On all those adverts (billboards, tv, where them young folks are having just So Much Fun…)
This image references vitality and excitement – life taken, fully and exuberantly. One is high, in the moment,. For the secular, it seems , this is a modern form of canonisation. For both women and men the look is about confidence’; of being carefree – even, to a calculated degree, wild. The presentation brims with energy and the eyes must be bright and directly address the viewer. Unlike the old story though, the new window to the soul is the mouth. Larger than life, actively wide open, more than laughing, its aperture and vigour are comported to connote a heady mix of pleasure, victory and abandon – the defining characteristics of todays successful identity? I am positive, enlivened, having a good time imperturbably, I am right at home in my own skin.
If the pitch is tuned, it is a kind of rapture that is being expressed. More than smug – yet self-satisfaction is an essential element – this unisex pin-up is qualitatively apart from any previous version of positive self-regard. Rapture is the peak experience; the exhilaration of being on the big-dipper captured in its live and uninhibited nowness. Pagan, for the reflexive strategiser it is a magical alchemy where one’s capacity to consummate satisfaction with stimulation is there to be publicly witnessed. Me, here, now and triumphant.
Rapture by Mark Furlong in Arena 109