Via Wikimedia Commons.
Orgasm! : the faces of ecstasy
Wallace Ludel. Jul 18, pm. Via Wikimedia Commons. The truest depictions of ecstasy in art exist in the muddled territory between exaltation and despair.
The many faces of ecstasy
Its subjects are trademarked by a lack of autonomy—an inability to regulate the self as it slips away from the idea of the self. This is its key: Ecstasy is not the supreme heights of joy nor the violent depths of despondency, but rather the phenomenon of transcendence, often through an indiscriminate combination of extremes. Throughout history, the perception of ecstasy, not unlike its symptoms, has been disorderly. By the s, it came to refer to the rapture-inducing party drug made popular by well-meaning club kids seeking community in electronic music and getting high.
The many faces of ecstasy in art
The canonical art-historical example of the emotional condition is Gian Lorenzo Bernini. This he plunged into my heart several times so that it penetrated to my entrails. When he pulled it out I felt that he took them with it, and left me utterly consumed by the great love of God. The pain was so severe that it made me utter several moans. The sweetness caused by this intense pain is so extreme that one cannot possibly wish it to cease.
Courtesy of Martos Gallery. Mary Magdalene was similarly chosen for deistic psycho-sexual renderings of ecstasy in Baroque works like Caravaggio. Peter Paul Rubens. Can similarly preternatural states be summoned by secular figures?
Ask any fainting concert-goer who experienced the throes of Beatlemania, and the answer is undoubtedly yes. Ecstasy achieved through cumulative, mob-energy fanaticism is the subject of Dan Graham. Patti Smith. In Adrian Piper. Larry Clark xiii Andy Warhol.
Sex and spirit: the many faces of ecstasy
Aura Rosenberg. John Baldessari. Mike Kelley. John Miller. The search for ecstasy can also be a violent spectacle. Henri Matisse.
Bill Viola Nantes Triptych Larry Clark. Nan Goldin.
Orgasm! the faces of ecstasy
Wolfgang Tillmans. The messiness of ecstasy is contained in Bill Viola. Related Stories.
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