Is it Venus brought forth by the sea ? Or Venus gazing at her reflection in a mirror ? It is Phryne, the courtesan of Ancient Greece, model to sculptor Praxiteles for his statues of Aphrodite – bared before him and her judges to her naked beauty. Now she is with the “Lovers of the St John Night” rising from their very fire : she edgewise opens to another field of sculpture that wells up an extended gravity in her, and, from the depths of such gravity, she seems to haul life in; she seems to materialize from the origin of the world, from a paradise forever unreachable, from the very happiness of lovers whence she was conceived; she, forever the harbour for traces and virtues of such happiness; she, forever the harbour for the longing to experience such sweetness herself; she, in the lover’s nakedness, in the nakedness of the a-newly born.
(Translated by Michèle Bustros)