Sunday, May 29, 2011

Art?: The Venus

In the mid 1800’s, some asshole archeologist found an ivory statue of a nude females torso from the Paleolithic period. He named his discovery the "Immodest Venus", and it was the first of over 100 female figurines archeologist have unearthed from all over Europe. Figures made in one area have been found across thousands of miles, through different regions, and groups of people.  And because they all depict women, and they all are generically labeled “Venus Figures”, they were all lumped together and thought to be mobile porn for the hordes of nomadic prehistoric men while on great mammoth hunts. Such bullshit. First off Prehistoric nomadic groups hunted with nets, there is no way some dudes with spears can take down a fucking mammoth. It would take a whole clan or tribe, men and women, young and old, working together to hunt. But dumb ass historians love this image of primeval monkey men hooting and hollering, waving spears, and jerking off to carved figurines of tits and vulva's. They also thought humans during this period couldn’t have hunted with nets because weaving hadn’t been invented yet, even though the evidence was right in front of them, behold! You know all those “Venus” figures that everyone was so into because of the tits and ass, well many of those statues were wearing weaved adornments and no one even noticed! Fucking Idiots! One of these even wears a skirt of twisted strings, which was a known symbol of fertility in later eras of human history.

I must also point out that all of these figures are different and these differences seem to be portraying the stages of life or fertility. There are figures that are obviously pregnant and in VARIOUS stages of the reproductive cycle: non-pregnant as well as women in the various stages of pregnancy, then there are the ones who are prepubescent, and finally there are the ones who seem to be portraying either completely abstracted emphasis on a woman’s reproductive aspects, or merely a woman who does not fit the "perfect" body type. So… were these sculptures more logically used as form of ritualistic story telling then perhaps…. masturbation?  Maybe to illustrate the cycles of a woman’s life, in relation to fertility or perhaps they were used in female initiation rites.  Maybe that would explain those figures with possible fertility skirts and why “Venus” figures usually show traces of red ochre pigment, symbolizing menstrual blood. I am just so sick of the assumption that ancient societies were all  patriarchal. I think it is narrowed minded and sexist. Most tribal societies are not patriarchal, and most cultures identify with a supreme female persona, the Great Mother. Perhaps these figures are a personified earth mother, changing like the seasons and were used for worship as well as magic. They do show their widest distribution precisely at a time when environmental and ecological conditions would have been the most unpredictable and unstable.  During such a period, mother worship or earth worship may have been very important. 

This brings me to, in my opinion, the coolest example of these statuettes…
It is actually the oldest example of pottery in the world.  She is called the Black Venus.  The kiln used to make her was also found, which was littered with thousands of pieces of baked broken clay.  The Venus as well as other broken figures shows that wet pottery was placed in the hottest part of the fire, deliberately causing them to explode, perhaps by a Paleolithic shaman, who used these images of beasts and women in hunting and fertility rites. 

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