Dodie Bellamy, from “Digging Through Kathy Acker’s Stuff” –
“Memory: Kathy entering a room in a silver bodysuit that looked like a prop from David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust tour, a tiny spacesuit that would fit a doll’s body. Everyone around her looking normal, in their diminished washed out way….
“Memory: Kathy holding court in a femmy short plaid dress, empire style, tight around the bust then flaring out. Some kind of frou frou at the shoulders. She looked like a clown, but a totally confident, powerful clown….
“The gap between our intentions and the effects we create is what Diane Arbus ruthlessly brought into her photographs—a gap, that whenever I recognize it, opens a pang of love in me. Kathy managed to create exactly the effect she intended, but her clownishness, her bald construction of a person also opened that gap. Aggressive trendiness slips into masochistic vulnerability. Again I think of 3-D glasses—whenever I watched Kathy it was like the red and blues didn’t quite line up. She moves through space, not singular, but a chord of being.”
Dodie Bellamy, “Digging Through Kathy Acker’s Stuff,” in When the Sick Rule the World (South Pasadena, CA: Semiotext(e), 2015), 132.
Dodie Bellamy. Image credit: Numéro Cinq .