Single channel, framed, wall mounted, 4 second loop, video work. 8 1/2″h x 11 1/2″w x 1 1/2″d Presented at the Heskin Contemporary gallery as part of the group exhibit Meet Cute curated by Elizabeth Heskin & Marcy Brafman.
Eromenia, explores contemporary East/West cultural constructions of sex, commodification, and idealization, in a way that embraces nostalgia and at the same time questions how much value people can actually receive from delusions of eros.
The piece is made from advertisements for software designed to create “sexy” soft-core porn images which pop up on a computer’s desktop as a kind of “pleasant distraction”. In the case of Eromenia, the image is captured and memorialized in a small wooden frame designed to suggest the kind of keepsake photographs typically found in a middle aged Western male’s den or home office.
The image, made from a gif of only a very small number of pixels, has been further smoothed and simplified to erase all recognition of the original form, yet the movement is still utterly clear – some kind of fetching, erotic rocking or swaying.
The title of the work is intended to sound like the name of a Greek Goddess or Muse such as Eidyia, Ilithyia, Eunomia, or Urania and to evoke Erato the Muse of love and erotic poetry.
It is also intended to evoke two other notions: the late 20th century Japanese phenomenon of “Eromanga” and the long-standing Western clinical notion of “Erotomania.”
“Eromanga” is also referred to as “Hentai”, the Japanese word originally meaning “metamorphosis” or “abnormality”. In Japan “hentai” has a strong negative connotation, and is commonly used to mean “sexually perverted”. The term is used as slang for sexually explicit or pornographic pop culture imagery. Manga, the Japanese word for comics, along with the prefix “ero” (erotic) creates a wordplay, indicating perverted comics or animation.
Mania is a severe medical condition characterized by extremely elevated mood, energy, and unusual thought patterns. The experience of mania is often quite unpleasant and sometimes disturbing, and may lead to impulsive behavior, frustration, and decreased ability to communicate. Severe forms of mania cause impairment.
Erotomania is a form of the disorder in which a person holds a delusional belief that another person, usually of a higher social status or greater beauty or sexual attractiveness, is in love with them. Though its use continues into the present, early references to the condition can be found in the work of Hippocrates and Plutarch.
Eromenia, thus explores contemporary East/West cultural constructions of sex, commodification, and idealization, in a way that embraces nostalgia and at the same time questions how much value people can actually receive from delusions of eros.