Open Studio event for Twenty Summers Resident Artist Jenna Wortham, an award-winning journalist for the New York Times and host of the podcast “Still Processing.”
Jenna Wortham on her current project: I am working on a collection of linked essays that treat finding the body as a neo-noir thriller as an entry point, and then broadens out into a larger concentric series of inquiries and investigations about how the modern black female queer body functions in space and time. The body is a container for the self, and a vessel for experiences. My book seeks answers to the questions: What does it mean to participate in a body? To unmake and make one while inside one? My book is an investigation on the formation of identity, a blueprint for how to keep it, especially in our newly digitized lives. It’s about discovering the thrill of architecting desire outside of patriarchy, living in blackness and the freedom of exploring life beyond any earth-bound paradigm. I think about this work as a ritual, an unlearning, an unbecoming as a means to unfold. An exorcism in reverse. A repossession. It is a story about identity, and body consciousness, the liminal space between our masculine and feminine sides, digital homogeneity, intimacy and lust.