Desire as psychological breakdown

Eroticism bring into question the person as individual being closed in himself. Lovers dissolve each other into one body, hence the daily expression of dissolute life. The organs spill into the branch of the merger, wrote Georges Bataille, whose way of describing the erotic act as that part of sexuality that moves our inner found its translation in Hans Bellmer drawings.

H. Bellmer. Little Anatomy of the Physical Unconscious
H. Bellmer. Little Anatomy of the Physical Unconscious

Although the emphasis that the French writer put on the religious component of eroticism as transgression does not occur in Bellmer’s work, they do share certain morbid conception of desire as psychic tear cause.

While reading his essay The anatomy of the image we understand the origin of anatomical overlays that Bellmer reveal in his drawings: these girls withdrew into herself, their faces moved to his feet, legs and arms overlapped, they can be seen as psychosomatic transfers for self-inflicted repression. Pubescent kids who find pleasure but her subconscious denies it because of guilt or fear feelings, shifting erogenous zones to other parts of the body.

These displacements are more complicated when man imagination transforms female body, being projected himself (as erectile member) in the image of her, or subtly mimicking each other: in her body I had opened my being as a fruit. I seemed to want revive in her the woman I was. I was violating in her a sexless individual whose flesh was the price of my lonely pleasure (Joe Bousquet, Le mal d’enfance).

Kinesthetic hallucinations, perceptive disorders…, real and virtual excitement merge and overlap, Bellmer writes.11

Like in Bataille, a sadistic component inhabits Bellmer’s eroticism. The anatomy of desire is harsh, it dismembers and recomposes, annihilates or multiplies. Torsos and thighs pressed with wire, disfiguring flesh, drawing triangles, multiplying the breasts: merger of the natural and the imagined, the male mind imposes on women algebraic and geometric patterns of thought.

G. Bataille, Histoire de l'oeil Drawing by H. Bellmer
G. Bataille, Histoire de l’oeil Drawing by H. Bellmer

These visions of unreal anatomies multiplying in a temporarily neutral plane, synthesis of past, present and future, remind us the erotic choreographies that Ballard imagined through Travis personage in The Atrocity Exhibition, for who the bodies are “monstrous extensions of swollen tissue”, articulated as intersection vectors or modules between architectural planes. Only through body dismemberment is possible to recover the lost symmetry with which to make sense of a reality that fades.

Ballard shared this obsession with details, with the amputation of the corporal image as a metaphor of a strange cerebral logic.

The ballardian images also place in the threshold between dream and awakening. Opposite ones join, real thing and his ghost, desire and fear, pain and pleasure, leading to a new state of the consciousness.

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