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Confounding the Senses: Reading Lyric and Photographic Texts by Alejandra Pizarnik and Francesca Woodman

Marian Williams ('11); Mentor: Susana Chávez-Silverman

Abstract: Alejandra Pizarnik’s poem “La verdad de esta vieja pared” and Francesca Woodman’s photograph “From Space2 series” are works that depict the physical interplay between a wall and the body. These works present and complicate similar concepts of spatiality and time, ‘truth’ and embodied knowledge. How the reader/viewer perceives and understands these concepts differs according to the medium of the work of art. However, these works—especially when considered in relation to each other—blur the distinction between visual and written expression and how we understand the above concepts, aesthetically. In this pair of works, spatiality, time and the body are defined by movement; texts by Jane Gallop, Susan Stewart and Merleau-Ponty illuminate how movement functions in these two media. Additionally, my study adapts theory in aesthetics, photography, poetry and feminisms in order to analyze how space, time and embodied knowledge exist in (and are understood from) Pizarnik and Woodman’s works.
Funding provided by Pomona College SURP

Research at Pomona