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Absence of desire

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Absence of Desire , by Erik Pevernagie, 80 x 100cm, Oil on canvas

“Standing in front of "Absence of Desire",I wonder: "Who feels the absence of desire? ". The absence is not explained by the decomposed, half‐naked, headless female bodies. It is not confined to the painting. On the contrary, the absence of desire gradually invades the beholder who is in front of the painting.

The artistic approach, the requirements of the composition, the structure of the canvas with its transversal lines and diagonals remind me of the stained glasses of cathedrals. The large needles of these cathedrals tearing the blue of the sky in their search of god. The iridescent stained glasses pouring light under the high vaults which embody faith and a belonging to the world beyond.

The beauty of stained glass removes all the thoughts of a physical world which surrounds man. One can say that the"stained glass" rejects the body (rather pointed out by outlines than depicted) in the same way as the Middle Ages rejected the body while accentuating the face which was transformed into an icon. The metal framework of the "stained glass" is transformed into a kind of cage, of grid which imprisons the body.

But this rejection of the body leads us into a dead end: there are no faces, no heads: their absence precisely underlines the body which has to be denied. In the course of the centuries the human body has been admired for its beauty and its plasticity. Man has appreciated the joy of the flesh. But the body has also been rejected and even perverted.

The painting represents the indifference, the insensitivity towards the human body and woman’s body in particular. It outlines man’s asexuality and inaction.

In the painter's opinion “contemporaries are convinced, they know the world inside out. They tasted life in all its aspects and feel now that they are at the end of their tether. They are tired and are no longer able to invent themselves. At most, they are prepared to call upon some gadgets in order to create a pretence of desire. But this is only deception. Nothing can make them want anything or anybody anymore. That feeling of wanting has become absent. That specific feeling has definitely died.” Absence of desire has become the metaphor of absence of life. "Absence of Desire" is the stained glass window which opens into the gap of the cathedral of emptiness. (Krasnova, Ludmila)

Phenomenon: Lack of interest

Factual starting point: Gadget headless women