During the pandemic, I have been thinking a lot about separation and division. When you open my front door, you’re given the choice of two doors. Turn left and you enter my studio space. Turn right and you enter my office space, a room filled with two sources of inspiration: my art collection and my library. The past few months I have struggled to balance those rooms. Buried between the stacks of books, you will also find a small television set which has lately carved out its own space, as I ritualistically watch the evening news while eating my dinner. Across from my chair is Emma Bee Bernstein’s Untitled (Self-portrait with red eyes), a photograph taken in 2006, when she was twenty-one years old. Bernstein, too, is seated, legs crossed, but without a table and only a beige hallway in front of her. She appears slightly below my eye level wearing a red silk bathrobe, black stockings and high heel shoes. Her chair-back is pressed up against the wall. To her right, a floor lamp with teetering lamp shade casts a wayward halo in her direction.
Runa Bandyopadhyay has translated into Bengali, with extended, performative commentary, my essay “The Pataquerical Imperative: Midrashic Antinomianism and the Promise of Bent Studies.” from Pitch of Poetry: “Patquerical Nightshow” in Ongshumali (W. Bengal / Berlin): part one; part two; part three, part four and in English: one, two, three, four