Exquisite Inquisitions ~ Archaeology of desire
~ Adrien Sina 2003-04
The Serpent on the Tree becomes Eve: monster and reptile become one with the female.
Paradox of the Biblical imperative: go forth and multiply ­ if woman is a sign for Temptation, Evil, Terror. Hell's maw equated with the vagina dentata: a black void which haunts the proliferation of bestiaries, legends, narratives of martydom and of sainthood, but also the trembling narratives of the confessional ­ and the configurations of artists' paper fantasies.

Then the historical evidence: cathedral figures sculpted in hierarchies of exaltation; the morality of portal figures; the beastly apostles: eagle, bull, lion, man: virgins aloof or crushed beneath spears; broken fragments of drapery, foliage: worlds lost and found.

Inquisition: instruments of torture; questioning, binding, flogging, pinching, wrenching, poking and burning the skin and its most sensitive organs. The trials calligraphed or printed obscure the hiss of fire on flesh, screams, stench, the jouissance of the priest and executioner.

Temptation: woman, sorcerers, from Hans Baldung Grien's voluptuous females belching and farting in their sensual coven, to Goya's scribes, on the threshold of the Enlightenment, haunted by the Sleep of Reason. All are commensurate: a coven of witches, the bestiality of soldiers, the lascivious phantasms of the priesthood.

© Adrien Sina