Yasmeen Godder

So, in the past 24 hours I saw a dancer digging fake viscera out of a stuffed animal of unknown species (I’m thinking it was goat-like, though).  Before that I saw a beautiful exhibition of work by the late Betty Feves, and it made me want to start a bonfire. And then just moments ago, I appeared on OPB’s Think Out Loud and spent so much time talking about the unequal distribution of the goods of the society that I didn’t have time to distribute one of those goods — a poem by the late Adrienne Rich. Stick with me and I’ll rectify that for you, lucky readers,  though I’ll always feel bad for all those people in radio land who will go without!

Do these things have anything to do with one another? Well, maybe the work of Feves and Rich, but just glancingly. Feves was one of those dynamos who built a successful life for herself in Pendleton, Oregon, adventurous in its exploration of the arts and in its commitment to building and serving a community.  Perhaps because of her gender and her geography, her life and art reached fewer people than Rich, who was so important to so many woman (and men) seeking to understand the conditions that limited the reach of Feves, successful as she was. I don’t know, but that’s how I’m thinking about it right now.

The viscera? They came from the comic imagination of Israeli choreographer Yasmeen Godder, whose “Love Fire” is a work of comic genius of a sort, almost burlesque, and almost completely unthinkable in the world (1918-1985) that Feves inhabited.


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