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OPENINGS: IIU SUSIRAJA Alex Jovanovich on Iiu Susiraja

Iiu Susiraja
Meat Model 1, 2020
31 1/2 x 24 3/4 in
80 x 63 cm
Edition of 3 plus 1 artist's proof (#3/3)

BEING ROUGHLY 320 POUNDS and a little less than six feet tall, with a fifty-inch waist, I am usually the fattest person in any room. With those stats, how could I not be? In fact, because of my size, much of my existence is a numbers game: I have type 2 diabetes, so I need to take two thousand milligrams of Metformin every day, in addition to ten milligrams of Jardiance, in order to try to keep my A1C levels hovering around 7 percent or less. My other daily medications include ten milligrams of Rosuvastatin for high cholesterol and 150 milligrams of the antidepressant Sertraline; the dosage was recently increased because my “morbid obesity,” as my doctor calls it, has negatively affected my mental health. I live on the fifth floor of a walk-up and need to climb ninety-five steps to get to my apartment. I used to be pretty winded by the time I got to seventy, but after thirteen years of living in the same place, I now stop to catch my breath when I hit eighty-five or ninety. One might think that all this quantifying would give me some sense of control over my life, my physicality, but it doesn’t. The incessant counting has only deepened my estrangement from and disgust for my ungainly, enormous body, as though it were a malevolent alien entity like the Blob that, if not closely monitored, will wreak terrible havoc upon the world.