The Kiss and World Peace
One of the first recorded kisses in human history is that of Judas Iscariot who kissed the unfortunate Jesus in order to hand him over to the Roman authorities. This is really very bad PR for a kiss. Despite this, can the kiss bring world peace? This, is in reference to the full-breasted ambition of beauty queens since the beginning of history.
A kiss - an intimate act which is so small and so charged. Art is full of documentation of kisses and probably not by accident. Unlike a reflex, the kiss is a proactive act whose roots are controversial and whose future is clouded. These days the kiss is accepted by many around the world as an action related to love, exposure, romance, openness, hope, excitement, giving and of course consent - for historical, cultural and viral reasons. But other forces push the kiss to the rejected margins of dark societies.
If the kiss is so full of good things and spreads love, why is it forbidden in public places in so many countries. What harm does a kiss do? How can a kiss desecrate the soul of the participants? of the witnesses? As young as they are? What moral or religious values does a kiss betray? Aren't religions and morals meant to sanctify life, love, giving, peace? What is more a symbol of peace than a kiss? There are many examples of this in the various fields of art.
For example, Klimt's famous kiss is all about harmony, connection and romance. It shows blossoming, abundance and a formal and colorful symbiosis between the figures. What is it if not peace?Like Klimt's couple but in a different medium, Brancusi's kissers are carved from one block of stone, they are not really separate. Almost symbolic lines distinguish between the two. In these two works, a kiss is shown along with an enveloping, intimate, very mutual hug. The two works, one a painting, the other a sculpture, show a connection of the whole body that signifies a connection of the soul. The gestures of the body are giving and taking at the same time. Representation of a whole consisting of two.
The couple's kiss is found in every artistic medium. However, the first films that featured lovers kissing were considered provocative. Cinemas around the world were forced to screen them censored by the local representatives of religion. These kisses later symbolized a complete (God forbid...) act of love. Well, love in dangerous when in possession of the public... The first kissers on film were May Irving and John C. Rice, in a short film from 1896 called "The Kiss". It is understood that this is a heterosexual and homogenous kiss, white as the moon.But surprisingly, already in 1925 we find a kiss between two women, in the movie Lady of the Night.Four decades later, alongside the celebrations of free love of the 1960s and with the birth of pop art, in 1962 the artist Roy Lichtenstein created a wall-sized painting of a kiss. The kiss as a resounding shout! But still as white and hetero as we like it...?
Since kisses were such a shocking factor as to be censored, they actually marked social and cultural processes that progressed step by step in Western societies. Western cinema presents a number of fateful kisses in its history that mark a turning point in social perception regarding various norms. If at first they were banned, later censored and then marked as an actual sexual act, the following films will present the kiss as a symbolic act when it takes place between a white woman and a black man, between figures from the Catholic world and between a man and another man... God save us.
Sidney Poitier, a groundbreaking black Hollywood actor, got to kiss a white woman on the big screen before everyone else, all against the backdrop of the race wars in the US and the rise of the Black Panthers organization.25 years later we witness one of the historic kisses that caused a global commotion, in fashion magazines and on the billboards of the Benton fashion brand. In 1992 Benton launched a campaign featuring the work of fashion photographer Oliviero Toscani and featuring a kiss between a nun and a priest. Alleged blasphemy and violation of the oath of Catholic monks, their paths were meant to exist in parallel lines under the wings of the Holy Spirit and never intersect (!) and certainly not in such an earthly kiss. The Catholic public around the world expressed their displeasure and demanded that the advertisements be removed from the billboards. Ironically, the beautiful photography and the entire campaign carried messages about acceptance of difference, multiculturalism, war on inequality and of course: peace. Messages so innocent and touching that they caused a puritan storm vibrating with holy fury.Another kiss, which represents more than anything the romantic slogan "Make love instead of war" is the one taken at the height of the riot scene in Vancouver in 2011. Every word is unnecessary.Three years later, and as an artistic action for peace in Israel, in 2014 a video art by the artist Idan Biton was presented. A 1:24:24 video consists of a kiss between two men, long and loud. To me it's very exciting. On the other hand, it's a little too late to get excited about a proud kiss these days, isn't it? Think again. In light of the circumstances of these days in the State of Israel, it is possible that this will definitely be the last time we will have such a kiss in the public space.
Shortly after and not very far from here, in 2015, one of the most exciting music videos in the history of music videos, by the artist Negramaro, was released to YouTube. This is a video full of kisses and it is groundbreaking, both sexy and poetic. It should be noted that the video is a little ahead of his time on the topic of polyamory, which today is already a popular brand throughout the west.
Finally, at these turbulent times in the world in general and in Israel in particular and after more than 100 years of kissing in the public sphere, the question arises, is kissing a counter to Puritanism?
How did the kiss, such a soft and vulnerable act, become a symbol of a fierce, blunt, insolent revolutionary spirit that summons the fire of hell?
Is the kiss of Judas Iscariot Jesus on the table of the Last Supper in general the beginning of the slander campaign about the kiss? Is this the root of evil? And isn't a kiss between a priest and a nun the remedy for this injustice? Le petit paix and in general, isn't the kiss a light in the dark? Could it be world peace itself?