|text by Karin Koschell january 2006|
In the number of their emblems our society has that of the talking sex. The sex which is taken by surprise, which is examined by us and which, forced and talkative at the same time, incessantly answers.
A certain mechanism which is so fabulous that it makes itself invisible, has caught it some day. In a game in which the lust interferes with the involuntary desire, the agreement with the inquisition, it says the truth about itself and the others.
We do live in the empire of prince Mangogul¹:
Booty of an immense courage of sexuality bent on to question it, insatiable to hear it talking, skilful in inventing all of its magical rings, which are able to subdue its discretion.
As if it would be essential for us to get from this tiny piece of ourselves not only lust but also knowledge, and a subtle game that goes from one to another: knowledge of the lust, lust, the desire to know, lust-knowledge; and as if this queer animal which we accommodate, has enough of a curious ear, a watchful eye, such a quick tongue and such a clever mind, that it knows much of these things and is also able to say it, provided that we irritate it in an a little bit skilful way.
Michel Foucault, the Will to Knowledge, Sexuality and Truth 1, suhrkamp, 1983, p 97
If we ignore that above all man is a bad animal, we could mention some - only inherent in man - downright laudable attributes, too. For example the quasi dogged mania for perception and knowledge respectively the increase of knowledge. As far as we know, no other creature on this planet drudges - and that often the whole life - with reflections dealing with theories of cognition, not to mention that no other one invents terms which exceed its own mental horizon, its own experience (e.g. metaphysics, religious ideas and so on).
With which there is the question, on condition that we go confirm with this ideas, what a motive, what an impulse we have for such a restless and - from the beginning - hopeless search? Depending on our philosophical, political, ideological orientation we attach importance to different things, what seems to be important for one person, may be irrelevant for the other.
The author is thoroughly convinced that sexuality is one of the most decisive impulses for the desire to get cognition and knowledge in general. With this opinion the author is not alone, of course. Nevertheless it seems that it can not to be answered what sexuality really is.
In accordance with the pyramid of needs of Maslow² there can be indeed set up hierarchies of needs. Until the primary needs are not appeased there will be no great effort in desiring an increase of cognition. What is not valid for each person, because the picture of the totally impoverished artist or scientist in reduced circumstances tells us another truth, and this is bitter reality for many persons.
Fact is that sexuality is one of the most important primary needs we have; otherwise we could not explain the strange behaviour of men by pairing.
We could also ask the question in the sense of Foucault, why sex has still remained so secret, adhered with so many taboos - depending on the culture, and what a kind of power it is which silenced sex for such a long time and which relaxes not before now, a power which maybe allows us to ask sex, but never allows us to go this way without the suppression of sex, to speak with Foucault's words.
And, of course, the ruling and powerful were all the time endeavoured to guide such individual, dark and uncontrollable power in courses they want to have. What ever was done to liberate sexuality, there were launched immediately counter-measures in the form of prohibitions, taboos and more of cruelties against the human dignity, sexuality is degraded as animally and persons who are doing unwanted sexual behaviour, are often punished most cruelly. Each instrument seems to be adequate and justified.
Sexual energies are seen as subversive or they are vice versa used as mechanism to oppress.
Hurennoise tries to transpose all this aspects. Sexuality as something that should be felt with all senses. As something that can impossibly be explained in all aspects, which is irritating, which is not adaptive, which is satisfied in the way that social norms, the learned stuff, or better all is negated, on the whole every demanded system conform behaviour is disregarded. Or not. Who would presume to describe with words a succeeded act?
One decisive point which hurennoise wants to disassemble (and during the performance also realiter demolishes) is the intercourse of the powerful with media. Media are seen as mechanisms of control to preserve power, and as an instrument of transport for unfulfilling behaviours and externals, which are demanded as absolute premise of the momentary "human being".
But why is this trash - against better knowledge - subject to us? Man as a social being tries to survive within the system, of course, and becomes so an extern determined being, totally banal things can influence his/her life then. Over-subtle formulated the choice of the adequate toilet paper may get existential importance because needs are often awoken up to such a level.
In addition to that sexual stimulation is used - mostly very plump and limited to primary sexual stimuli, at the same time the adequate reaction is forbidden and put under taboo to reach the state of oppression. That would be in fact legitimate if the consumers had also other possibilities of choice, of coming to their own decisions. One result is that we live in a paradox situation. On the one hand - mostly via media - unfulfilling desires are produced, an ideal typos is imparted as unalterable, more exactly, the consumer allows - after a time voluntary - that a bombardment of restraints and regulations of behaviour is exerted by media. On the other hand these regulations produce extreme dislike, because they are limited to externals. These feelings of dislike have to be opposed then. One restraint leads to the next one - the so conditioned man does not recognize any more what the fulfilling of these propagated things is, a compensation, stale pleasures giving ease only for a short moment, but having the intention within to be repeated and increased.
Sexuality - seen in this way - as a powerful instrument to rule men.
What is transported via media which are controlled by the rulers, should create the ideal man for the rulers. Sexuality in this context as an instrument which shall forestall reflection.
Critics on media are also done by hurennoise in this sense that "intimate" mechanisms are used; exactly some of these mechanisms are used in a way which has to irritate the listeners/spectators.
At the same time hurennoise is experimenting with new medial accesses. Floods of stimuli, over doings of noise, sequences totally negating the human capacity coupled which pictures which don't evenly want to produce concrete thinking patterns for that very reason mentioned above, but it shall be produced particular reactions by the audience, a creative act done of their own. Aggressive use of sexuality, so it shall be perceived, the use of sexuality in the controlled media is indeed not less aggressive, only because ideal typos in a way easy to get for the consumers are propagated, on the contrary critical checking shall be eliminated in this way.
The instrument of over doings is done by hurennoise so massively that it becomes clear what is rejected: That on the one hand consumers are voluntary spending much time on getting this hollow information - a game without an end - and that on the other hand a circulation is continued just through that.
The perfect control, the controlled becomes to the controller.
It is owing to Freud that sexuality becomes a scientific theme; he underlines its importance and attacks taboos dealing with sexuality. All who described sexuality after Freud, be indebted him for bringing sexuality out of its "dirty being" to a scientific level where it can be accepted easier.
The former generally valid access to sexuality, the command of the Christian asceticism, sundry incest prohibitions, the denying of the filial sexuality and more, is not regarded as a priori true. Nevertheless it changes overmuch.
We should think of the burnings of books in the fifties of the twentieth century (sic!) in the free America. All the books of W. Reich disappeared in burning facilities, before that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) forbade him the selling of his "orgon- accumulators" (devices to treat physical and psychological blockades). He did not obey a judicial decree in 1957, was sent to prison and died a few months later, probably of a heart-attack. And that in America, the state of the infinite pornography industry, and at the same time with the maddest sanctions against the sexual behaviour of its citizens.
And the rest of the world in the meantime stamped of this truly horrible understanding of sexuality. Wilhelm Reich is only mentioned as one bitter example of many, because hurennoise is also dealing with the subject of oppression and (medial and state-) mechanisms of oppression. And with the necessity to have to sell his/her soul to survive in the system. The term "prostitution" is accordingly used in the farthest sense. Wilhelm Reich did not allow that they oppressed him, and he did not sell his ideals. So the list of his criminal activities is long.
He was Jewish and he was a deeply political man. He was Marxist, a short time socialist and after that much more subversive in his political view, because he developed his own political ideology (democracy of work) comparable with Chesterton's guild socialism, the anarchical concept of Kropotkin and the libertarian Marxism. He talked in fact about sexuality; a few chapters of his books are dealing with the orgasm for example. He was indeed obsessed of his theory that everything is penetrated of a biological energy, orgon, and by propagating it so massively, he made the established scientific opinion dubious. He also tried to work together with appreciated scientists (e.g. Einstein), but without success. He was already an expelled from the scientific pantheon, a heretic who has to be avoided not to be overtaken by the same fate. If he thought it would be advisable he offered resistance against all agencies which crossed his way, or if in his opinion state organs oppressed the rights of the citizens. So he did with the American Medical Association, because of his persisting that every suffering is caused by psychosomatic or political things blockading all energy flows of men. And so he did with the FDA by ignoring the prohibitions of its agents.
This culminated in the demolition of his lab in 1957, and that in 1960 his books were burnt - now for the second time, the first time the Nazis destroyed all of his work twenty years ago, and as he ignored a judicial decree he was sent to prison. His collaborator committed suicide, Reich himself died a few months later in jail. We even do not know the exact cause of his death, because for heretic there is no dignity at all, even after death they are scorned. Nobody would set such a high standard by fighting for his/her rights. And nobody would demand such an obsessive acting. How far somebody is able to go or wants to go has to be decided of his/her own. Not all instruments of resistance are so immense, but we can indeed strew sand in the wheels of the machineries of oppression.
And above all we should be watchful; watchful against the things which we are taught to see as normal, against all established things in general. The propaganda against Reich was leaded by the scientific fundamentalist of his time, Martin Gardner, who had an infallible method to find out what real and true science is. True science is the one which is corresponding with Gardner's own idols; pseudoscience is the one which is not corresponding. Colin Wilson wrote about Gardner: "I wished I could be so secure of anything in this world in the same way how Mister Gardner is secure." Another opinion says that not even the popes of the twentieth century together had had the courage to propound so many dogmas, and no man since Oliver Cromwell had had such an unrestricted belief in his infallibility. One more instrument to denunciate a person who has incurred the displeasure of the powerful, is to assert that the unwished behaviour is abnormal, psychotic, schizophrenic, or what ever; the concerned persons are kept in appropriate institutions. The existence of the heretical is erased, because even the simplest rights of a citizen are kept from the man then.
And the books of Reich had also to be destroyed because they concede not only the political freedom of the readers but also give techniques to relax our blockades (also sexual ones). With the burning of Reich’s books and with the extinction of his existence respectively his lab the American citizens should be protected from the moral decay. God bless America! Who does not put up resistance to such a cruel madness, does not nearly merit (sic!) to live in freedom.
The actions of hurennoise want to break through these rigid schemata of oppression, they shall stimulate to think about his/her own understanding of sexuality, because nobody should be forced to have to talk about sexuality or not, to overtake the allowed and desirable sexual practises respectively to avoid other ones - depending on the ideological attitude - or in the worst case to try to correspond to the hollow, permanently grinning creatures which are put in media as thought controlling marionettes to produce the desirable behaviour of the mass. So it is to be understood when symbols of the medial power are destroyed during the performance. Voice is not set in pleasingly to accompany the other elements of the performance, but as an instrument of resistance. Resistance against the enormous medial refuse which is permanently discharging into us.
Against the lack of freedom to decide of his/her own about his/her life and sexual behaviour. (That it has to deal only with behaviour which does not do any harm to other creatures that's understood!) Against medial plutocracy and against medial uniformity.
Against medial abuse of power and against abusing sexuality as an instrument. It should also be shown that everybody is responsible for that how far this all, acting contrary to it, devouring medial moloch is supported by him/her. Not to criticise it, to let it happen, is only useful for the plutocrats. So you should understand hurennoise. The essence of the performance is to see as the effort for making sexuality and mechanisms of power more comprehensible to be able to handle them more consciously.
And to refuse strictly the prostitution of preservers of the system, and to fight against the "scapegoat strategy" of media, because the "scapegoat ceremonial" is the prototype of all expelling rituals. In 1st century AD in Greece (Boötia) a few scapegoats were chased away the village in a purely ritual way, attested by Plutarch. This principle of "sacrifice" still seems to be socially immanent, with the cruel addition that in the meantime the professional exorcising and sacrificing persons are doing real sacrifices on the medial altar. Greek people indeed knew of the meaning of their scapegoat (pharmakos), for them it was enough to avert mischief. But that is already since a long time not enough for the media moguls of today. Nobody is chased away, but all sacrificed to the one: conformity. Resistance seems to be senseless, because like the heads of the hydra the heads of the medial mogul machinery are doubling by cutting off. Nevertheless Heracles succeeded to defeat Hydra, so we can also still hope to be victorious over the medial monsters.
Because, who is not fighting against predominance of media, is also determining with that the social climate. Everybody has to decide if he/she wants to work together with the powerful or if he/she chooses the way of resistance. To lament without trying respectively not making the littlest contribution can not be accepted. Social responsibility is also meaning to face up to the mass if we think that is right.
So the arrangement of the performance fits in the concept of resistance. Also the outfit of the artists which shall irritate wants to underline that. And it wants to show and to condemn the aggressive degradation of sexuality in media. The symbolic destroying of medial instruments of power should be seen as a clear-cut (and not new) message "to destroy that what you destroy". The attempt to tear the listeners/spectators out of the normal listening/watching habits with all available possibilities is another important aspect of hurennoise/i>. The audience should be irritated or at least animated to have reflecting thoughts. Not at all the old schemata of reason and effect shall be relevant, because they seduce to remain in old, anachronistic ways. (Causality has sure enough served its time since the conquest of the Newton's idea of the world, but it is sold as truth if it is useful. In this sense hurennoise also as challenge to utilarismn.) But we should leave the old ways and follow new medial courses; that is one more intention of hurennoise.
At least this readiness is demanded of the audience, and then everybody may decide self-confidently, which medial course he/she wants to follow.
¹ Foucault refers to the first novel of D. Diderot, an erotic and subversive allegory of Ludwig XV, the dissolute life at the court of Versailles and its retinues. Les Bijoux indiscrets [the indiscreet jewels], first published in 1748 anonymously, was a hit at its time, no wonder, it comes to the point what most want to read, sex, nobility and human presumption respectively the critic on that. So Ludwig XV becomes sultan Mangogul of Congo, for whose amusement a magical ring is made by his magician that makes women's genitals ('jewels') talk. The sultan's high-principled favourite, Mirzoza (Madame de Pompadour), disapproves of his prurient curiosity; she - correctly - foresees that such an indiscretion wrecks marriages and institutions. Foucault uses the ring as an allegory for the speechlessness of sexuality, and in his opinion man is always looking for such an object which makes sexuality talk. We do not only want to experience sexuality, but also want that sexuality communicates with us. We want to understand what happens with us and our sexuality. Taboos and prohibitions seem to have avoided that sex is rationally talking to us.
² The pyramid of needs (1954) is a model developed by Abraham H. Maslow to describe the motives of men. The steps of the pyramid represent the human needs and according to this one-dimensional theory they build up one after another.
³ Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) counts to the first psychoanalytic who sat with his patients face to face. The intention of his vegeto-therapy is the recovery of bio-energy, orgon, and the upholding of the equivalent energy-flows in the human body.