Sex with Karl Marx (The Real Jouissance)



presented by the Gervasuti Foundation 
at the 2015 Venice Biennale

8th May – 22nd November 2015.

Cannaregio Calle Lunga Santa Caterina, 5001/A 30121 – Venezia.


A site-specific installation by Martin Sexton entitled ‘Sex with Karl MARX (the Real joussiance)’ that features new video work and sculpture created utilizing 4.5 billion year old meteorites to re-cycled television screen glass.

Pessoa, the Portuguese poet said that ‘Love is a thought.’ Jouissance is a french word meaning ecstasy, some French literary theorists relate it to mean the only point of real freedom, where a writer, artist or anyone involved in a creative act is no longer mitigated through the prism of subjectivity or consciousness. Where the individual, during the creative process, is set free, free from the past and present and even possibly free from the cusp of a future act or event.

What the French psychoanalyst Jacque Lacan calls jouissance is however, a deadly excess rather than a pleasure; its place is beyond the pleasure principle. The French feminist writer Hélène Cixous uses the term jouissance to describe a form of women’s pleasure or sexual rapture that combines mental, physical and spiritual aspects of female experience, bordering on mystical communion. Cixous maintains that jouissance is the source of a woman’s creative power and that the suppression of jouissance prevents women from finding their own fully empowered voice. Breton said the credo of Surrealism was to infect reality with one’s dreams. The Aborigine have a term ‘eternal’ or ‘uncreated’ which we translate as ‘Dreamtime’ to describe the time out of time or ‘everywhen’ of Aboriginal mythology. Like many of us the cultural theorist and philosopher Slavoj Zizek has dreams, indeed his most recent book is titled: ‘The Year of Dreaming Dangerously’ in which he imagines the following episode:

‘We are dealing here with a circular structure best exemplified by a science-fiction story set a couple of years in the future when time travel has become possible: An art critic who becomes fascinated by the works of an English artist from our era decides to travel back in time to meet him. He discovers that the artist is a worthless drunk who even goes as far as to steal the time machine from him and escape into
the future. Alone in today’s world, the art critic makes all the sculptures, films and paints all the paintings that the artist originally made that fascinated him in the future and prompted him to travel into the past.’ – Slavoj Zizek – ‘The Year of Dreaming Dangerously’ (2012 Verso books).

Martin Sexton is an artist renowned for his investigations into the esoteric and the outer limits of consciousness, creating sculptural works from billions of years old chunks of meteorite or making ‘UFO’ films or crop circles. His practice can defy clear description; yet he refers to all of his work in whatever medium as writing and his practice has been referred to by critics as ‘physical literature.’





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One Response to Sex with Karl Marx (The Real Jouissance)

    1. The old and ignored conceptual problem is realisation (without use of language). Pessoa left trunks full of evidence.

      Comment by Cy Lester on 15 December, 2015 at 10:56 am

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