Eimear McBride on art and sex


Yes yes yes

I’m generally left a bit cold by art with no sex in it. Not that every work of art need preoccupy itself with meditations on the subject or be confined to representations of the various physical acts. Quite the contrary; the world is already overstuffed with clichéd recreations of the blunt and bland doings of the flesh. What I mean is that I find it hard to rouse any interest in art or literature that relegates the life of the body to some lesser status than the goings-on of the mind or emotions.

[first paragraph]

We may live in sexually liberated times, but as the media moralises, the internet demonises and pornography compartmentalises almost every form of sexual expression, how liberated do any of us really feel? In the sexual realm, vulnerability, imperfection, naivety and the search for joy have become the new taboos. Fortunately, they remain the basic tools of art. Keeping sex and art together, to push against humanity’s increasing alienation from itself and the physical world, looks likely to soon become the most transgressive act of all.

[last paragraph] [my emphasis]


Yes yes yes!

Full article here: Guardian 20.05.17

Vulnerability, imperfection and naivety. In practice, it is difficult to be confident enough to display these. A paradox, perhaps. A bit like the embrace of failure. What is ‘good’ failure as opposed to ‘bad’ failure and how can the former be rewarded?

Good failure, I would suggest, is recognising that we don’t know much, while bringing total commitment to whatever it is we are doing and taking risks, i.e. making ourselves vulnerable through the performance of our imperfection and naivety.

This, tangentially, speaks to the over-use of jargon-heavy theory, my current hobby horse. See this post on academic hoaxing from Graham Harman.



Author: bsadceramics

Course leader, MA Ceramics Bath School of Art & Design

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s