Thursday, June 08, 2006
From the Monster Series (1990's) another example where the filmic and the photographic were combined to create a gallery piece of strong kinetic intensity. In these works Sternime explores his almost pathological unease with sexuality. He claimed that the feelings associated with sex would nearly overcome him. He likened those emotions to "having feelings of motherly love and comfort suddenly torn asunder when your mother turns and decides to devour you whole". Sexuality for Sternime was a nexus of comfort, coersion, and cannabilism.
He admits to having watched several horror B-movies with his mother as a young child. Sternime's mother Gloria was an independant minded single mother who never married and had a series of men revolve through their lives. Little Sternime would often find himself at the drive-in movies with his Mother and her date. After being lovingly tucked in to sleep he would recall often waking during his sleep to the shrilling screems of the movie. He wasn't sure at the time whether he was dreaming but would be startled to find that in addition to seeing and hearing someone being hacked and slashed to death on screen he would peek open his eyes to see what appeared to be his mother "savagely and with hungry desire cannabalizing this poor man who was lying on his back and writhing in pain".
The stylized representation of the act of fellatio plays prominently in many of his films and display pieces. He considered it to be "at once the most giving and most debilitating act that one can perform on a lover. It is an association between two people that requires the greatest of intimacy because it prioritizes the the need for trust over and above the fear of being castrated". The fear of cannabilistic castration seems to have won out for Sternime since the fellators represented in his works tend more often to be depicted as monstrous.