Petra Van Brabandt [BE]

To Heat By Melting


What do Cabanel’s Birth of Venus, Klein’s Anthropometry, and Kusama’s Self-Obliteration have in common? What connects Picasso’s Woman Peeing and Marlene Dumas’ watercolours? According to philosopher Petra Van Brabandt, these artworks deploy a wet aesthetic, which is realized through the perceptual interaction with wetness. This produces a strong erotic resonance and produces visceral effects in the viewer’s body. Queer pornographic art has radicalized this wet aesthetic by realizing its visceral, motoric, and tactile potential in a liquefying, emancipatory, and sex-positive project.