Essays

The Peach Slip

September 2016

 

Transition Transformation Transience (London: Wapping Project Commissions, September 2016). Edited by Marta Michalowska and Thomas Zanon-Larcher. Designed by Thomas Zanon-Larcher.

 

Like skin that cannot mend, the peach silk has always been sort of scratched, as if a cat had once got to it, its warp and weft disturbed. I wore it scratched, too, as I slid on my ripped fishnet tights and troweled on the eyeliner, before a night of martini and lemonade would rub it all off. I was somehow you and not you: a delicate simulation and a perverse performance, invading your body, possessing it, re-owning it with sartorial scratches.

 

The dress dangled empty from its wooden hanger, like the tattered and floating pink dresses of Louise Bourgeois’s fabric sculptures. Pink Days and Blue Days and Peach Days. Caught mid-flight, the dress appeared uncanny and disembodied, locked into a state of enduring transience, before I filled it up with my changing adolescent body, transforming the youthful one it once it draped, before I arrived. I fixed its hem, stitched it fresh, in a longing desire to preserve and pervert her in equal measure.

 

I appropriated its emptiness with flesh and activity, with feverish intent to make it new and wear it out. Scratch it harder, my Grade II listed slip. Write upon it with a slip of the hand, transforming its narrative.

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