Allison Spence

This fight is not about who wins or loses, surely the outcome has already been decided.
In wrestling, the audience is not watching to see who wins.
As a spectator, this match is about which player can pull the other into herself faster. Bull grabs Bison by the head and pulls it towards her stomach. She wraps her legs around Bison's waist like a mother trying to suck child back into birth canal. Every few moments, the lines that trace around their bodies blur and it is easy to think, that as Bull slams Bison's head into her stomach it actually passes through her like water and touches her larger intestine. Maybe it is a trick of the eye.
When Roland Barthes writes of wrestling, he calls it an "intelligible spectacle," a pantomime of exaggerated gestures writ explicitly on the bodies involved, of suffering, justice and injustice. It is safe and enjoyable because it is easily read and understood. Wrestling, he writes, does not rely on the progression of time or the narrative arc of athletic competition to be comprehended, but "it is each moment that is intelligible."
Yet these moments seems less about suffering than a protracted attempt to collapse two bodies into one another. As Bull and Bison continuously charge at each other, the doggedness of their performance suggests that we are more interested in seeing the tangling of bodies and the unintelligible mass that they create-a limb here, a hand there, where do they begin or end-than the triumph or failure of implied justice. It is our implicit agreement with the players that we will watch, and they will try to show it to us.
Where did Bison's arm go? It is engulfed somewhere in Bull's body. Watch attentively, and you may, for a split second, witness their bodies break into fragments and blend together before resolving their form and exiting, unscathed. Or maybe the instant is too quick to see. Perhaps only machines can see it, registering with pixels only to be cast aside as mechanical hallucination, mistranslation, error.
Are our bodies so rigidly defined that nothing else is possible?

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