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The artist philosopher as a pornosophist eccentric

EXPRAXIS MEANS TAKING ASCETICISM TO ITS VERY EXTREME, THE EXERCISE OF EROTIC ECSTASY. EROTIC ECSTASY OPPOSES SEXCENTRIC AND THEOCENTRICECSTASY, IT SWAYS BETWEEN SEXUAL EROTICISM AND SAPIOSEXUALITY.

Sexcentric ecstatics are phallocentric individuals and vulva fetishists. They find the original and only divine being in the phallus and vulva. Union with the divine for them equates to a sexual, physical union. The more they’re distanced from the abstraction of thought, the closer they believe themselves to be to the divine, the phallus, the vulva.

Theocentric ecstatics believe that the more distance they put between themselves and sexuality, the closer they become to divine thinking, the one and only brain. For the former, mystical union coincides with sexual relations; for the latter, it’s a mental and intellectual process. Sexcentric ecstatics believe the more you ascend to the sexual plane, the closer you get to the absolute truth. Theocentric ecstatics believe the more distance you put between yourself and the sexual sphere, the closer you’ll get to god. Both strive for catharsis: an intellectual and sexual one respectively. One wants to shed all sexual pulsions, while the other wants to shed all thought. Both want to unite with God, the one and only god. Sexcentric ecstatics strive to separate sex from the brain. Theocentric ecstatics strive to separate the brain from sex. One wants sex without intellect; the other wants intellect without sex. Both don’t think. Both are mystics: sexual and intellectual mystics. Sex mystics oppose intellectual mystics and vice versa. Both are great human beings, they’re characterised by an obsessive compulsive trait, they’re extreme, thoughtless, without a conscience, beyond good and evil in differing ways. They’re methodical amoralists with reverse polarities. Both are followers of Dionysius: one highlights the sexual aspect of the divinity, the other the intellectual one. Erotic ecstasy elevates both sexcentric and theocentric ecstasy and removes their polar nature. Erotic ecstasy has a divine, holy nature which elevates sexcentric and theocentric eroticism, or even ‘physical eroticism’ and an ‘erotic of the heart’. Eroticism is not something human or otherworldly: it means discovering one’s ego. You can reveal the cosmic ego in yourself, and our limited senses encounter infinity thanks to eroticism – in moments of ecstasy.

Erotic ecstatics are mystics without a god – because god is love and sexual relations to them equate as a relation between sex and the brain, senses and thought, passion and reason, life and death. Unconditional devotion to holy ecstasy isn’t uncontrolled, it follows a specific order, to allow for that unconditional and unbound moment; ecstasy is practiced transgression to reach that rush of ecstasy. Ectsatics thus provide forms. The artist philosopher is an erotic saint. His army is the holy Eros, he’s a holy ascetic. The artist philosopher is the ascetic who turns asceticism into an exercise; he manages asceticism as exercises. To him, art is a cult: the cult of beauty. Beauty doesn’t simply surround power – it promises power. Beauty is not performative, rather it promises something – that is its performance.

Beauty is not only found in beautiful things, but also in ugliness. Beauty isn’t the only thing which is fascinating, but also ugliness. Ugliness is, by being repulsive, attractive. Attractivity always promises power, regardless of its beauty or ugliness, more often than not ugliness is alluring in its power – because even ugliness fascinates. The demon Eros is beautiful and ugly, poor and rich, cynic and cynical. Beauty and repulsive, disgusting, abject subjects are depicted in art. Art dedicated to the abject elements in our life is called pornosophy: it represents the truth of abject elements, of ‘whores’. This aesthetic extremism is a scandalising form of life, which gets to the bottom of said ‘scandal’ (i.e. life). The barbaric truth of life comes to light. This scandal opposes the political correctness of mass democracy, the ugliness of its grunting, noisily eating, intoxicating drinking hedonism with elitist hedonism: cynic Aristotelism = pornosophy. The successful scandal isn’t an infinite removal of taboos. If scandal knows no limits when removing taboos, then it’s not erotic but pornographic. The scandal, a blessing in disguise, breaks taboos to enable eroticism.

The guarantee of a taboo as a condition for the possibility of eroticism is a form, a style. Pornosophy is stylised eroticism, not sex, it’s an aestheticised religion: eroticism as religion. In Ancient Greece, they spoke of phallus, in Rome of fascinus. The bundle, the axe, the symbol of legality fascinates, enchants, tempts and entrances us. In that sense, the phallus has always stood for sovereignty and the bundled fire: the torch. The pornosopher, insofar as he makes the phallus into a holy relic, is also the torchbearer of art: the artist philosopher.

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Dr Konstanze Caysa is a philosopher of art. She completed her PhD on the topic ‘Yearning bodies – a metatropy’ at the University of Leipzig. Between 2002 and 2010, she served as member of the BoD of the Nietzsche-Gesellschaft e.V. She’s taught at the Institute for Philosophy of the University of Leipzig, at the HGB Leipzig and at the Kulturwis- senschaftlichen Institut of the University of Leipzig. Between 2012 and 2013, she was the temporary replacement of a junior professor at the University of Leipzig. She’s been writing as a columnist for the ‘Leipziger Zeitung’ newspaper since March 2015. Publications: ‘Askese als Verhaltensrevolte‘ (2015) / ‘Denken des Empraktischen‘ (2016).

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