A Process Note
Fascinating Womanhood was a bestselling “self-improvement” book self-published in 1963. Its author, Helen Andelin, felt it her religious duty to teach women to limit their lives, adulate their husbands, quash anger into childlike “sauciness,” and hide their competence to “prove (their) dependency.” I encountered the book just as I was coming of age, and found it painfully demeaning, particularly coming from a fellow woman with whom I (once) shared a religious background. Years later, when I found a yellowed paperback copy of the book, it struck me that these words could be redacted, rerouted, and layered with images, to carve a freeing path through the text and transform the book into its own counterargument – and perhaps even a partial remedy for its harm.
Lisa Huffaker creates poetry, collage, and assemblage. She is a frequent visiting artist at the Nasher Sculpture Center, a recent C3 Visiting Artist at the Dallas Museum of Art, and creator of White Rock Zine Machine, a micropublishing project offering artist’s books through sculptural vending machines. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in 32 Poems, Diode, Spillway, Southwest Review, THRUSH, and elsewhere. Her installation, Code Room, is currently on view at Ro2 Art. Her manuscript in progress, a work of visual poetry, was recently featured at TU Delft and Cornell Tech’s 3rd Workshop on Obfuscation. www.lisahuffaker.com