We are used to believe that through love we can get close to the inmost base of life. Nevertheless, having become a key subject of culture, love has acquired certain cultural patterns in return. This is a theme of the famous book by Roland Barthes "A Lover's Discourse: Fragments", but long before Barthes Francois de La Rochefoucauld noticed: "Many would have never fallen in love unless they heard of it before". To put it in other words, to some extent love is always a love for love itself, as it's a belonging to a certain tradition of love experience and expression that is valuable as well. Therefore it would be wrong to put love only in the intimate sphere: love is always a representation, it's always a play performed on a scene. Let's not forget it's the chivalric cult of the Belle dame, with its idea of courtly love, that underlies European concept of love, and the true nature of courtly love flourishes mainly in imagination, not in reality. According to Jacques Lacan, courtly love techniques are kept and develop within the idea of the "pleasure to desire", which turns it into a sort of ascetic practice where ethical function of eroticism is maximally expressed. Lacan has also made another important observation: an ability to speak leaves a subject without any chances for direct access to sexual. It is the language that works as an agent between two lovers forcing them to express their affections instead of merely showing them. Therefore, it's not only we control the language to make our love confessions, but language controls us, dictating certain rules and phrases to be used for expression of the feelings.
Núria Güell. "Ayuda Humanitaria", 2008–2013 (19 Letters. Courtesy of the artist and ADN Gallery, Barcelona);
Eli Cortiñas. "Confessions with an open curtain", 2011 (Single channel video, 5:25 min. Courtesy of the artist, Soy Capitán, Berlin and Waldburger Wouters, Brussels);
Tracey Moffatt. "Love" (Edited by Gary Hillberg), 2003 (Found footage montage on video and DVD, 20:51 min. Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 gallery, Sydney);
Mariateresa Sartori. "In Sol Maggiore/ In Sol Minore", 2013 (Video, 5:48 min. Courtesy of the artist);
Anita Sieff. "Missed II", 1995 (Film, 16 mm, 10 min. Courtesy of the artist);
Andy Warhol. "Kiss", 1963-64 (Film, 54 min. Collection of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.)