ECA Friday Talk | Carol Mavor | 'Mouthing Gold, Spitting Gold Mush' OR ‘Eating Sadistically'

Friday, 24 October 2014
11.30am - 1.00pm

Venue: Main Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh College of Art, Lauriston Building 

Mouthing gold, spitting gold mush—
Ted Hughes, 'Midas'

The fairy tale and related myths and fables, often turn on gold. Midas wished for everything that he touched to turn to gold, but the outcome was disastrous. He found that he could not eat (gold). This lecture takes the golden tale (from Ovid's 'Midas' to Grimms' 'The Golden Key' to Tim Krabbé's The Golden Egg) as a terrible eating: omophagous, cannibalistic and dangerous. Images by Janine Antoni, Kiki Smith and Marina Abramović include gold nipple buttons, a gold tongue broche and dessert pastry sprinkled with raw gold. In all, eating gold is sadistic. Sadism demands a story (Laura Mulvey) and the golden fairy tale delivers it with 'a tone licked clean' (James Merrill).

The lecture is part of Mavor's new book Aurelia: Art and Literature Through the Mouth of the Fairy Tale (forthcoming from Reaktion Books, 2015).

No need to book - just turn up.

Image: Kelly McCallum, Do You Hear What I Hear? (2007) nineteenth-century taxidermy fox, cast gold-plated maggots.