(Note: this post can be disturbing)
After the studying of work by Chen Zhe, and those questions her work has imposed on me. I sort of did a small experiment yesterday. Early morning yesterday, I was coughing and sneezing really bad, and all the phlegm was sneezed out onto a piece of tissue. Usually people just roll it up and toss it and throw it in the bin or down the toilet. I don’t do that. I look at it and see what’s going on inside my body. So for the very first time, I took a photo of me holding this piece of tissue with phlegm. And just so happens, it was Valentine’s day yesterday.
Well then I put that photo on my Instagram story. And this is the interesting part. People have messaged me “WTF”, “Ewww”, “Disgusting” which I sort of expected. But one person, messaged me and said, isn’t it satisfying to blow out all that crap. Haha.
To be honest, my intention wasn’t even an experiment. I didn’t really care about whether it was Valentine’s day either. I just thought the picture looked beautiful. To me it doesn’t look disgusting at all. It is just documenting the fact that they are phlegm. And that – was my fascination. The fascination of what most people called disgusting. The similar sort of questions that Chen Zhe had with her series. My questions were: What happens if your fascination isn’t what the world enjoys? And how does it become something that is disliked and avoided?
And then I asked myself, does the artist publish the work because he/she wants it to resonate with others? Maybe. But definitely, I do agree: art helps us to question some very difficult things about ourselves.
Here is the photograph I posted.