Purple Magazine


Love is not a solution to the world’s problems. It’s not even a message… Well, not a valid message. In any case, the word has been used and reused, and doesn’t mean much anymore.Let’s be real: love has failed. And, with the exception of the short-lived communal hippie lifestyle of the 1960s and ’70s, love has never engendered a form of politics. That dream is over. Since then, love has been invaded by raging individualism, personal interests, digital narcissism, social media isolation, fake news.

At the same time, love is and always was a calling card for sects and cults, which turn it into religions that instrumentalize emotions and sell the dream of love.

And while, for each of us, love may be a miracle, it’s often fleeting or causes nasty breakups that lead to years of therapy. And chasing love’s tail is the fear of rejection, of being hurt,
of a painful experience.

So, why a love issue?

In this period of pandemic confusion and anxiety, love has become a resource. At such times, the narcissistic culture
of hype via social media can decline, and true love, real love, unconditional love, can resurface. With social distancing, love emerges as an ideal, something missed and longed for. In solitude, people often speculate about a true or imaginary Other to complete them, entertain them, save them. As Jean Cocteau says, “There is no such thing as love, only proof of love,” in the manifestation of one person’s feelings for another. This can be the person we are around most often, with whom we enjoy our phone time, who maintains an open line of communication, and who’s maybe the most obvious one to come back to.

However, this issue does not try to reaffirm love as a moral
or traditional value. Rather, it explores different kinds of love, new representations of love between people of all genders. What might be a new figure of love, beyond the couple, beyond duality, and also include freedom, multiplicity, intimacy, secrets, complexity, vulnerability, gender fluidity? In this regard, how is the feminist revolution radically changing our idea of love?

Love is for everyone. A person can love their community
as a family, the beauty of which recalls the synergy of one plus one becoming many. That’s the power of love. Love is a human obsession. Love is transformative, but it’s always personal.
It’s about one person changing another person’s life,
and vice-versa. This is especially true in so-called successful couples. John Lennon’s song “God” ends with, “I just believe in me / Yoko and me.” He doesn’t believe in people, just love.

Love is a true form of communication, which is what this issue is about. Love communicates from the self to an Other,
which can be anything: a place, animal, plant, space, experience, or even an absence — the emptying out of the self in nirvana. Love is effusively verbal, nonverbal, emotional, psychological, psychotropic, and dynamic. Love is bigger than the world. Love incarnates a connection to a higher power,
a greater energy, a more profound creativity.

Most importantly, art may or may not inspire love, but love could be a source for art and new kinds of artistic perspectives. This is not an issue about naive dreams or utopian nostalgia, but a new realism — a new kind of love.

— olivier zahm

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