Psst! Pass the bum wipe. Perversion seems intrinsic to modern art, at least at the split off side that gazes into the bowl of disavowal. And this has been so from the beginning; the long arc extending back to an era of disenchantment, from Albrecht Durer’s Melencolia and the Protestant Reformation. Maybe Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five theses of indulgence which were mis-spelt as feces to a shit-house door and not a church.
(see link at end) …As Freud writes in Civilization and Its Discontents (1929), “the irresistibility of perverse instincts, and perhaps the attraction in general of forbidden things,” can be explained by the fact that “the feeling of happiness derived from the satisfaction of a wild instinctual impulse untamed by the ego is incomparably more intense than that derived from sating an instinct that has been tamed.” Perverse impulses, by their very nature, and by the fact that they have been seriously inhibited by socialization — from weaning and toilet-training on — thus depriving one of deep pleasure, all the more so because it is instantaneous, can never be completely satisfied. Read More:http://www.artnet.com/magazine/FEATURES/kuspit/kuspit6-10-02.asp
Many of the “masterpieces” of modern art seem to hinge, or at least posit or potty their appeal and reach to the base raw material of piss and shit.The Reformation brought about a radical transfer of the world where old certainties and the fixed structure of heaven and earth seemed to cave in an crumble, brought to fruition by scientific progress; the shattering of feudalism and the rise of bourgeois morality was both liberating and enslaving simultaneously and the leap where human feces is literally and conceptually determined to be aesthetically worthy art did not arise in a vacuum, but can be considered a byproduct of a divinely appointed cosmological view transformed to the bustling, hustling, marketplace of enterprise, consumption, wants, and rampant individualism.
(see link at end) …Looking at de Kooning’s diarrheic gesturalism — great art, no doubt, however emotionally backward — one cannot help but think of Jonathan Swift’s inability to accept the fact that his beautiful Stella defecated. Her shit was ugly, her body was beautiful, and Swift couldn’t reconcile himself to the fact — to what he experienced as a perverse contradiction, confirming the diabolical double-nature of woman. It almost drove him mad. Beauty was good, shit was bad, so why does beauty have bad in it. Did Swift ever defecate? But then female beauty was not supposed to have the aftertaste of shit, that is, external beauty was not supposed to be internally ugly. Woman was supposed to be unequivocally, completely beautiful and good. Slowly and surely, because she was disappointingly neither — because she was a bad girl underneath her good looks — De Kooning vengefully turned her body into painterly shit. Read More:http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/kuspit/willem-de-kooning-at-moma-10-6-11.asp
A 1969 piece of “magazine art” called ‘George the Cunt and Gilbert the Shit’, gave early indication of their ability to shock as well as pre-empting the potential criticism that might be levelled against them. They made large charcoal drawings – which they nevertheless insisted were sculptures – based on photographs of themselves. They further explored taboo language and images as they moved into films and photography proper through which they probed, with increasing graphic clarity, various subjects found near their east end base such as working-class youth, immigration and homelessness, as well as aspects of themselves including microscopic images of their own blood, semen and faeces, often accompanied by images of themselves in their trademark matching suits, or in varying degrees of undress….
…You can’t shout some of these thoughts on the street. You’d be arrested.” “But it is all part of the language of human beings,” says Gilbert. “People were told that shit was shocking. Shit is not shocking.” Read More:http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2012/mar/02/gilbert-george-london-pictures-interview
“Cassinus and Peter”
Poem by Swift, subtitled “A Tragical Elegy”; firstpublished in 1734 in a pamphlet with “A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG NYMPH GOING TO BED” and
“STREPHON AND CHLOE,” probably written 1731. A studentnamed Peter visits his friend Cassinus one morningto find him disheveled and upset. After a long dis-cussion, Cassinus reveals that he is traumatizedfrom having discovered that his lover CELIA has committed “A crime that shocks all humankind; / A deed unknown to female race.” Her offense, hefinally admits, is defecation. This scatological poem is closely related to “The LADY’S DRESSING ROOM” in its emphasis on the fact that “Celia shits,” andthe horror that arouses in her lover when he dis-covers that she does. The poem makes fun of Cass-inus for his ludicrous idealization of Celia and, likethe other scatological verses, illustrates Swift’s characteristic disdain for viewing women as any-thing more than morta. Read More:http://www.scribd.com/doc/27570804/Jonathan-Swift