Work on the Veil
(© Claudio Lange - Translation: Erik Richardson/Claudio Lange)
My latest paintings lived a strange massive encounter with the Zeitgeist, which in the end could be, perhaps, completely meaningless. A few months ago, a famous Italian photographer sold a calendar to a leather company. This calendar, twelve photos for each month, depicted the feminine pubic triangle. At the same time, an American lingerie company released a commercial in which tremendous pubic locks curled underneath transparent panties. And just recently I read about a 2010 Oscar-prize winning photography for the depiction of the female pubic triangle (wig?).
I was surprised to see en vogue what I thought was my hidden work in professional photography and advertizing. Because throughout the year 2010 I had occupied myself with the hairy pubic triangle, painting, thinking and through art-historic researches. For good reasons I named this part of the female body the Veil of Venus (a name of a type of coral too).
In what follows I quickly outline my level of knowledge related to what I described above, that I’ve formulated in approximately 100 writing pages and about the same number of paintings.
1. Hitherto in history of painting only geometric pyramidal triangle had a place, together with the square, the circle and the cube. For this reason, painting the Veil of Venus transported me into ecstasy in a no-man‘s land of repressed painting/art. (There are series of relations and problems between a three and a four.)
2. If we rotate the geometric triangle over 180° geometry makes place to the figuration of the Veil of Venus: a revolution, a braking of a Taboo, the appearance of the unconscious.
3. We find enormous Veils of Venus in prehistoric female figurines and we find as well bald shaven vulvas, a very early dichotomy to account for (parties, religion, tastes) .
4. The shaven Veil simulates prepubescent female, the little sister, offering both incest and enlightenment. By contrast, the veil fetishists, the lovers of the bush in all its glory, erected an aphroditic cult on the hairy proof of woman’s capacity of motherhood.
5. The gentle, hairy triangle eccentrically covers the vulva. Without a doubt it picks the original phenomenon of the veil as such. No essence, no being, can possibly exist without veiling. The veil of Maya appears in my encounter with advertising and photography. It’s present in the opening scene of Eyes Wide Shut (S. Kubrick), and in the most heterogenous scene in Buñuel’s Belle de jour, where Mrs. Catherine Deneuve goes naked under a black veil to play the corpse of a woman.
6. Menstrual blood, which the Veil of Venus covers, is the beginning of rituals and sacrifice. Language is a veil, a picture is a veil. The veil is the epitome of hospitality, namely, the challenge to participate in something unreachable, to enter into something with unclear rules, which blurs, covers and veils itself: live-affirming virginity.
7. The German word „Gastfreundschaft,“ hospitality (lit. Guest-friendship, or friendship with guest), is sluggish, of the mafia, a nothing. For hospitality (Gastlichkeit) applies absolutely to foreigners, pointing towards a veiled union with the (veiled) Other (the dead, the gods, the other gender).
On the other hand, the German word „Offenbarung“ (revelation), is a constructed tautology: open (offen) and nothing (bar). Latin instead, wherefrom English receives its word, want’s re-velation to mean an opening and closing, an veiling again (re-).
8. The appearance of the alive: Menstrual blood comes from within the veiled vulva, mythical origin of life, Goethe’s special fluid. The triangle with the apex pointing downward veils the most sacred. A secret relationship between the frowned, most superficial veil, its value and look, its consistency and quality and the deepest essence of life finally appears.
9. That is why I present my painted Veil of Venus in an special artistic way.