Introduction—Desiring Sculptures, Encountering the Past: Sculpture, Sexuality and History
This introductory chapter argues that the pastness of sculptural objects is fundamental to the erotic and sexual qualities associated with sculpture. It shows that the erotics of sculpture are intimately connected with considerations around uses of the past and understandings of history. These points are developed through an exploration of three intersecting themes. The first section explores the desire for the living or moving statue and argues that this persistent cultural motif is tied to an engagement with the past and a negotiation of the boundaries between past and present. The second section investigates how the reception of statuary has been connected with concerns about obscenity, censorship, liberation and morality. The final section focuses on sculpture’s queer potential.