Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Extases, a photography book by Ron Raffaelli and Nicole Avril (Tchou/Vertigo, Paris, 1975) contains nine visual and textual Free Love stories made by the photographer and his lover.
“You, the photographer, you know this : the duality is our house with the open sky. We have to live there. Together we imagine another world. A place full of devastations and secret tenderness. It is not yet the time of great calm, there are storms, turmoils, and nights of clamor. There is who we are now and that which we dream to be, there are also all those we know and who get under our skin. Certain nights our room is overpopulated.”
Before commenting I think I need a cigarette....haha. I've never seen a photograph like this. I've never been so stirred by an image portraying a sexual act. My generation missed out on the free love of the sixties and seventies and are (for most of us) still discovering comfort in our sexuality. Porn has been so available during my lifetime via cable and internet but also including the outrageously oversexed television programming, movies and pop culture in general. There is a good girl and then there's a slut. And while porn can be used as a highly effective tool for arousal it doesn't provide much insight for relating sexually to others in a truly intimate way. It's no wonder why we are so screwed up. Sexuality is shown to us lacking a vital element: heart.
The deer in the picture seem to be strengthening the stereotypes of how women and men respond differently to sexual stimuli. The buck is watching the couple and the doe is watching the buck. A sort of, "what are you looking at?" But in many civilizations the deer represents innocence and a gentle luring to new adventures. The first place the Buddha preached was in a deer park where he also lived for a time. So if this understanding is applied to the photo it seems to say, "relaaaaaaaax, come on in!" It could be that this is the perfect photo for a modern day sexual revolution. Or I could just be reading way too much into it as an excuse to keep looking at an amazingly erotic piece of art.