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Calves & thighs & breasts & hair

July 18, 2010

It may be silly to visit an art show solely because of the title, but, as a runner and ex-muscle physiologist, how could I resist a photography exhibit called Calves & Thighs? It’s in Madrid (where I spent some time for work this past week) as part of PHotoEspana 2010.

To my disappointment, the subjects of Juergen Teller’s photos did not include athletes. The featured legs — mostly those of fashion models and Teller’s friends and family members — seemed rather ordinary. I guess the name of the show, rather than indicating a fascination with anatomy per se, was meant to be playfully ambiguous.

photo by Juergen Teller

The title of Debra Jarvis’ latest book (which I read while in Madrid), on the other hand, is wonderfully transparent: It’s Not About the Hair: And Other Certainties of Life & Cancer. So is the book itself, a warm and funny account of her experiences as both a chaplain for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and a breast-cancer survivor. The cover does give me pause, however. The author is flipping back her mane in a confident, glamorous way, as if to say, “It’s not about the hair — but still, darling, don’t you wish you had mine?”

It's not about the hair -- or is it?

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