Author: Chris Joyner

Italicized text lifted from Venus, by Organik

Venus, Venus, and Venus.
3 namesake sisters, melted together…
covering each other with brightness

as artist book

Gently, I turn the pages of Venus—the wings of an enormous sleeping insect[1]—heavy with paint and spice impasto.  How strikingly nuanced: tumeric orange, paprika red, nutmeg brown, swirling on violent winds—I could name each color, each perfume, but what good would that do?  A chimera is born at the impasse of words, couching all edges blurry[2].

as planet

Like Venus, Venus is layered.  Shrouded in sulfur clouds, her surface cannot be seen from space in visible light; “bright queen of the sky”[3] viewing her sister planet through cataract eye.   Because of her beauty, Venus was named for Venus, but the Romans couldn’t penetrate beyond the light she reflects, didn’t know the destitution of her volcanism, her scorching crags and craters, the choke of her carbon, that lightning can crack without rain.

as goddess

In Latin, her name means love but also venom.

When Saturn castrated his father and cast his genitals into the sea, he begot Venus: love born through severance[4].  And later, she would be remade, armless, frozen in sculpture, marble breasts forever exposed, found in the ruins of Milos.

[1] Venus is a flytrap. Who made the unassuming white of her flowers, the pink, sugared wings of her mouth? Who hears the cries of the hapless bug as her daggered trap encloses?

[2] Like the chimera, collaboration is alchemical.  Organik is a collective of 3.  Their website matter-of-factly lists the ingredients of Venus’ media: Korean mulberry, cellulose paper, walnut ink, human blood—it poured out of her eyes and rose from between her lips

[3] What the Babylonians called Nin-dar-an-na, they understood to be a single body while earlier civilizations saw Venus as two: “morning star” and “evening star”…ancient proof of love’s duality.

[4] She emerged from the reddened foam.