The other day, I went to see the Louise Bourgeois retrospective at the Hirshhorn. The works are a combination of exquisite technique and in-your-face, challenging emotions. I had a friend who raged at me once because I had created a piece that was radically, polemically feminist. “That’s not art; art is only meant to be beautiful and aesthetic, not to be political,” said my friend. Although he could not have questioned Bourgeois as an artist — her technique is too good — he might still have raged at it. (The high school group being shown art on a field trip, while I was at the exhibit, was scurried through a room or two, much to my amusement).
Seeing the exhibit led me to think of the purported purpose of left-handed tantric practices, which are meant to challenge us, turn us upside-down and inside out, and question what we recognize as the divine.