2013-08-28

Survival Love Dolls

In most survival kits two important components are often missing: one to indulge in the contemplation of beauty and another with which satisfy the more basic sexual desires. Eros and Aphrodite were in fact the Greek gods representing such human needs, the two of them conjugating, on the one hand, the spiritual dimension of beauty, and on the other, that of the body and earthly pleasures. Nevertheless Plato, as part of his great undertaking to endow ideas with a real entity, distinguished for both gods a "heavenly" and an "earthly" version. In the Symposium (ca. 385-370 BC) the idealist philosopher wrote about an Eros Ouranios -- 'heavenly' -- and an Eros Pandemos -- 'common' --, as well as about an Aphrodite Ourania and an Aphrodite Pandemia. We propose to draw attention to this Platonian split of Love, which would deeply affect Western culture thereafter, through its adaptation to Christianity, up to its late capitalist derivations in the form of porn objects and practices, by reintegrating these two -- celestial and earthly -- dimensions of Love: the first one represented by two celebrated sculptures of Classical Greece, and the second one by a couple of sex dolls.

Image after Eros Farnese (350 BC, Roman copy after Praxiteles' original) [pd], Capitoline Venus (Roman, after Praxiteles' original, 4th c. BC) [pd] and Widmann's Inflatable Woman and Inflatable Man [fu/fd].