How do desire and lust coincide with love for oneself and others? What is instinct and to what extent is this pure biology? What is love? How do we relate to others when it comes to balancing between emotional, amorous, and sexual behavior and preferences?
Those are questions that could rise while watching Pleasures and Hysteria. Moreover, there’s an important voyeuristic element to that. What does this mean for the spectator?
With images and movies of thoughtless coïtus and the like literally in the palms of our hands, we got used to this kind of imagery over the last two decades. Consuming pornography to some extent changed the way people experience physical intimacy and sexual pleasure (out of love). At the same time, works like Gagged explore the boundaries and taboos of sexual experience and preferences without judgment.
Categorizing Hysteria and Pleasures as mere erotic or pornographic imagery would do injustice to the intention of the artist. This series started out as an exploration of the female quest for sexual pleasure.
Teasing the spectator with suggestive close-ups gives them at least a brief moment to reflect on their own sexual behavior, unexpressed fantasies, and intimate behavior.
Text written by Koen Jules Van Damme - devrijepen.be