art sensuel *
This website is a worldwide forum
for artists and lovers of erotic art.
It presents works and comments by the group
art sensuel* ,
which promotes a positive and emancipated approach
to eroticism in contemporary art
and presents itself in regular annual exhibitions
at the Hadid Pavilion near Basel, Switzerland
- Themes include
- sexual emancipation
- autonomy over body and mind
- multilateral communication
- the right to talk about "it" seriously
art sensuel *
addresses the senses and the mind , stimulates sentiments and thoughts, discords and harmonies. In its artistic creations, facets of harsh reality may be intermingled or contrasted with scenes of orgiastic harmony, men and women, yin and yang, sometimes in one figure, suggesting modern concerts of body, mind, and environment in the face of accelerating fragmentation and extraneous manipulation of all aspects of life.
There was a so-called sexual revolution a few decades ago, which created a degree of liberation, but didn’t touch the traditional negative attitudes. Sexuality has subsequently not become more cultivated and integrated into ‘the respectable spheres' of life, but rather separated from it, to flourish in the dark, and hide from the daylight of rationality. Cinema films of recent years are the prudest they have ever been while the internet is flooding all the pornography in the world into the 'privacy’ of children’s rooms. Sexuality is possibly more hidden, devalued, and decultivated today than in the darker days of history. Many seem to be alienated by anything sexual, and especially erotic, or even by those words.
art sensuel * confronts the issues of sexual denial and repression in their far reaching contexts while insisting that a positive and intelligent attitude toward sexuality and eros is vitally necessary for any holistic development.The manner in which an individual or a society deals with sexuality and the erotic is a clear expression of emotional, intellectual, or social maturity. Culture is created when human nature is guided with respectful acceptance or fantasy, dressed or undressed, not denied or condemned as ‘primitve’, 'dirty,' ‘sinful,’ etc.. Humans are not forced by nature to eat only one thing, one way, and as seldom as possible. We are privileged to enjoy good cooking, etiquette, and pleasant company as well as wild feasts, if we like, and as long as we don’t harm anyone.
The largest problem of sexual repression and fragmentation lies in its fertility for highly dangerous ideologies. Since eros is capable of unifying body and spirit, it is a thorn in the side of all advocats of totalitarianism, who would prefer to operate with disjointed fragments of personalities. The erotic 'provocation' of the works of art sensuel * poses a touchstone by which contemptuous attitudes toward eros could unveil themselves as cause, symptoms and effects of totalitarian dynamics.
The art sensuel* practice of connecting the erotic with other social and metaphysical issues is to project a wide range of feeling, thinking, or dreaming, and definitely not some sugar coating for moralists. In fact, the erotic may well be at times the essence of our art, without ifs and buts. The erotic has its own good reasons for having been installed in the ingenious human mind as inextricably as hope, fear, and imagination. It requires no excuse from religion, law, academia, or even “art.” However, art and culture are challenged to work with this crucial element of life.
Ultimately, any kind of art reveals something intimate or intimately felt, it is by definition exhibitionistic on the part of the creator - especially when it is shown in an exhibition - and it is voyeuristic on the part of the spectator. It is neither possible nor desirable to separate art from "prurient" interests.
Banning or damning sexual or any other thoughts or images is castrating the spirit, and ultimately never comes without other forms of torture and coercion.
Almost all famous artists at all times have produced erotic works, but nearly all of them have been hidden in dark dungeons, or quickly burned by surviving relatives or zealous 'moral' watch dogs. In the age of global internet porn, we may hope that they will let such pictures hang - and not the artists.
The catastrophic events of the 20th century have given cause for many artists to treat the actual destruction rather than pursue holistic visions. We look at this world with open eyes and awareness of the unspeakable cruelty, destruction, mass lobotomy, and the replacement of our last vestige of autonomy, i.e. our sensory perception, by electronic virtuality.
It is the response of art sensuel * to the nightmares of our age, to create and promote erotic art as an expression of dynamic autonomy of human bodies and minds, and of free multilateral communication,
with a critical look at reality and its possibilities, art with a wild, ferocious or tender touch as well as hard questions about freedom, identity, de-celeration, empathy, and joie de vivre, a move, in the face of all adversity, toward some, however rare, moments of reconciliation through the education and cultivation of Eros.
“Eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth. Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to tell the truth by Eros, the god of love.” Plato
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This website is also an appeal to artists and art lovers
If you are interested or intrigued to share your thoughts or show us some of your works, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Perhaps we could arrange for your participation in this website (it’s free !) or in our upcoming exhibition (see below). In any case, we’ll be happy to hear from you and to reply to you.
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* art sensuel * is an informal, free, international group of artists sharing similar but not identical views. There is no formal membership registration or fee.
* art sensuel * presents itself in annual group exhibitions at the Hadid Pavilion in the tri-national area of Basel (Switzerland, Germany, and France) every one to two years ( 2008, 2009, 2011)
The most recent exhibition took place from June 8 to 22 , 2011