Cezanne Exhibition - Szépművészeti Múzeum – Fetish critique
- Prologue -
Budapest my beloved, my Film-Noir city, why are you so down? I return after six long years and I find your sons and daughters so gloomy. What happened to the great gypsy concerts on the 8th district? How is it possible that in a city of almost two million people, there's only one(!)fetish party every two months? And above all - how come it's so hard to find a place where one can smoke inside, not outside like a dog in the snow?!
Yes, I know there's an EU ban against smoking, but you see dear - only slaves obey cruel laws unquestioningly. Others adapt and find solutions, so I went hunting. First I found the "k-", a great "lakás kocsma" by the "Corvin", also found a nice café on the other side of the parliament ("Szentkirály terasz", great for breakfasts). Now about the "romkerts" – by now they are too commercial (full of kids) to be decadent, but we will always have the "Piaf", which is just as I remembered it from years ago – warm and great!
- The Exhibition -
After finding three places that respect me as a smoking & paying customer, I could also enjoy some classic culture: The Cezanne exhibition at the Szépművészeti Múzeum. Just like other big museums, there's a long line in front, but unlike other museums, here the line moves fast and in two minutes I am inside.
It is a Saturday morning and the museum's great halls echo with high-pitched voices of teenagers, who seem like they'd rather be someplace else. I check out the way people are dressed – casual, too casual for my taste. An exhibition is always a celebration – a celebration of inspiration's victory over the dullness of life, a celebration of that eternal struggle, our struggle to release ourselves from the bonds of everyday existence and become free: through beauty, through fetish, through art.
What, art isn't fetish you'll say? Of course it is. Art is the first sin and the first fetish. Actually art is more fetishistic than S&M – because sex and sexual violence are as ancient as art, and sexual violence is more necessary for the continuation of the Human Race, but art is much more widely accepted. An acceptable sin, I might say. A few colors on a piece of canvas that beguile our mind to believe it is a real image, a "thing", and so if one picture is a fetish, then an exhibition is a fetishistic celebration – so maybe we should have a dresscode for exhibitions too.
Not one man in a suit, no pair of heels higher than 7 cm. Teenagers and old folk, mothers with their virginal daughters. Now, is it true the age of consent in Hungary is 14? How barbaric! At 14 a girl should study hard, play at sports and maybe get excited over holding hands with a boy. Childhood years are precious and few. When she'll grow up she'll have enough years to be a slut.
The tickets are expensive (3600 HUF) but that is OK. Mastery always comes at a price. Doors open and close and the usher yells at us to move along, so as not to block the entrance for people who are behind. I smile – because only the powerless and the cowardly command in such a boring way.
About Cezanne – he is a thief. He stole so much from previous artists. I know this because of the curator of the show – who also brought Cezanne's ''inspirations'' (the original paintings Cezanne "borrowed" from). Indeed the curator of this exhibition is masterful – because a true master sees all, inside and out.
Cezanne himself is a Master of Impressionism. This means fragmenting the picture into color fields, so that the viewer's mind will recompile the picture anew, will see it as the painter saw it. Now, doesn't the S&M Master do the same, taking apart the submissive's sense of humiliation into mental and physical fragments? If Master does his work properly, the submissive may experience herself as new. For that, the submissive will do everything, for this "newness".
Cezanne also has a sense of humor – he has a self portrait as a donkey and one as a fat drunkard. This is another trait of a Master – not trying to show himself as immaculate, but a Human being full of flaws. Being a Master doesn't mean to be Divine or flawless, it means being very good in one specific thing – it can be painting, or S&M, or whatever. Foolish is the "Master" who allows the submissive to think of him as "perfect", for if you allow the submissive to put you on a pedestal, she will necessarily also throw you down from it. Thus, self humor is essential for a true Master.
A crowd of female teachers – although there's no more chalk in the classrooms I can smell that gray teachers' room odor – They watch me as I watch the picture called "The Card Players". They probably noticed my all-black clothes. One of them, a tall redhead, gives me the No.12 look, meaning: "marry me and on your birthdays I'll bake a cake and let you fuck me in the ass". Poor beautiful giraffe-girl, in a land of midget men… and I don't intend on marrying, or even fucking, a vanilla.
Oh, at last, a good-looking couple! Both of them tall, him in a suit, she's in a dress and heels, together they're admiring a picture. Now I know walking through an exhibition on 12cm. heels is painful, but a man cannot promise his woman an easy life. A woman's life cannot be easy, honestly, but a Master can give a good life to a good submissive – and I saw that man giving his woman a good life – taking her to Budapest's best art-show, on a snowy Saturday morning.
At the end of the exhibition, some of Cezanne's later works are truly amazing, especially the very bright "Mount Sainte Victoire", an accomplished work with gentle brushstrokes, very precise and yes – only a beginner "Dom" will brutally lash the poor submissive. The true Master will know exactly how, when and how much. Actually, lashes are not a punishment, are they? Truth is that the submissive should behave very well, if she wants her Master's whip. Only a fool will lash freely when the submissive behaves badly, for if he does, all that she will learn is that if she behaves badly, she will get a prize.
Ah, the fetish of canvas and paint, of Voyeurism. The painter is but a voyeur and his work is intended for other voyeurs. Poor Cezanne, never bothered to learn how to draw hands accurately. It is said hands are the hardest to draw, harder than faces, bodies or sceneries. Even a true Master has limits. My own limit is blood – I could never bring myself to draw blood from a submissive, no matter how much she asked for it.
- Epilogue -
At the very end I see her, a true submissive in a crowd of vanillas, but I also sense that she only thinks of herself as a "good modest woman", and that's all she really wants to be - just like most of Budapest's women. I need much more than a good modest woman (or maybe much less), so I go to collect my storm coat and then I go back to Hősök tere, to have another smoke with old Arpad. Ah, Árpád vezér, how many beautiful women you surely tied to your tent-pole!
(Szépművészeti Múzeum,"CÉZANNE AND THE PAST", open until 17 February 2013)