On seeing a figurative landscape painting of cows by Lois Dodd in the late 50s, and noticing that it was met with praise instead of, as per, the accusation that she “paints like a man”, the implication of this being “how dare she”, Yvonne Rainer sardonically remarked that “men are from abstraction and women are from cows”. Gertrude Stein called orgasms, or bowel movements, depending on which scholar you believe, cows. If someone wishes to be crude, they will call the meat around a cunt beef curtains.
Mad Cow Disease conjured itself out of all the misjudgments and assumptions that the act of consumption holds. That human bodies are resilient and immune from, or distant to, what we put inside them and their process of conception. That animals are simple, and that their metabolisms will fall in line with our demands. That things should be in abundance, and that abundance will always taste good. Though of course, anything you force to cannibalise itself will revolt, if not knowingly, then in its cells. Mad Cow Disease spread via the presence of contaminated cattle remains in the feed of otherwise vegetarian animals bred for human foodstuffs. The disease affects the central nervous system as a gene mutation, one that leaves the brain quite literally full of holes. In an interview in 1996, when discussing the disease’s presence and its effect on her work, Carol Rama declared, “The mad cow is me, and this has given me a joy, an extraordinary joy.”
In her musings on female anal eroticism, Maggie Nelson asserts, “I am not interested in a hermeneutics, or an erotics, or a metaphorics, of my anus. I am interested in ass-fucking. I am interested in the fact that the clitoris, disguised as a discrete button, sweeps over the entire area like a manta ray, impossible to tell where it’s eight thousand nerves begin and end.” As one of the most innervated parts of the body, the human anus is a hole that feels, and knows, and does. As with time, a body becomes generative by way of its punctures.