Dessert dish set. Special edition.
Dinner at Beautiful Distress Huis and Seven New Things 13 december 2018.
Presents "Stripservice. A book on porcelain" and "Society of clean plates".
Artistic Director of Seven New Things
Ronald Ophuis, artist
Special gast: Dr Emma Parker SFHEA
Associate Professor in Post-War and Contemporary Literature
University of Leicester
Homage to Sergei Eisenstein, Soviet-Russian filmmaker, remains best known for the groundbreaking Battleship Potemkin (1925).
Our sexuality and sexual fantasies are the sweet dessert of our life.
In the modern world of new virtual reality, a new wave of open discussion about sexual harassment and sexual violence, the question more often arises, “How to deal with our sexuality? How not to get back to the medieval Puritanism and bust censorship in art and public discourse? Does art have the right to completely abandon censorship and black squares in intimate places? How do you express the sexuality? I would like to remind Rene Magritte's work “This is not a pipe,” which is more relevant today than ever. People still do not know how to separate the real world from fantasy and creativity.
My set of “Society of clean plates” is my “This is not a pipe” peace of work. This is not me and not my body, this is not a body in general, but an image on porcelain. I made my set especially for dessert, because our sexuality is a dessert, it is a gift that makes our life much more pleasant and has a very important role not only in intimate life. It’s also a source of inspiration in art since the birth of humanity. Modern psychology constantly pays attention to the role of sexuality in personality development. If you deny your sexuality it will wake up a discomfort, frustrations and will lead to aggression. So, we have to express it and art is this safe zone, were we can blow it up or refine it, work it out and show it to the world. It’s always been this way, and I hoop its stays this way.
On some of my plates I placed the secret drawings of Sergei Eisenstein, a Soviet director who made the film The Battleship Potemkin in 1925, which became the classic of world cinema. The film had a strong influence on the cinematography of those years and was later named the “best film of all times and peoples”.
Sergey was gay and hid his orientation; in Russia, being gay at the time was a crime. To cope with sexual frustration, he drew a lot of erotica, but of course no one ever published his drawings. Now homophobia in Russia is gaining new momentum, as a result, again, his very talented work has no place to show.
Also, in my service I used the pictures from the psychological test of the Rene Gilles technique, which deals with the study of the child’s social fitness, the sphere of his interpersonal relations and their characteristics, his perception of family relations, some characteristics of his behaviour.
The method allows to identify conflict zones in the system of interpersonal relations of the child, thereby giving the opportunity, influencing these relations, to influence the further development of the child's personality. In 2011, I was diagnosed with a post-traumatic syndrome and was sent to a Dutch psychologist. Most of my meetings with her were devoted to the analysis of my children's traumas and conflicts, which left a huge imprint on my ability or inability to make the right choice and take responsibility, on the formation of my desires and fantasies, including sexual one’s, throughout my subsequent life.
This eternal conflict and the interaction of our desires, our passion for life and our sober awareness, make us a complete person, a person who knows how to create. Fantasy in art, including sexual, should be freed from censorship of any kind. Fantasy makes us people, as well as the ability to broadcast it. And our sexuality and sexual fantasy is our personal dessert in life.
The name of the service “Society of clean plates” comes from a children book “Lenin and children” of Soviet writer Bonch-Bruevich Mikhail Dmitrievich. This is a humorous ode to my strict puritan childhood in Soviet Russia, where everything was politicised to the point of absurdity. Sexuality had no right to be at all. So, please, eat all the sweets from my plates. You can even lick them up and join my Society!
The presentation of the service "Society of Clean Plates" was held on December 13, 2018 in the "Seven new things" Gallery, Amsterdam.
Oxana Malevanik, artist.
Photo's: Andrei Tchernikov