2013-10-24

The Riot of the Virgin

In times of riots, it would not be strange that even the Christian Virgin rebelled against her own religion and signed up for any of the more radical feminist movements. In fact all symbols allow a certain degree of interpretation, which is precisely why they can be given life. They are permanently open to interpretation, both to the reactionary manipulation by the power, and inversely to the détournement of their dominant meanings by the marginalized. In the case of the virgin, it is obvious that she can be alternatively interpreted as one of the most advanced women of her time, one who claimed sexual freedom for the woman and her right to decide the model of family that she pleased. Or even as the "santissima puttana" (Peter Sloterdijk, Critique of Cynical Reason, 1983). Or as the "sextremist" group FEMEN put it: "her body her choice".  

Image after Jean Fouquet's Madonna Surrounded by Seraphim and Cherubim (1452) [pd] and FEMEN and Alia al-Mahdi's action in Embassy of Eypt in Stockholm (2012) [fu/fd].