Friday, October 13, 2006

Still Life

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it: the ghostly green of Adriaen Coorte’s “Still Life With Asparagus” (1697). Apparently, it shows his “predilection for sexual symbolism” (always the phallus, yes?) It’s more than that, though: the asparagus has aphrodisiac qualities. Its nutrients (it is said) promote sexual well-being, and, since you can eat the little phallus with the fingers, your eating experience is particularly sensual.

What do we make, then, of the little sad, limp, loose one? And the fact that the rest are so tightly bound? And the fact that it makes me want asparagus? (I mean that in a literal sense, really. I like asparagus.)

I also think of the asparagus scene from Election with Tammy and Lisa and their little cups of urine and their laughter and half-love.


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