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The Explicit Body in Performance by Rebecca Schneider

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4

The secret’s eye

Veiling implies secrecy. Women’s bodies, and, by extension, female attributes, cannot be treated as fully public, something dangerous might happen, secrets be let out, if they were open to view. Yet in presenting something as inaccessible and dangerous, an invitation to know and to possess is extended. The secrecy associated with female bodies is sexual and linked to the multiple associations between women and privacy.

Ludmilla Jordanova (1989:17)

To keep the secret is evidently to tell it as a nonsecret … To keep a secret – to refrain from saying some particular thing – presupposes that one could say it … The stratagem of the secret is either to show itself, to make itself so visible that it isn’t seen (to disappear, ...

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