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The Longest Night
The French philosopher and literary revolutionary George Bataille once stated, 'Life has always taken place in a tumult without apparent cohesion, but it only finds its grandeur and its reality in ecstasy and ecstatic love.' Rodick unveils our primal urges in his courageous and profound exploration of the intimacies of Eros within the context of taboo, at once sacred and forbidden. As Rodick unravels image after image, appropriated from existing video stills and other sources, he laboriously and meticulously reworks each photograph, imbuing the work with a multiplicity of depth and lushness. Utilizing traditional and historic photographic processes, gelatin silver printing and iron and copper toning, a delicate 19th century romantic aesthetic is created, seducing the viewer into an intense and trancelike introspection of both self and other and the boundaries where they unite and divide.
As we gaze into the eyes of the many portraits, from both the Arena series and the new works on display for the first time, we witness a surrender to the sensation of ecstatic vision; a glimpse of the journey of the psyche as it ascends to a more exalted state of spiritual and physical oneness, realized through the absolute and sometimes violent orgasmic release of the body. The titles of the pieces become a kind of signpost and a guide: Love, In Pain There Burns A Secret Joy, ...and on the 8th day, laughter. Eroticism is restored to its original portrayal in antiquity, equated with cosmic force and divinity. Rodick takes us by the hand through this dense, dark labyrinth of many paradoxes—pain and joy, violence and release, laughter and tenderness, power and pleasure, masculine and feminine—as we can be ultimately liberated through participation in this visceral metamorphosis.
Excerpted from media release for The Longest Night, exhibition at Deborah Colton Gallery, 2007, and curated by Marcia Mercadante.
The longest night has twenty faces
©Frank Rodick 2012