Eroticous and Eros


The need for art and beauty is an indirect need for sexual ecstasy.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Paul Delvaux, Sleeping Venus 1944

Eroticism, death and eros are the aspects that ensure the continuity of human life. Each is independent, unruly, and powerful in itself. We can evaluate death and eroticism in the context of Hegel's slave-master dialectic, there is a life and death war between slave and master. Choosing slavery in order not to die means escaping from your own self, from the person you will become, whereas accepting this existence and becoming a master brings immortality. Being aware of our freedom to die also means being aware of our freedom to live. Because a person who lives without the freedom to die lives without risking his life. Hegel states this; “Instead of going with him to death, he should stay, standing in death as himself.” describes it in words.

The concept of eros is called absolute closure for Hegel. It is absolute because; ”Schluss The concept referred to as "
It means "closing". ending It is a long and slow process that includes the concept of “other”. If we continue with Hegel's words; “Love is absolute closure, because it requires surrender of one's self, that is, death. The true essence of love consists precisely in letting go of self-consciousness, forgetting oneself in another self. ” says. When we say that the path of love passes through death, what is really meant is that a person is a anotherIt is to die in ' and return to himself after this death. that is why the fierce Eros brings with it the pangs of new birth. This painful Eros process presents us with a new 'me'. Marsilio Ficino, one of the most influential humanist thinkers of the early Italian Renaissance, wrote Eros; '' By loving you who loves me, I find myself again in you, who thinks of me, and after giving up on myself, I regain myself in you who preserves me. Herein lies the power of Eros, its power to lose and find oneself in another. Any relationship where you cannot regain your own being, in another being, contains only death.

H.Bosch,Hell (Detail)

What makes Eros so effective is Eroticism

Eroticism is a term derived from the ancient Greek mythology, referring to the god of love, Eros, and is accepted in the same way all over the world. In ancient Greek culture; Eroticism, which means providing spiritual satisfaction and encouraging love: “It also expresses beautiful emotional enthusiasm.”1 Eroticism, which is accepted as a common cultural element, in an artistic context. “The lascivious painting etc. the name given to things like2 has the meaning. However, since ancient times, the theme of eroticism has been included in works of art in different ways according to societies and geographies. According to Foucault, historically it means erotic art to produce sexual reality. ars erotica and sexual science scientia sexualis There are two methods. Western societies represent scientia sexualis, while eastern societies such as China, Japan, India and Rome represent ars erotica.

The erotic exists where it is subject to sexual prohibitions, and with the violation of these prohibitions (transgression) is related. The violation here is Hegel's repealIt should be understood by referring to . Violation both pierces or denies the prohibition and accepts and protects. Cursed Share', we see that Bataille argues that there are three basic conditions that distinguish life in the profane world from animal life. If one of them is work, the second is sexual prohibitions and the third is the consciousness of mortality. Bataille does not want to give a definitive answer to the question of which of the three comes first, whether it can be regarded as a condition of the possibility of the other two. In the first steps of our existence, we were creatures that acted with our primitive (animal) impulses and impulses, the developing amygdala and the frontalcortex, which took control of the ropes, plaza life, the benefits of modern life taught us to suppress these animalistic impulses. It is interesting that as a person learns to suppress these impulses, he always finds ways to return to this animalism. We are in a cycle that humanizes being human by experiencing his animality. Taboos, religions and holiness were placed on the primitive side of this cycle. Man has decorated his primitive side with these concepts to make it more livable. Death and eroticism enter this field. In the animal world, a sexuality without rules and therefore without violations prevails. Reproduction is common between animals and humans. But only human sexuality is erotic. Eroticism, unlike simple sexuality, is independent of the reproductive function. It is a violation like death. And like every violation, it is about violence. Because the excess; It is the loss of the parties themselves, the destruction of each other. Lust has nothing to do with sexual reproduction. It is the initiating and destructive force of the game. by Salvador Dali "The Temptation of Saint Anthony"' and Bosch's ' 'Garden of Earthly Delights'' is one of the best illustrated examples of this recipe. In his own striking style, Dali portrayed the subject of St. Anthony, who gave up everything to retreat to a life of asceticism. What makes this classic subject striking is Dali's depiction of the figures he chose and the lustful states of the first sin to be resisted. We can understand that Saint Anthony left the worldly life by his cross consisting of two branches and not even wearing clothes. The representatives of sexuality, the horse and the elephant, are coming towards Aziz. The mare, with her flared mane, represents exuberant and passionate sexual passions. The mare also represents the "woman" image. The mare's gaze leads us back to the inviting female figure carried in a golden cage on an elephant. Dali tried to explain the masculinity image of the phallic period with the obelisks carried on the elephants. The representations of sin executed on slender legs contrasted with the faithful and frightened of the Saint. What the painter offers to his audience is the representation of what I want to convey, lust and fear, nightmare and dream, worldliness and seclusion intertwined.

Salvador Dali, The Seduction of St. Anthony, 1946

Lust is a violent emotion.

Bataille ; “For me, violence is primarily based on lust, which is responsible for the impulses of the genitals. Beneath eroticism lies a violence reminiscent of an explosion.” says. Our greatest sins and forbidden words are used here. The confusion of religions both you will not kill and you will kill is due to the fact that they are both sacred and taboo. Centuries ago, sacrificial rites were also performed to sanctify death and life. The Aztec people believed that they sacrificed for themselves what they took from nature and animals, and their human sacrifice was aimed at maintaining this death and life balance, and it was based on the reduction in human life in spite of the reduced nature and animal life.
The subjects of death and eroticism are a frequent subject in Bataille's works. For the unity of death-life-eroticism, it means,

“Eroticism is the deathly affirmation of life”.

 For him, from the outset, it is difficult to relate the promise of vitality implicit in eroticism to the pain of death. Because we forget that life is renewed only through death. However, death and eroticism are identical. Both are unlimited wastes of life. Both of them put an end to the existence of intelligent, knowledgeable, purposeful, functional, productive – hence impermanent – ​​human being. The work of eroticism is to shatter the personality of individuals in their ordinary lives. This job starts with the nakedness. Because nudity goes beyond self-possession, impermanence. By communicating with others, it opens the door to enter into a continuous existence with them. And the fusion of impermanent beings into each other and establishing a bond of continuity evokes death. It reminds of the sacrificial rites where continuity is blessed. Eroticism is such a sense of vitality that it calls for sacrifice or sacrifice; that is, ultimately invokes death. But thanks to eroticism, we look death in the eye and constantly feel the enigmas of a life hidden in death. 

Battle Eroticism in his book petit mortmentions of: “Sexual pleasure is so destructive that it climaxes with 'little death' (la petite mort). we say.Tears of Eroscontinues in: “How can I truly experience 'little death' without tasting the ultimate death?”The most intense pleasure is combined with the most intense pain. “The complexity of human life really is the frenzied laughter, sobs and tears.”The source of tragedy lies in the dialectic of death-life-eroticism.

This mystical experience, close to the moment of death, where eroticism and Eros are intertwined, is the journey we embark on to make sense of our life activities. He sees himself as a god in such an atmosphere of violence and holiness from people who expose themselves by experiencing the pleasure and pain on the highest pitch, with orgies dedicated to Dionysus, the God of ecstasy, and sacrificial rites, religious rituals, and worship ceremonies for the Sun God Tonatiuh. What mysticism cannot say, eroticism says: “If God is not the transcendence of God in every sense, he is nothing” In other words, divinity is the transgression of everything divine.

I think Bataille can rest easy if his emotions are starting to turn from pink to a deep black. Baudelaire expressed all these words actually written in the following quatrain, this must be the power of poetry...

Our strings that move us in the hands of the demon!
We find something attractive in disgusting objects;
Fearlessly, in the stinking darkness,
Every day we descend one step further into Hell.
Charles Baudelaire


1 Erguven A,R(1988). Art and Eroticism. p.154 Ankara:Yaba Publications
2 Turani,A(1993) Dictionary of Art Terms p. 41 Istanbul: Remzi Bookstore
Byung-Chul Han The Suffering of Eros Metis Publications 2020