La petite mort, French for “the little death”, is an idiom and metaphor for orgasm. More widely, it can refer to the spiritual release that comes with orgasm, or, to a short period of melancholy or transcendence as a result of the expenditure of the “life force”, the feeling whereof is caused by the release of oxytocin in the brain after the occurrence of the orgasm. The term does not always apply to sexual experiences. It can also be used when some undesired thing has happened and has affected a person so much that “a part of them dies inside”.
Matto Lucas continues his new body of work with the second installment in his 2012 series that began with “The Eucharist” exhibited at Off The Kerb Gallery.
The second installment, “La Petite Mort” progresses his exploration of the artists body, the artist as false idol (creator) and the body as art. LPM is a techno-shrine, a digital crucifix to the emptiness of internet 2.0 culture and superficiality of generation y. LPM represents the ritual of food and the power of the body to assimilate, grow, evolve, expand. For Lucas, it is the substitute, the casting of the spell, the obsession, the brainwashing, the blurred boundary of pleasure and repulsion.
“A part of them dies inside.”
“Polluting objects fall, schematically, into two types: excremental and menstrual. Neither sperm nor tears, for instance, although they belong to borders of the body, have any polluting value. Excrement and its equivalents (decay, infection, disease, corpse, etc.) stand for the danger to identity that comes from without: the ego threatened by the non-ego, society threatened by its outside, life by death. Menstrual blood, on the contrary, stands for the danger issuing from within the identity (social or sexual); it threatens the relationship between the sexes within a social aggregate and, through interalization, the identity of each sex in the face of sexual difference.”
- Julia “Kristeva
Kristeva, Julia, Powers of Horror: An essay on
abjection, Columbia University Press: New York,