13 February 2010

Castration in Cologne

MRCVE and Johnny Amore visited the carnival in Cologne. Through the carnival, the ordinary world is turned upside-down. Also we acted backwards: instead of selling we were buying things from the audience using our new currency, i.e. potatoes (Kunstkartoffeln). We changed potatoes into objects from the participants of the carnival. Truths and moral patterns are endlessly contested, for all ways to behave demand equal status. In other words, the relativity of all final truths is declared by competing views and the rivaling marginalised voices of oppressed minorities. The hegemony of authorities is made ridiculous.

However, carnivalesque resistance to authorities can not be a potential place for political change. The carnival appears to be revolutionary, but in reality it is conservative. People have possibility to express their feelings and blow off steam, but on the other hand this only strengthens political consensus. After the carnival ends, the world turns back to the right way and everything is unchanged as before.

The first day of the carnival is Wieverfastelovend (the women's day) when women clip men's ties with scissors. The meaning of this action is to dethrone masculine hegemony. From the Freudian point of view, it is clear that this is connected with penis envy and the fear of castration. In the phallic stage the libido is primarily focused on the genital area. The girl desires a penis, and the power that it represents. The solution is to usurp her father's penis. Castration anxiety (Kastrationsangst) means that boy assumes that the female's penis has been removed. The boy fears that also his penis will be removed. This is exactly what happened to the ties of MRCVE at the carnival.


  1. Great idea...all currency in the world should be potatos! In this way it`ll be such a burden for the ones who are rich:)

  2. P.S. Simo, you look great, so fancy...hihihi ***