Supervision: Prof. Ute Eitzenhöfer, Prof. Eva-Maria Kollischan, Prof. Theo Smeets
"Women affected by rape suffer a psychic trauma that is silenced. Trauma is an excessive psychic disturbance. Thus, a work of reconstruction must be done: a recollection of thoughts to reawaken the memories, to re-develop the speech, because traumas have no form. To heal is to become aware, consciously, of the feelings and memories that were forgotten in order to be able to elaborate the conflicts that were lived. From the psychological perspective, artistic work that deals with trauma is relevant in the sense that it is evoking sensations. Form works as signification of trauma because objects evoke. The artist makes an integration of those unpleasant sensations that could never have a symbol before and creates.
For my master’s research I chose the subject of Rape. Since there are many women affected I wanted to establish a conversation to reach them and society in order to question all of us. I have experienced and felt womanhood in a male dominated society. I was given many labels that described what it was and what it meant to be a woman; it was confusing. At some point in my making-research phase I was confronted with the question of what erotic meant to me. Which led to start asking myself, how many of the things I thought I had developed as my own thoughts were entirely my own? So, this contains a brief study of the concepts of female sexuality, taboo, trauma, the erotic and beauty.
I found female sexuality was a taboo. So, how could I through my making, help break this taboo? Furthermore, how could I materialize feelings without objectifying? Was it possible? By eroticizing women, and that means giving the power and ownership over their own flesh, we are breaking women’s sexuality as a taboo. In other words to connect with the erotic. And according to psychology to connect (mental into verbal) is to heal. So, could it be possible that to eroticize is to heal?
I found the erotic is power, is strength, it is a conscious decision about living fully. That is why it is so empowering, because it implies an act of consciousness, which is the negation to the plasticization of emotions. Intuitively, I knew the erotic was more transcendental, which led me to deeply research for it and that is how I arrived to connect beauty and the erotic as an expression of empowerment after trauma. Adding on, from a psychological perspective, the erotic is a contradiction of trauma. For psychologists, trauma is a state in which, though you are alive, you cannot feel; nothing flourishes because there is a disconnection between the mind and the emotions. This is one of the main reasons why female sexuality is so important for me, to connect from the erotic to our lives.
One of the conclusions I arrived to is that trauma and taboo can be lessened the more eroticized our lives are. That means we have to go through a mental process to materialize such feelings into ideas (objects) in such a way that they start losing their power over us. Still a question remains, how to eroticize from a numbed taboo that has been infused in to all societies?"
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