"Motel Rooms" (Colonial Comfort)
Curated Show, Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts, St Croix, V.I., 9/2014
Among all colonized cultures there is a strange resemblance with sex and politics. The more conservative the culture is, the more sex is taboo. Lust and fetishism are hidden under the skirt of intimacy. The lusty behavior and thoughts are often repressed. In a hidden spot or a secret place or in a certain hour with a certain light there is a precise moment in which those feeling are released. Sometimes sex is good, sometimes it turns violent. Everything depends on how spectacular the environment is. If it looks good and comfortable, if everything is well designed, at least 75% of the conditional approval is reached.
A lot has been written about the use of sex as a weapon or as a way of control in conservative spheres of society in which sex becomes violent. Also, the oppressor assumes violence a price to pay in order to reach some kind of comfort, to experience something new, and reach the expected climax. Usually, that is the rule, and it always ends on depression under the oppression.
In the “Motel Rooms” series, the motel room is as metaphor for a colonized environment. The relationship between “love” and “lust” (the bed and the “Love Machine”) resemble the relationship of a good colony and the empire. In the Caribbean there are great colonies (not going to mention any). Much of them look like paradise. Palm trees and beautiful beaches, great weather, nice people, superb food are a few of the details that persuade us to think, that we have reached 75% of the conditional approval. We are comfortable enough.
But the price we pay for that comfort is represented by the “Love Machine”. Totally awkward and at the same time familiar. Its analytical and obstetric design makes it clear, that you have to work in order to reach pleasure. And the pleasure is not guaranteed, as the lack of practice, courage and experience won’t let you easily reach a climax in such a mechanical environment. But there is no time for practice - the “Love Machine” cannot always be conquered.
You just want to fulfill a desire. But when you think you’re close to your goal, the “Love Machine” turns out to be too uncomfortable. That is when depression arises and oppression begins. Violently, guilt turns into weakness. A quick end. That sums up, what the remaining 25% of our debate consist of: politics.
At the end we abandon the “Love Machine”, turn to the bed, and dream with geishas and zebras.