The History of My Pleasure by Carmen Winant

Carmen Winant, The History of My Pleasure, 2019, seven found images with steel and stainless steel chain, 26" × 23" (66 cm × 58.4 cm), overall, signed in ink on label applied verso to bottom image Carmen Winant, Courtesy Fortnight Institute


A Closer Look

Carmen Winant: The History of My Pleasure

“This work is a study in precarity and pressure. It is from a larger body of mobiles that work to transmute women's pleasure—that impossible, non-visual field of experience—into pictures. For a long time, in different ways, I have been attuned to the meaningful relationship between women's pleasure and women's power; this mobile helps me actualize that relationship, and its potential. We need know our capacities to act upon the world.”—Carmen Winant

A History of My Pleasure. Her pleasure, yours and mine. Each form shaped from steel; rectangles and squares, a network of chains, found images affixed to surfaces as the mobile softly floats over the wall. The selected images are an attempt at depicting women’s pleasure, they work to describe a feeling, “that impossible, non-visual field of experience.”

The images in this work contain histories, past and present, experiences and memories forgotten and remembered. What do these image reliquaries hold? Pleasure in its many forms. A hand that pressures into clay, I close my eyes, our bodies remember. Laying on the grass, midriff revealed, grass blades caressing skin, fabric masking her face, suffocation, I close my eyes, our bodies remember. The profile view of a face with a veil of light, lips about to kiss another’s, I close my eyes, our bodies remember. A woman sitting on the edge of a long wooden plank, legs open, hugging its width, her shadow cast on the water, a breeze brushes through hair, grazing the neck making the hair on your arm raise, I close my eyes, our bodies remember.

  • Essays — A Closer Look: Carmen Winant, Apr 23, 2020