By Julia Kristeva, Jody Gladding
Informed through a provocative exhibition on the Louvre curated via the writer, The Severed Head unpacks creative representations of severed heads from the Paleolithic interval to the current. Surveying work, sculptures, and drawings, Julia Kristeva turns her famed serious eye to a learn of the top as image and metaphor, as non secular item and actual truth, additional constructing a severe subject in her work-- the energy of horror--and the possibility of the face to supply an adventure of the sacred.
Kristeva considers the pinnacle as icon, artifact, and locus of suggestion, looking a keener figuring out of the violence and hope that drives us to sever, and sometimes maintain, this kind of effective item. Her learn stretches all of the as far back as 6,000 B.C.E., with people' early ornament and worship of skulls, and follows with the Medusa fable; the mandylion of Laon (a holy relic during which the face of a saint appears to be like on a bit of cloth); the biblical tale of John the Baptist and his counterpart, Salome; stories of the guillotine; glossy homicide mysteries; or even the rhetoric surrounding the struggle for and opposed to capital punishment. Kristeva translates those "capital visions" during the lens of psychoanalysis, drawing endless connections among their manifestation and sacred adventure and intensely a lot declaring the potential of the sacred, even in an period of "faceless" interaction.
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Additional info for The Severed Head: Capital Visions
Very often, however, the heads were conspicuously displayed, spread out on the ground, suspended from the branches of trees, arranged on anthropomorphic props. Used as dance masks, libation goblets, or even musical instruments, they continued to ensure the livings’ bonds with the powers of the dead, whether by conjuring them, imploring their protection, or stealing their evil spells. The ambivalence that Freud notes in the totemic meal also applies to cranial funeral rites. Fear of death and the prohibition against killing are accompanied by aggressiveness, violence, and hatred toward the dead, who reflect back to us the image of our own mortality and upon whom we take revenge for the anguish of our own extinction.
This is the first time a woman is involved in this series of exhibitions, and it is very much a woman’s voice that we hear in the following pages. The very reason for this series is to emphasize differences in discourse. So it will come as no surprise that this text is, precisely, a continual—and latent—interrogation of feminine identity, through biblical and mythological themes, as proposed to us by Western art. In the course of this analysis, in which Freud is the major reference, the feminine figure—and simply the human figure—are evoked in the infinite complexity associated with what we want to show and what we mean to hide.
No such alternating with Dürer. ” The journey on which I am inviting you is, as you have probably guessed, largely imaginary. Headsmen no longer haunt our regions, except in the Balkans and in times of grave crises, but that is another story. The only decapitated bodies we come across are those of statues beheaded by time, that another time offers for our admiration in museums. Dione and Aphrodite, Phidias’s lovers, may well have lost their heads, but it was in leaving the pediment of the Parthenon to seek shelter in a cavernous hall of the British Museum.
The Severed Head: Capital Visions by Julia Kristeva, Jody Gladding