Joanna Frueh: ´I discussed sexuality and the body long before they became accepted–indeed, fashionable–areas of study in contemporary art and academia. My thinking about those subjects, along with my breaking away from standard forms of academic and critical writing, shape what I’ve called a critical erotics, which I’ve developed in my publications and performances. I show in them that a scholar can write both sensually and accessibly and that a woman can be both attractive and smart. My self-portrait photos display the same qualities that characterize my writing: beauty, intellect, and sensuality. I embrace my audience, as readers and as viewers of my performances and photos.´
Joanna Frueh – writer, a performance artist, a scholar, and a teacher whose work expands into photo, video, and audio pieces.
Healing and Pleasure
I’m working in medical and health venues to ease people undergoing a cancer experience. In my book, A Short Story about a Big Healing, published in 2013, I write some about my own experience of a breast cancer diagnosis, in 2012, and subsequent surgery, treatment, and post-treatment. Healing and pleasure in such a circumstance may sound like an oxymoron, but my intention is to help people open more readily than usual to their own bodily sensations and beliefs, and the language that they use to describe themselves. I know the pain of that kind of opening—and I live far more in its pleasure. The community dialogue series that I organized and facilitated, Conversations among Friends, began this avenue of teaching in autumn 2013. I also give talks and speak with support groups. And I volunteer in a chemotherapy infusion unit. The mutual learning in these simultaneously intimate and community settings is deeply satisfying.