Thursday, May 18, 2023

Ed Atkins at dépendance


Is there anything more autoerotic than Rembrandt's self portraits? More embarrassing?

Draft IV, 2017 for Spike Magazine (unpublished)

Our blushing offers the blood, displays it, our vulnerability. Blushing offers what Darwin’s called the “most human emotion,” one of the few social cues that cannot be faked, actors cannot simulate it.
Blushing is the body imparted the possibility of being threatened. carnality established the body as living fragile human, meat

Blushing cause by the sexually engorged, who in film die first, ensuring the actors are filled with blood before its letting.. Sex in horror films filled the character with blood for its destruction to come. Dinosaurs cannot blush, films must fill their skin otherwise: Jurassic Park’s bekahkied Dr. Grant rides the respiration of an ill triceratops while Dr. Sattler is elbow deep in its shit, scrapes berries from viscous tongue, a sign of thrush. Breath, shit, and illness fillout its latex or CGI skin. Embarrassment causes blushing, and Jurassic Park’s first death: a public toilet’s doors are blown off, exposing an indecently bethroned lawyered, plucked like a screaming terrified flower by jaws, abdomen punctured, swallowed, digested alive, blushing. Our embarrasment at his most porcelain moment fills us with and thus him with blood. Was he embarrassed to be found by reanimated reptile on the toilet? Newman sneezed on before, behind dewed glass, eaten alive.

CGI objects, like dinos, when not properly fleshed-out appear to lack internal weight, blood, and new films, floating entirely in green screen exacerbate all the problems weightlessness; our fantasy lacking the physical meat-ness that real objects have. And so films gloss their [digitally produced] images with “chromatic aberration,” a post production color. A filter mimicking the analog flaws of glass from the physical cameras they have rid themselves of, the flaws, vulnerability that adds comfort to the sterile clarity of our digital mannequin-uncanny, a post-producing warmth in the corpse. “Chromatic aberration” sounding a lot like a blush. Green screen’s abyss and CGI purporting to manifest all the astral promise of our imaginations.

It is exceedingly enjoyable to watch our world in a digital mirror. The giddiness for CGI - handed Academy Awards each year for advancement in its mastery over reality - like all technologies comes with an implicit promise to resolve a primordial desire, which CGI seems to come with the potential to make our imaginations “real.” The ability to finally print our dreams. But, technologies never quite pan that way. The small improvements technologies afford are quickly consolidated by an increasing efficiency accelerating modern neurotic haste. Remember the microwave? Because generally CGI is a tool as any other, the utopic promise of our dreams manifested is instead used by corporations to draw cell-shaded hotdogs which dance to mock us. our dreams, and their subsequent utopias remain, as ever, caged in skull.

While fantasies go to great lengths to make their imaginations corpulent, the real world moves to its bloodless fantasy in Advertising who smoothing their models like averaging the totality of human portraits, blurs the distinction between people.

The distance between our corpulent realness and advertising’s bloodless idealization we in real makeup by painting faces on top of our faces. Add rouge faking the blush that signals vitality. Blush which stands for blood. To appear digitally,

Armoring our body against the instrusion of digital panoptics of “social media” and its continual measurement of our physical bodies against this idealization, a social pressure erupting a vernacular form of protest against the hegemony: the duck-face. People are pissed: the duck-face doesn’t allow flesh’s evaluation. As if to prove the point several scientific studies are done to assess the duck face strategy’s success in dating, and as if to prove the power of the duckface as armor the studies come back ambiguous. The unending measurement of our corpulence, physical evaluation. But our more memorable supermodels are paradoxically marred: Crawford’s nevus, Bardot’s strabismus, Monroe’s both, the always waxing/waning popularity of the diastema, Pitt’s recurrently awful facial hair. Our super models are marred as armor against their total virtualization, a blemish against the blurring, making them human, like a blush. Against this, our auto-erotic dutch painter, Rembrant’s almost guiltily intimate, suggestive, ultra-mastubatory self-portraits. Rembrandt self-portraits catching someone in auto-frottage, rubbing his dinosaur flesh. Is there anything more erotic than this? Do we not blush at the thought. Today men lovingly lift shirts to flex chiseled abs in their own endless pleasured bliss, just like our painter once had. Recording. If you get really close to a rembrandt, one of the later one, get really really gucking close, you’ll see it’s abstract, like the pixels of an image. Both the camera and Rembrandt saw stupidly. Rembrandt’s rapture before the pleasure of the visible had been instrumentalized by advertising turning it into bloodless pornography where no one can blush under faces painted, so heavily [bloodletted]. When corpulence was its own reward. We could see. Paintings as a reincarnated fossil of a time when the visible’s pleasure had not yet been saturated with images instrumentalized, purposed. Compared to the advertising mass-market bouquets Instagrammed abs are like wildflowers, bloodfilled men. Its hard to make humans like dinosaurs. Corpulence is now horror. A time when the image itself was erotic and rare. When man spent hundreds of hours alone with himself. The Mona Lisa destroyed by the image which precedes it, bigger than it. But think of the one who cleans the mona lisa, lain on a soft cotton table to be stroked like a mother’s hand. The performer blushing shatters the illusion. In this metaphor Rembrandt is the dinosaur and us the khakied riding his ancient reanimated corpulence.