The body being brought to life by perverse aesthetics. The body as the be-all and end-all of existence and the only thing of significance and importance in a relationship. Its a hyper objectification that uses abstract means, part of what Kuspit calls the source of modern arts perversion. Not love and intimacy or mutual complicity or interdependence. Perverse impulses with the perverse representation of the body as the substance of much of modern art.
Picasso’s perverse transformations of the female body, so that it looks somewhat less than ideal, and his perverse transformation of traditional representation in Cubism, which involves the fetishization of abstract forms as ends in themselves, and also his perverse transformations of such masterpieces as Velazquez’s Las Meninas, making them look less perfect and masterful than art history declares them to be — his transformations of Las Meninas also devalue the family as well as a fellow Spanish master to whom history has awarded the crown of art that Picasso wants exclusively for himself — are perhaps the most consummate examples of devaluating perversion in action in modern art.
This is why so much modern art is kitsch — innovative, avant-garde kitsch, no doubt, but kitsch nonetheless. All regressively desublimated art tends toward kitsch, especially anally oriented art, excrement being the ultimate kitsch. Kitsch is the most perverse, depraved, evil kind of art, as Broch suggests. Its perversity involves a kind of emotional decadence — entropic regression, one might say. It turns the spectator into a voyeur — Manet’s Olympia certainly does this — which is to devalue looking. It is this devaluation which makes all kitsch art evil. Read More:http://www.artnet.com/magazine/FEATURES/kuspit/kuspit6-10-02.asp
To some degree, Picasso and abstraction are simply the unconscious collateral damage of the cost of capitalism. What Schumpeter called the “creative destructive” element that undermines the social institutions and particularly its values, ethical baggage that gave its birth and guarded it, and protected it through its formative existence. Picasso was reflecting a brutal new calculus that was increasing mobility and rendering social and family ties as being superfluous. It is also a tendency of our political and economic culture toward a state of permanent revolution which can be perceived at as an essential characteristic of any modern progressive society. Despite some rhetorical flourishes for the halycon days, there is one deity today to which every politician, right and left, will pay obeisance and that is the god of progress. In the battle between income discrepancy, social solidarity, community, all are willing to pay lip service but no one is prepared to sacrifice wealth and turn back time. Hopefully what Kuspit sees as perversion is part of a transitory phase towards something a little more ennobling.
Sex is no longer confined to certain sorts of relationships; the rule of the phallus and power relations are subverted . ‘The “biological justification” for heterosexuality as “normal”, it might be argued, has fallen apart. What used to be called perversions are merely ways in which sexuality can legitimately be expressed and self-identity defined. Recognition of diverse sexual proclivities corresponds to acceptance of a plurality of possible life-styles… “normal sexuality” is simply one type of life-style among others’ . Giddens calls this a ‘radical pluralism’ (ibid.).
Looking at the cultural and philosophical dimensions of the debate, he concludes that this ‘incipient replacement of perversion by pluralism is part of a broad-based set of changes integral to the expansion of modernity. Modernity is associated with the socialisation of the natural world – the progressive replacement of structures and events that were external parameters of human activity by socially organised processes. Not only social life itself, but what used to be “nature” becomes dominated by socially organised systems. Reproduction was once a part of nature, and heterosexual activity was inevitably its focal point. Once sexuality has become an “integral” component of social relations… heterosexuality is no longer a standard by which everything else is judged. We have not yet reached a stage in which heterosexuality is accepted as only one taste among others, but such is the implication of the socialisation of reproduction’ . Read More:http://human-nature.com/human/chap4.html