The Special Danger
OUTLET project Space - Johannesburg
– Archival 280gsm Giclée Fiber-Prints + Installation
"as soon as human beings give rein to animal nature in some way we enter the world of transgression forming the synthesis between animal nature and humanity through the persistence of the taboo, we enter a sacred world"
There are few certainties that we can rely on as Human Beings: we are born, reproduce sexually and ultimately die. Humans are instinctually motivated to deliver on these certainties primarily because of an inherent Fear of Death; a principal anxiety stemming from the unconscious and uncontrollable processes of life that sustains us as self-conscious and sentient beings. The Human conception of Space and Time is partly driven by these certainties. Taboos stem from the universal Human tendency to prohibit actions perceived as Dangerous, in lieu of the Fear of certain Death and the Self-conscious desire to control life.
Taboos exist in this sense to circumscribe the ambiguous distinction between the Sacred and the Unclean, both connected to the sense of awe, reverence, and Fear that Humans feel towards Death. That is not to say there is no special potency to the existence of Taboos. Pertinent aspects here are the efforts of most Civilizations to Prohibit Sexual desire based on the corporeal dread of moral degradation. Sexual orgasm is a pleasure so potent that it obliterates common sense, a swooning destruction that enacts Death, effectively described by the popular French phrase “la petite mort” (the little death). Moreover, the descriptions of Ecstasies induced by Sexual orgasm bear remarkable resemblance to accounts of so-called ‘Religious’ or ‘Mystical’ experience. So too, the Sexual act is described as a ‘union’ in which we ‘lose Our-Selves’, an ‘incorporeality’ that forms a central dualistic aspect within the Ecstatic Experience.
Bearing in mind the oblique relationship that Sex has with birth and Death, its mysterious power is enshrined within our Taboos. In this way there is a common bond between Ecstasy and Prohibition. There are two possible reactions to Prohibition: avoidance or transgression, both being instinctive reactions towards Danger: flight or fight. In addition, the Human Fear of the Taboo is often accompanied by a feeling of fascination. And so, Eroticism is not impeded by Prohibition but created by it; censorship being a form of perversion in this sense. Just as virulence can be induced through prophylaxis, one may say that the Modern age is built upon an aesthetic of Prohibition; the beauty of caution, in colour and form. Ironically, this fetishized sense of security is continually transgressing the protective walls of Prohibition initially established to block-out the inevitable forces of Nature.
The ubiquitous relationship between proximity and promiscuity in relation to Eroticism and Prohibition is unpacked in The Special Danger, manifested in four interrelated pictorial concepts pertaining to birth, Sex, and Death. A fifth central sculptural concept is included and given the tentative and simultaneous role of the overseer and offender, also acting as an anchoring agent for the display of the entire narrative. In all, the five concepts include: The Ecstatic Experience, Death & Danger, Sex Death, Eroticism & Perversion, and Sacred Boundaries & Transgression.
© Copyright Givan Lötz 2011