Leda and the Swan (pool toy; plastic pornography)

Lisa Birke

2013, 10:00 minutes, colour

TAPECODE 1051.11

In “Leda and the Swan” Leda is seen floating languidly through a sequence of idyllic river scenes on a large inflatable plastic pool swan. We are lulled by the gentle gliding of our heroine through the water on her steed as she drifts by in a variety of positions. Single frames flash in repeated sequence onto the screen separating the scenes: the suggestive flutter of orgasm. The climax of action is ironically represented in momentary still images set between lengthy scenes of virtual inaction.

Historically, the myth of Leda and the swan (Zeus in disguise) was an opportunity for artists to represent the female figure in ‘metaphoric’ copulation with a ‘long necked’ swan—seen as less suggestive and troubling than a man/woman coupling. In this version, the dead-pan, matter-of-factness of the copulation of a woman with gigantic plastic swan points to an often ridiculous and obsessive love affair with femininity that is plasticized and pornographic. In the final scene of “Leda and the Swan”, Leda and the swan deflate until they are flaccid, collapsed into each other and almost fully submerged in the water. Two large white eggs float away from the pair in the river’s current and the loop begins again.

*Part of the 6 channel installation
Pictures in an Exhibition (1051.13).

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