Nature Photography

by Tamara Mekler

Little Death, or A Temporary Loss of Consciousness

Little Death refers to the popular French expression "la petite mort," commonly used to indicate the physical or spiritual release that comes with orgasm and the brief weakening of consciousness in one's self. Roland Barthes, for instance, connected this idea to the cathartic climax experienced in the pleasures of reading when readers momentarily lose themselves in the text, reaching a state of bliss finally free from social ideologies. The term can also be applied to a psychological moment of surrender and lack of control, in which fantasy permeates reality as a blissful dreamlike state.

As an assignment for a Digital Photography course at Stanford (ArtStudio 275), students were asked to collectively develop a theme for a group exhibition and to create artworks hinged on their creative and conceptual interpretations. I created this series of photographs for this project.

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