La Petite Mort is a mechanised sculptural installation made for the artist’s Final Major Project titled Fetish and Transgressive Sexuality in (Post) Catstrophic Worlds. Heavily influenced by queer theory and ideas of object relations, the artist creates a performance by letting the medium speak for itself. Using raw materials assoicated with fetish play, the sculpture expresses a sense of anticipation. As the plastic bag hangs from the cage like the abandoned chrysalis, the used condom, the deflated oxygen mask, it teases at inflation, bares its engorged and slicked curves to be pressed against the metal bars enclosing it. The bag can never quite fully inflate, yet it will continue to cover itself in a black and sticky mess. This work melts the lines between sex and violence, pain and pleasure. The artist dedicates La Petite Mort to the sadomasochist, the one who lives truly free.
“La Petite Mort” (“the little death”) is an expression that means “the brief loss or weakening of consciousness” and in modern usage refers specifically to “the sensation of post orgasm as likened to death”.
The artist documents this piece with what they call “porn grade” photography. Harsh shadows and a grimy green wash is suggestive of the temporary sexual infrastructure of the city – abandoned buildings, meatpacking districts, rented basements, corner stores, shower rooms, saunas, alley ways. Like these places, the sculpture is still erotic in its absence of bodies.