How do we live with desire?
Wanting, once planted in the mind, seems to grow only abundantly towards its consummation. Craving devours us, our salaciousness prevailing as we live ruled by our impulses in hot pursuit of gratification.
But, will what we want today be enough tomorrow? Do we get to bask in fulfillment or will our appetites grow and remain, forever unsatiated?
The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca wrote, “to burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.” Inspired by this, we’ve created these pages that follow to evoke the transfiguring force of yearning: simmering lust, seduction and intoxication, objects of affection, pleasure and adventure … some of this felt most acutely in the contours of its absence.
From the erotic mind against a backdrop of women’s power and progression in a post-Me Too world, to the sensual energy of Paige Powell’s Factory-era images of ‘artists eating’ and the soft power of musicians Moses Sumney and Tei Shi, our ‘Desire’ issue is a study on the human urge.
When I think of my own, those adept words of Jenny Holzer always come to mind: “Protect me from what I want.” As time passes, however, and I’ve grown into myself, I demand to know why.
Why should we seek salvation from our longing? Why the taboo? Why the proclivity for judgement of right and wrong, of sinner or saint?
Just imagine if we could recognise – no, embrace – our desire and not feel defined by it. Imagine if desire was actually the joy of being. Ravenous. Free. Unbinding.
Eros, there you go again.