Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Truth or Dare?

Two more interesting developments on the reality-unreality-truth-fiction-faction front:

1) JT Leroy, like James Frey after him (her), fictionalizes an already phony portrayal of himself (herself) but at least calls it fiction. JT's public persona is a man supposedly cross-dressing as a woman.

Basically, what we are finding out this month in the world of publishing, is that things are not always as they appear. People make themselves up and it feels like Real Life. Writers invent alternative personas and then begin "identifying" themselves with their creations. Peel away the layers of meta-invention and what you get is - what? A totally made up life story? So what. Isn't that what we all do anyway? The degree to which unreality seeps into a more conditioned, bureaucratic reality, differs among the individuals who "reinvent" themselves. Think of Madonna. Billy Idol. Or even Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, in today's NYTimes, the article on Leroy refers to the "real" writer who supposedly made up the JT Leroy "writer-character" as Laura Albert. The article suggests that she has become absolutely immersed in her creation:
"For her, it's very personal," he said. "It's not a hoax. It's a part of her."
2) Abe Linkoln creates a neuro-cinematic portrayal of Isabelle Dinoire whose face fictionalizes her own own appearance too. Dinoire is not cross-dressing as much as she is "inter-facing" with a new public self. The net art world discusses it at Rhizome where a discussion of "truth" comes to the fore again. From the discussion, Marisa Olson asks an important question
Why is it ethically important to tell the truth in a work of art?
Why, indeed.

As Celine once said: "Life itself is a fiction, and biography is something you invent afterwards."

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Blogger materialsgirl said...

not important at all. None of the work I've made pertains to any truth.......It really never existed!

7:48 AM  

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