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Michael Curran
Venus must hide herself in a vast fur lest she catch cold in our abstract northern climate.

Let us make a pilgrimage to visit Rubens' painting of his wife Helene in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna: a beautiful woman naked beneath her dark furs.
Imagine yourself caught on surveillance camera in the guise of Sacher-Masoch's Severin, her bare foot resting nonchalantly on your back. Think about how the painting is frozen in time as an artefact of the museum process. The incursion presented in Das Pelzchen fractures time for a second, puts a stop on your heart. It reminds us of the activity and agency of a still image. It gives it life. A strange shattering of time occurs, a point of overlap between the words of Sacher-Masoch, the love of Rubens, and a point in the now. In Love in a Cold Climate a museologist, speaking of Inuit artefacts, declares:

'To give them life you have to give them movement. Movement, like light, we need to control, to make sure that the objects stay with us.' So the invasion into the museum enacted in Das Pelzchen, parodies the conundrum of care, the death riddle of love. You can only preserve the object by freezing it, by stopping the second hand of time. In seeking to possess the love object you risk its loss.

Still from Das Pelzchen by Michael Curran, 1997
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