A Syntactical Drip | 2022

Artist: Jenica Heintzelman
Medium: 120 film scan mounted on acrylic
Dimensions: 24 x 36 inches

There is a Jungian archetype that has always moved me: the centaur Chiron, in his generous attempt to sneak fire from the Gods and give it to humans, was struck by Zeus’s poison arrow and lived the remainder of his life with a painful, incurable wound. Jung calls him “the wounded healer” and he has found a place in the sky as a comet orbiting between Saturn and Uranus; a drifter, the comet resists the gravitational pull of either planet. Metaphorically speaking, the centaur Chiron may have failed to give us fire. But in transmitting the necessity of movement and circulation  as a means of living with incurable wounds, Chiron’s myth holds a profound key to the art of healing as an embodied sense of what borderlessness means, even as the walls are closing in.

For me as a survivor of childhood physical and emotional abuse, I spent many years replicating incurable wounds in my relationships. Finding no solace from therapy or prescription drugs, I sought to reveal some alternate source that would free me from the patterns of abuse that I was reenacting in my life. I was drawn to poetry and performance; I found out that I was a natural teacher. Being a poet has always meant beginning with the embodied understanding that the order of things is constantly changing; therefore, the language we use to describe the world is also in a constant state of flux. In this way, my creative work over the past twenty-five years has been rooted in language and performance rituals that bring my white, cis female body into stark contrast with hetero-social norms and their theories, as a vehicle of resistance. 

Excerpt from “A Syntactical Drip” written by Kristin Prevallet

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