Monday, September 10, 2012
An acute awareness of the contradictory relationship between human need an desire is at the heart of Jana Sterbak’s art. A contradiction which weaves itself into a dialectic between autonomy and dependency throughout her work. Sterbak was born in Prague in 1955, and old enough, in 1966, to remember the election by the peoples’ party of the radical political leader Alexander Dubcek. But with the imposition of Russian state capitalism in 1968, Sterbak moved with her family to Toronto, Canada, to a very different political agenda. What Canada and Czechoslovakia both offered Sterbak was an experience of colonised identity, political in the case of Czechoslovakia, which for centuries had been under the domination of various foreign powers, and cultural and economic in the case of Canada. Not surprisingly, the theme of constraint, imposed both from within and without, would become a major preoccupation in the development of her work.
The desire to transcend our biological condition, with its innate organic needs, has been systematically scrutinised. In the field of psychoanalytic discourse Jacques Lacan has pointed out: The object of human desire is neither the object which saturates a need nor a fixed and pre-established object of instinct; it is properly speaking their negation. It is the ‘Unnatural’ object of the desiring subject who metaphysically transcends, transgresses and exceeds every corporeal or vital ‘given’.
source: Clement Page
Making of Vanitas: Flesh Dress for an Albino Anorectic (05:01)
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