mean? It derives from the Latin word vulnus, wound. I’ve been thinking lately about how wounds are a type of media—they are a spectacle on the body, they mark a site of violence (they are a memorial site?), they present a surface or image of uncertain depth and mark both a site of entry and of exit. They shed issues of blood, pus, water (if you’re Jesus). Sacred wounds represent the mediumicity of the wound par excellence– the fluid that flows from Jesus wounds can make its own images (as when Veronica wiped his face and his image was transferred to her cloth) and the stigmata itself is constantly remarking itself on the skin surface of saints, showing them to have been pierced by the Holy Spirit, showing them to have a surfeit of grace which leaks from the wounds; transferred to cloth, this fluid from saint’s wounds creates holy icons. Moreover, the vulnerability of wound-media has both a micro and macrocosmic effect; that is, a hyperbolic, excessive effect; when a stigmata appears there is a piercing of the membrane separating earth and heaven.

We can track the vulnerability in “Fire in My Belly” by the way the medium itself functions, with a choppy montage which makes the viewer aware of the cuts. (continue reading…)

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