I had my reservations about visiting the Museum of Erotic Art in Paris, mainly because of where it is – close to the Moulin Rouge and surrounded by porn shops. Guilt by association might suggest it would be tacky, seedy even. It was a pleasant surprise.
The museum grew from a private collection. What I hoped was that it was a reasonably comprehensive collection from around the world. It was. The lower levels are dedicated to the erotic art from cultures around the world, Africa, South America, etc, with particular attention paid to India, China and Japan. The upper floors concentrate on the history of pornography in the West. The upper most floor is dedicated to contemporary art.
I could have taken many photos but I was really only interested in recording those relevant to this blog.
The first is a statue of the goddess Shakti revealing her sacred yoni. This is a symbol of the act of creation. The second is an example of the Tantric celebration of sex. The third is a shunga that clearly depicts the relaxed attitude the pre-contact Japanese had to sex. One of the things that most shocked Westerners was that some shunga depicted children. Clearly the Japanese did not see parental sex as a private matter.
I think it is important that these museums exist. They clearly provide proof that other cultures viewed sex quite differently from the Christian West. Centuries of successful censorship has meant that the ‘average’ Westerner simply has no idea of this other world. Of course that was the intention. The authorities feared that Westerners might begin to reject the Christian view.
Whilst I have only mentioned it briefly, in Indian aesthetics, the companion of the erotic mode is humour, and that is clearly in evidence in the museum. Where the West takes sex very seriously, other cultures saw the humour in it. What else is one to make of a tribal mask with a penis nose?
- The Naked Child in Art: The New Arguments Against 116,674 view(s)
- The Lure of Aphrodite’s Mirror: Brooke Shields and Eva Ionesco 103,610 view(s)
- The Naked Child in Art: Naturist Photography 93,820 view(s)
- The Naked Child in Art: Misty Dawn 55,807 view(s)
- Abigail Bray: Adopting the Paedophiliac Gaze 48,969 view(s)
- Revisiting My Little Princess, a Film by Eva Ionesco 44,645 view(s)
- The Naked Child in Art: Photography 41,503 view(s)
- Photos 40,254 view(s)
- Eva Ionesco: My Little Princess 34,034 view(s)
- The Childhood Culture Wars: Dani Brubaker 30,702 view(s)
Abigail Bray About Ray Artemis Bill Henson Child Abuse Child Prodigy Christianity Classical Culture Dark Matter David Finklehor Eden Emma Rush Empty Taboos Eros False Certainties Gail Dines Gifted Kids Hetty Johnston Hippie Kids Intersexed Islam Japanese Culture Jock Sturges Melinda Tankard Reist Michael Carr-Gregg Moral Conservatives Naked Child In Art Navaratri Porn Psyche Radical Ideas Rock Chicks Sexology Sexualisation Sexualisation Debate Sexuality Stonefield Suzanne Ost Talented Kids Tantra The Anthropology of Sex The Childhood Culture Wars Transgender Transgression Wild Child