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Li-Mi-Yan’s Nausea: No Shortage of Pudenda and Manufactured Hostility

By Brad Feuerhelm on March 9, 2016

“These dreams were a product of the IV missing the vein repeatedly and causing a beautiful shade of crimson, blues, fading to yellow just under the parchment-like encasement”.

There would always be consequences to these observations. The longer days when their skin dried out and flaked off to the pavement before being carried away by the wind only to be inhaled by some small child elsewhere. These were the halcyon moments everyone always recollected from torpid dream-states strapped to hospital beds. These dreams were a product of the IV missing the vein repeatedly and causing a beautiful shade of crimson, blues, fading to yellow just under the parchment-like encasement. They become aware of the blip blip blip on the machine next to their beds reverberating like the panicked striking of a toy drum from their war-torn childhoods.

The nurse stood, back aching, continually wiping the bodies down with anti-septic solution in small circular motions after solemnly shutting off the life support machine like so many fucking coffeemakers. Day in, day out. Observe, quantify, and repeat. Educated; her own world a petite microcosm of personal horrors and satire. Remembering her literature dissertation and the definitve thesis on Karen Novotny’s pudenda and Marilyn Monroe’s dead bloated face. That was when things seemed apocalyptic. Ballard made sense, nuclear war made sense, the coffeemaker made fucking sense. Now it was all just a maelstrom of anxious inactivity and consumerism. Fuck, there aren’t even cheques to cash anymore. Pudenda pudenda pudenda. Hologrammed tupac concerts and the invasion of Re-Reagan by way of Trump. Hostility hostility hostility. Capitalist anxiety and milk toast. It would probably always be this way. It seemed to be in the fabric of her body. Her family, brothers and sisters were mostly unmarried. Feeling unable to be a part of union-ship, she careened towards the velocity of non-empathy with each circular motion. Slipping into the infernal. The solitary. She was uninhabited by connection, and lacked the discipline thereof to greatly concern herself with the idea.

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@ Lilia Lin-Mi-Yan

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@ Lilia Lin-Mi-Yan

“…reminds me of what would happen if Robert Gober’s Sculptures and Francis Bacon’s paintings would conceive of if they accidently had sex, miscarried, and found a way to resuscitate the gentle corpse back to life”.

“Nausea” by Russian photographer Lilia Li-Mi-Yan from Calin Kruse’s excellent Dienacht Publishing venture reminds me of what would happen if Robert Gober’s sculptures and Francis Bacon’s paintings would conceive of if they accidently had sex, miscarried, and found a way to resuscitate the gentle corpse back to life. The images within the Lilliputian tome are visceral and somewhat gore-bound. I personally do not hesitate at the images much. I have spent long nights with more difficult images, but these do fit comfortably on autopsy tables and perhaps peepshow charades in eastern back streets. There are gratuitous pussy shots throughout. I cannot tell if they are powerful or trying too hard to be shocking. When they are offset against an imperfect male body, the struggle seems to be about the challenges of disconnection and perhaps gender roles in the void in which we all encompass. Calling the book Nausea is likely an obvious (perhaps a bit too obvious) ode to Sartre and existential crisis’. “Troubled Sleep” might have been perhaps more fitting. All in, it is a queer little book full of anatomically challenging images of the body. Hints of sex, body dysmorphia, and general panic pervade.

Lilia Li-Mi-Yan
Nausea
Dienacht Publishing

(All rights reserved. Text @ Brad Feuerhelm. Images @ Lilia Li-Mi-Yan.)

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