What does Jean-Jacques Rousseau tell us? He says that we are born weak, that we are born stupid, without judgement; unprovided for, we need aid. This aid will come to us from education, which will cultivate us like plants. Self-reliant, observant of the world around us, we will learn the consequences of liberty, of choice. Removed from the corrupting effects of society, we will move back to our natural state, like the wild girl of the woods of Champagne; we will not follow rules; rather, we will learn from the consequences of our actions, and later, we may read literature and philosophy, when we have developed the capacity to judge.Like Emile, Sharon Kivland lives in the French countryside, though going frequently to London for discussion on philosophy, politics, and psychoanalysis. She remarks that Jean-Jacques, despite his many fine qualities, despite his declarations on moral and political equality, has a rather different programme of education for girls (of which she rather disapproves, for she cannot find a place there for herself) so she turns instead (naturally) from Emile to Choderlos de Laclos.
In reflections on slavery, labour, revolution, and desire, Sharon Kivland exhibited fifteen embroidered linen robes (as worn by the wild girl of the woods of Champagne when she is domesticated perhaps? No, no, that is merely whimsical they are the nightdresses of working girls, whatever their embroidered texts declare), and a selection of other works on her favourite subjects, including some small kidskins (a reminder of natural relations), a series of photographs of those French soaps called ‘Bonne Mere (so useful in the punitive insistence on good language), Cougar sitio de citas solteros leather cartes de visite carrying descriptions of the transgressive body of that natural woman of the demi-monde, Nana, returned to her through a simple change in pronoun, and useful pencils and handkerchiefs, neatly contained by her son’s exercise in writing. (más…)