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Oscar Devent  

Selected Works

I Ain't Nobody's Puppet
(Phenomenology for Dummies)


I am sitting with Ciara. Her hand is in my back. Her hand is cold. She flexes her fingers and changes her grasp. It is still cold. She asks me how it feels. I say it tickles, she thinks she knows I am just joking.

My limbs are skewed: my feet turned outwards, my arms slack by my sides. She mediates how I "feel'. Her hand is cold, but my plastic hands are warm. Sometimes she guides my arms with her other hand and sometimes we duet in this way on a gesture to emphasise a point or draw attention to something external. Her assistance in this motion is never disguised - there is no sleight of hand, no masking - it is never a convincingly autonomous action on my part. Unlike the voice.

In this silence, I think about our voices. Mute, she finds me unsettling. My voice is uniquely mine and yet it is also hers.

It comes from her. It belongs to me. 

I exist through her and because of her. My doll's body exists independent of her. Voiceless, it both is and isn't me.

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