Sexual Love Has Been Condemned to be a Barely Bearable Burden but still is Bravely Desired Against the Spirit of God’s Punishment


Constantin Brancusi, “Adam and Eve” (1921)

God-father’s revengeful punishment of Adam for sexual transgression with Eve was not only banishment from Eden but letting Adam be “naturally” over-burdened by his “choice” of sexual pleasure – “Let your sin be your punishment!” It is like making money-making be a punishment for the money-glutton, or making gun to be a punishment for the gun enthusiast. To suffer for having a sexual need – to be taxed for it with being the head of the family or/and becoming sexually repressed (and as a result psychologically castrated and socially conformist) is part of the dusty destiny of every man. God-father is smart – he, probably, remembers himself as a young. May be, by punishing Adam for preferring his sexual nature to Father’s will, God was punishing Himself for sexual adventures/escapades of his own pesky past.

Of course, all of this sounds quite frivolous. Family life is not a punishment. It is a responsibility crowned with mature love. But the point here is that sexuality is never completely balanced with love – there is a biological gap in creation between sexuality and love. The metaphor of sexual punishment is growing from this gap which human beings didn’t learn yet how to handle.

The majority of people who “visit” earthly life through the trip of conception and birth, go through this ordeal of being punished for identifying with his sexual need (having sometimes crippling sexual repressions or a fiefdom-like obligation to carry a family on his back) whole life, and only democratic innovations were able to alleviate a little this burden by divorce and financialization of marital and fatherly obligations.

Brancusi’s sculpture is quite an elaborate depiction of a particular aspect of God’s punishment for the transgression of having a sexual need – the tormenting necessity not only to care about a wife and her wellbeing but about preventing and precluding her “idle” acts of infidelity: to courageously carry on our backs and necks all the burdens and hassles inevitable in any amorous togetherness. Carrying Eve on his Back and head is Brancusi’s basic metaphor of the destiny of the post-condemned Adam in the world, humorous no doubt, but still insulting for too many people.

According to the sculpture, Eve is taller than Adam, not taller, of course, but having more elements to care about. Eve is, obviously, more important for Adam than he himself – isn’t it the classic definition of love?

If we consider the base of the statue as really the base – not symbolizable part of the sculpture, Adam’s figure has only about four elements while Eve’s has at least six. Why to be surprised? The amorous object is much worthier, more marked by amorous subject’s attention and more elaborate than he is himself. Adam consists of legs – moving and shaky under the heaviness of Eve’s precious body, ribs, arms and hands, and the lower part of head (upper part of his head is not separable from Eve’s torso and backside – quite a nasty exaggeration on the part of Brancusi). But Eve consists of a wooden box (signifying her whole body beneath her breasts), breasts (full, round, shiny and irresistible), neck (men like women to have a long swan-like neck), the magic of lips, pretty face (which reflects man’s admiring gaze) and the hairdo (abundant hair completes woman’s femininity).

Poor Adam! But also – lucky Adam! – Rich with Eve’s solid beauty and heavy ethereality! As soon as she is on his back and head she is really close to him and his love needs. And her nearby-ness is more important than anything else for the historical survival of Adam and Eve and the destiny of human Procrustean procreation.