υσΤέRA*

 

                                                  25- 10 2012 Myrό Gallery _"Women in R.E.D"

 hysTe(r)Ra = an ancient Greek word for the womb, terra = the Earth in Latin

_ she who wants/desires or has to/it has been imposed on her to/bear fruit,  today's woman/who shall experience/the crisis/who shall arrive at an agreement between her sexual desire /and her wish for a child/who shall heal the division/of sexuality and reproduction. 

 

For centuries women have had to deal with a crisis in their nature, in the collective superego, relating to their fertility. The ideas of life, childbearing, birth are important here. They have also had to face another crisis of a different sort which in most cases is related to and tied into these matters.

The great "hystera" that give pleasure to the clinical Sarko (2) no longer exists at all, but the concern is: Even though she would like things to work out with a man in the long-run and that they have children together, might such freedom in fact be turned into fruitless wandering… 

From Yahweh’s exhortation to go forth and multiply, the epic of Gilgamesh and the wonderful Song of Songs, from Galen, Aristotle, Ambroise Paré, Moreau de la Sarthe, Freud or the punishment of Tiresias, for centuries, female sexuality and fertility have been subject to various myths and medical surveillance. Nowadays, assisted reproduction has reached almost epidemic proportions and while we would like to think this crisis will be experienced by women at the right time (blessed be women and their reproductive system... an animal begins to feel the need to have a child when it remains without progeny for a long time even though it is capable of bearing progeny)(3), it in fact happens to women of all ages and it is a common secret that in most cases it is the man who cannot procreate.

Millions of women in the West experience the crisis of fertility, the desire to have children, experiencing it as something abusive or as something redemptive. Female stress tends to express itself via the body, to be translated into physical symptoms (4) but also expresses itself in the painful process itself which is the reality of assisted reproductive techniques. 

A hysTerRa* that wants and desires or must and has to bear fruit, a modern woman who experiences having to choose how to blend sexual urges with the desire to have a child, and reconcile the sexual act with the act of reproduction.

Fear can be quelled, conversation can begin. This transcendence, the non-ego, the non-human will be employed to make it easier to understand and appreciate what it means to be; to comprehend the ego, the idea of a non-god, an imperfect human, and will back up the major importance of the woman who acts out the role of superhero, who far surpasses her own boundaries.  In this way a sense of security and of our boundaries will be delineated by imaginary fears and by playing on the brink of dangerous locations where even the angels are afraid to walk. Even if we opt to remain isolated in our own boxes, not wanting to be seen by others as we attempt to avoid being seen by others, the Medea who hides within, the impulses, the instinct to preserve the hysTerRa will cast out the pain.

The public and inner self of a woman reflecting the traditional distinction between mind and body as a construct without importance (1) will transform her worries into symbols capable of reflecting emotions, will increase self-acceptance and the sense of self-worth which is lost/found when she is called upon to enter into a double relationship with her human body, on the one hand (the microcosm) and with her surroundings on the other hand (macrocosm) in order to perform her task of preserving the species over the ages, irrespective of any religious, mythical or scientific aspect that task might have.

                                                                                                                                                                               (1)Lowe.(2) Jacques Antre.(3) Plato, letter to Timaeus.(4) Freud

Elena Tonikidi 

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