Source unknown – Title unknown (19XX)
I have a preference for graphic depictions of sexuality focusing on a woman’s pleasure. Thus, although clearly staged–this appeals to me with a particular intensity.
The intensity is amplified by the fact that I also find it alluring where nudity is not presented as a facet of a woman’s sexual expression.
What I am really trying to communicate is the completeness with which this had me from the start.
There are two things it refuses to clarify: is the woman’s thousand yard stare a by product of the obvious staging of the scene or is she fantasizing about another man–perhaps the one rendered as a ghostly presence in the background.
My suspicion this is the intended–as much as authorial intention bears any relationship to the audience’s reading/interpretation (which is to say little if any)–outcome; however, to me the image exudes a sort of aching physical desperation. And that feeling causes me to wander if the ghostly presence is perhaps actually corporeal–a third party waiting to be invited to join the proceedings. The positioning doesn’t really support this interpretation; but wondering about the position caused me to notice the pose and musculature is oddly posed–legs together and touching, abdomen perhaps stretched…
…and I can’t help but thinking if the woman is thinking about the Crucifixion–a notion that would certainly fit with the feeling of seething sexual desperation I get from the image.
It doesn’t have to be that. In all likelihood it isn’t; but the ambiguity within the work that allows such an obscene meditation appeals with glee to the stretching darkness in me.