Erotic Enlightment is the Key to Happiness in Society

Interview with Iris Brosch

I know Iris for quite a few years now. We’ve first met in New York, introduced by Egon – a close friend to both of us. To be honest the two of us couldn’t be more different in the way we live, we work and we look. But we have one thing in common which keeps both of us going: There is a lot to do to make the world a more beautiful and more sensitive place.

we-mag: Iris, you are an activist. An activist for beauty and positive energy coming from the inner self of women. How would you describe your mission/ passion in your own words?

Iris: I never saw myself as an activist, but I have to admit it sounds nice to me. I feel more like somebody who is trying to survive on the planet with my own way of being and thinking. For me it is important to express myself in the way I like and the way I feel. I want to be free in my mind and body as much as possible and not being limited by a sys-tem of male values and cliche.
I am interessted in female energie, an energie who is actually in women and men – but seems to get lost in both of us.
To achieve and maintain a certain space in our male society you need to be hard, loud, direct, materialistic, dominant, unsentimantal, shocking, actually you have to be almost aggressive. Female attributes such as listening, receiving, sharing, caring, sweetness, being spiritual and sentimental are nearly disappearing in our western world. They become equivalents of being weak and passive. I keep asking myself: How comes and why is it like this?
We don’t learn at school to follow our feelings, our emotions or our creativity.
We learn to follow our brains. We learn to be strong, to obey, how to become competitive and somehow we become uniformed. I want to unfold the sentimental, fragile, nearly forgotten invisible feminine part in all of us. I am interested in the female vision of love, passion, eros and sexuality. Female energy which lives with nature instead of dominating nature. These are the values we need to embrace in order to make the world a more valuable and better place.
I think erotic enlightment is the key of happiness in society.
Most of what we know and see on images about sexuality is based on male ideas and imagination. What women really want and feel has never been seen and evaluated. It seems that we are stuck in a world of viagra and domination. We need to redefine what sexuality really is from our point of view!

we-mag: On the other hand you are working as a fashion photographer. In this surrounding you have to deal with artificial beauty, beauty set and designed by marketing people in order to make money. Isn’t that a contradiction?

Iris: Well, I have to make a living somehow (Iris is laughing). There are two hearts beating in my body: art and fashion. And it is not always easy to combine them.
The fashion and advertising industries have a strong impact on our society and touch millions of people directly. It is what art supposed to be: A guidence for our society. A whole generation is influenced by what they see in fashion magazines and on billboards. Everybody wants to be a part of these images and look and act alike. This can be dangerous if we are not conscious of what we are creating. We have to be aware that the trends we are creating in fashion will create a new generation … So in my mind working in fashion and advertising has a a lot to do with responsibility.
There is a lack of femaleness and emotion. The image of women is really reduced to bodies without brain and soul. Bodies which are so slim that they don’t take too much space on this planet. Even the likeness of man, especially of gay men, becomes so harsh and masculine that it is sad. At least these images should embrace femaleness.
We’ve lost the values Oscar Wilde stands for. It is a diminution of our souls to pure bodies – uniformed bodies lacking individualism and charm. It feels like we are going backwords in the represenation of ourselves. We are separating our bodies from our soul … What happend to Adonis and Venus?
I believe that the consumer is tired of these images of the skinny non expressive, exchangeable and unfeminine bodies, I believe the consumer wants something more real, something more sophisticated, something more emotional.
And I am convinced that fashion and advertising can create such images and values! Fashion and advertising don’t need to fear emotions, soul and individualism. They should embrace them! I do it. I do it in my art work and I would love to do it more in commercial campaigns.

we-mag: You are saying Iris, that even in the western world women live with the illusion to be emancipated. Is it really still a men’s world?

Iris: Yes we are living in the illusion of being liberated. Meanwhile we are allowed to go to university, go to work, having a career but we have to pay a high price for our so called freedom. We have to handle  3-4 jobs at the same time – being a  buissneswoman, mother and wife at once.
And the highest prices of all is that our bodies are enslaved, we have to look in a certain way, our bodies have to be in a certain shape, our dresses have to be sexy, our make-up and hair has to be perfect, we have to be in accordance with the cult of the young and desirable.
After the menopause we are completely forgotten like we are not anymore producing and existing. Lots of plastic surgery is needed to suit the shape of a barbiedoll.

we-mag: What can/should women/ men do in order to overcome and bridge this existing gap and become a WE? What can men learn from women and what can women learn from men?

Iris: Women should never forget that they are very special human beings, extremely complex. Every single woman should value her soul and body everyday. We need to work on our collective subconscious of being just a woman, meaning being less worth. I believe this is deeply anchored in every women. We should free ourselves from suffering and feeling insecure in this men dominated world.
Having more confidence in other women is the very first step to succeed. We shouldn’t see other women as competitors, we should create trust among us and overcome the fear between us! This is the key!
We never should try to become or act like men. We should find our own values and create our vision of life and earth. And we will be surprised how powerfull we are all together! We
are able to change a lot more than we ever thought we could on this planet.
And most men will be happy that we show them new directions and ways. Men will also have to learn about the art of letting go. Of course there will be moments of unsecurity on both sides, we will be floating, not knowing how to do in each moment… We could call it crises. Like the one we hear every minute in the news. But crises are good times to create new values, come up with new ideas and shift values!
The future is open. The future is feminine!

we-mag: Do we need a men’s world and a women’s world? Can’t there be just one world?

Iris: There shouldn’t be any seperation. One need the other one and from the differences dynamics emerge. Otherwise it would be quite boring.
I can clearly see one world which isn’t uniformed, which appreciates the differences in us and which balances them in harmony. A world which is open, tolerant and without frontiers. A world which embraces diversity and passion, which doesn’t punish individualism but support and engage it.
This sounds like chaos and everything being out of control. But it is not! Out of this progress will emerge and new values will be established.
And fashion and advertising are very powerful tools to create and support this new mindset …

we-mag: Please give us some examples, name some women whom you suggest to be a leader in this case.

lris: Lysistrata Aritophanes a lot of women in different situation you Ulrike … my mother.


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Regina Harris
Feb 16, 2009 21:37

Great interview.

Ryan Martinez
May 24, 2010 10:47

Happiness is a state of mind that really depends how we see the situations in our lives each day. you can have all the riches in the world but still see it as a lonely place.’,;

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