Biographical Factoids about Rrose Sélavy

Created 26 December 2008, revised 9 January 2009, first draft added 10 January 2009 (see bottom of page)

Many people have asked about the life of Rrose Sélavy, because she often says that her art is a life in progress. This is her story.

[Note: these concepts informed the background stories told during performance of Stuffed Bird as part of Freaks and Geeks, 5 December 2008.]

Rrose Sélavy has had 15 husbands and 3 lovers. No, these figures are not inverted.

Rrose Sélavy is a mathematician. She has made her residence in five countries on three continents but no one knows where she was born. Every star and planet flew into Scorpio at the moment she emerged to take her first breath.

When Rrose Sélavy was a child, she found refuge in dreams. As an adult, she invites others to seek solace in the products of the subconscious.

Rrose Sélavy’s themes are regeneration and transcendence of pain through the mundane and the defiance of the mundane.

Rrose Sélavy has been a teacher, a student, an administrator, a vagabond. She has slung chow in a Texas diner, danced on tables in Okinawa, prepared mortgage portfolios in northern California, picked grapes in four languages, aided and abetted asylum seekers crossing seventeen different borders including several metaphorical ones.

She has lived in a Notting Hill flat and on a hippie commune, in a Midwestern suburb, in an abandoned castle, in railway carriages moving and still, in both fashionable and unfashionable districts of Paris.

Rrose Sélavy specialises in digital art and found textiles. No, Rrose Sélavy specialises in found art and digital textiles.

Rrose Sélavy also specialises in trans-Atlantic graphology. Yes, this is a good trick.

Rrose Sélavy has refused all formal training, preferring to work with what emerges in its raw state. Rrose Sélavy has a reputation as a ‘difficult person’.

Rrose Sélavy’s work is process, not product. It is always being revised, welcomes critique but resists criticism.

Rrose Sélavy is a bricoleur, an artist and artiste, an engineer, a resolver of contradictions, a challenger of unities, a maker of mass-produced works, irreproducible works and works that cannot be created in the first place.

Rrose Sélavy stands on all sides of any divide.

Rrose Sélavy dances in her sleep, sleeps in her dances and dreams out songs.

Rrose Sélavy inhales the voice of others, exhales fairy lights to emblazon your peripheral vision.

Rrose Sélavy sparkles, Rrose Sélavy is dark, Rrose Sélavy lives in shadows, walks in reflections, blends into the woodwork, fine-grained and mahogany-toned, from whence she sees and notes the micro-expressions that flash across your face when you have something to hide.

Rrose Sélavy says what she wants, will expose your weaknesses if you don’t expose them first. But if you put your most vulnerable foot forward, she will strengthen your stride.

Rrose Sélavy seeks authentic experience, even in the higher educational system. Rrose Sélavy thrives on a bit of a challenge.

Rrose Sélavy has been through the worst traumatic experience of her life so far, has shrunk down to the ideal size, shedding most of what weighed her down. Rrose Sélavy has wings; she has feathers on her breath.

Rrose Sélavy is made of gauze. Read into that what you will.

Rrose Sélavy is a textile artist, Rrose Sélavy has stitched together bits of her present, past, and imaginary selves into a tapestry, Rrose Sélavy reveals the layers that most people prefer to hide.

Rrose Sélavy is every teenager you have ever known, and every crone.

Rrose Sélavy is a mouse, is a lioness, is hiding in the corner, is a woman to be reckoned with.

Rrose Sélavy hints at secrets that make you shiver with fear and delight.

Rrose Sélavy can see the future, Rrose Sélavy is blind as a bat, Rrose Sélavy knows everything by touch, Rrose Sélavy has dreamed of running on all fours.

Rrose Sélavy has danced on the knife edge, Rrose Sélavy lives a quiet existence on the edge of a conservative community, Rrose Sélavy works all the time, Rrose Sélavy does nothing but play. Rrose Sélavy is self-indulgent and doesn’t care.

Rrose Sélavy is a black cat on a moonless night. If you are still enough, you can hear the tick-tick of her claws as she passes. She selects the strangest people to trust. Rrose Sélavy knows far more than you think and will tell you if you ask nicely enough.

Rrose Sélavy is the I Ching coins clinking between your palms at the moment before the toss.

Rrose Sélavy is a rather mundane alternative sort; Rrose Sélavy is a polished professional in the field of health care administration. Rrose Sélavy is a midwife to wolves, is a midnight hacker and an expert in both Japanese and Chinese tea ceremonies.

Rrose Sélavy is a barefoot doctor in rural China during the Cultural Revolution, carrying out cosmetic surgery on demand. Rrose Sélavy doesn’t care that this is not at all what Chairman Mao had in mind.

Rrose Sélavy whispers, Rrose Sélavy sings, Rrose Sélavy keens, Rrose Sélavy speaks in tongues, Rrose Sélavy speaks in reasoned, muted tones. Rrose Sélavy sizzles like electric wires in the rain.

Rrose Sélavy is both the person you always wanted to be and the person you are afraid to meet, the one whose eyes pull you into the fire, the woman of glass gleaming in the fire’s light.

Rrose Sélavy exhales fire defiantly, pours water gently, treads on air, digs fingers into earth. Stitch and patch the allotted time. Rrose Sélavy is a witch who does not believe in magic. Rrose Sélavy is the oracle, is a fool, is a hard-nosed realist exposing all superstitions.

Rrose Sélavy is a mirror. Look deeply…what do you see, you see, you see?

You see.

First draft as entered in the journal, in two parts

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