Aphrodite Reawakened, 2018
These photographs originated in an attempt to recreate the pose of the Greek antiquity, Sleeping Aphrodite, one copy of which I recently visited at the Louvre Museum and another, which I saw at the Uffizi. The twisted position of this body, which appears to be a female reclining figure when seen from the back and reveals that the body also has a penis, when viewed from the front, was impossible for me to achieve. The story behind this antiquity is one of unrequited love. The plaque at the Louvre dates their copy to 500-30 BC. The story of the Sleeping Aphrodite is that Hermaphroditus, son of Hermes and Aphrodite, rejected the advances of the nymph Salmacis. Despondent, she appealed to Zeus, who agreed to her wish to merge her body with that of Hermaphroditus into a single being of both genders. This is nearly the diametric opposite outcome to that of Echo’s unanswered love of Narcissus; she was doomed to be unheard or seen by the self-enraputured Narcissus for eternity.