Sex and spirit: the many faces of ecstasy
The Ecstasy of St Teresa of Avila (1647-52) by 17th-century Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini is one of the most famous images of the Baroque period. Located in the Cornaro Chapel, Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome, the marble sculpture represents Saint Teresa of Ávila, a Spanish nun canonised in 1622, sprawled on a cloud with an angel. The angel is holding an arrow, about to pierce Teresa’s heart. Writhing and twisting in ecstasy, Teresa’s eyes are closed, with her face turned upwards toward heaven.
Teresa’s ecstasy was drawn from her autobiography, where she described intensely spiritual visions and mystical experiences. It is the departure point for a new exhibition, Ecstasy: Baroque and Beyond, currently on display at the University of Queensland’s Art Museum. Curated by Andrea Bubenik, the exhibition probes ecstatic emotion in its secular, psychological and sexual forms over the centuries.
This duality is continued in Salvador Dali’s contribution to the Surrealist journal Minotaur. Dali’s photomontage The Phenomenon of Ecstasy (1933) consists of a series of women’s faces laid out in a grid-like format. Dali’s use of repetition forces the visitor to concentrate on the minute details of the women’s faces in various ecstatic states…..
ARTIST: PIETRO AQUILA | CHRIS BENNIE | ANASTASIA BOOTH | LOUISE BOURGEOIS | SALVADOR DALI | AUDREY FLACK | BILL HENSON | PETRINA HICKS | WILLIAM HOGARTH | GORDON MATTA-CLARK | CLAUDE MELLAN | NIGEL MILSOM | GIROLAMO NERLI | GORDON SHEPHERDSON | DAVID STEPHENSON | HIROMI TANGO | DAVID WADELTON
Curator: Andrea Bubenik
6.15 for 6.30 pm Friday 15 September
to be opened by
Professor in Media, Swinburne University of Technology
See Full Article in CONVERSATION here: http://theconversation.com/sex-and-spirit-the-many-faces-of-ecstasy-84585
SEE MUSEUM’S LINK and PDF Catalogue HERE: Ecstasy, Baroque and Beyond