Soma Sema

Soma Sema can be found on a sixty-minute long video, along with four other works by Bradley Eros with Jeanne Liotta. From the reviews that have been written about this work, it is said to be an "erratic, erotic, arrhythmic lunar trauma. Fire, water, sex, resurrection."

Eros is exactly what we see in this piece, Soma Sema. Bradley Eros and Jeanne Liotta are the two main figures in this work. They share intimate moments, and Bradley "The god of love" shows on the screen a passionate connection that is artistic in its own way. Connected with the tribal markings and objects that will be discussed later, the simple act of a human caressing and caring for another human is sacred in itself. Eros shows that something that can be taboo is actually an artistic and natural happening. It is part of being human. The fact that he always has some part of nature, mainly trees or water, involved with the image further ties the point that humans having sexual feelings is only natural. Nevertheless, he also has other images and objects that make this piece not only sexual, but magical as well.

The first image that is seen is a man wrapped in some kind of paper. It looks like it could be toilet tissue, but it is unclear. Does this hold any meaning? It doesn't seem that it would since this figure too is only seen at the beginning of the film. Nevertheless, this image stays with the viewer, and it is even on the cover of the Mediamystics box. Is it because the figure is trapped in the breakable binding? The man is also in the woods, and he is literally and figuratively covered by trees. Could this mean that nature consumes the figure? On websites, the covered figure is the background for some of the reviews written about Mediamystics, which might be because in, this figure connects a few of the other pieces that are on the tape together. Either the figure is shown, or there is a picture that someone is holding.

The rest of the images that are shown are close ups of either the man or the woman in the piece. They have what seem to be tribal markings on their bodies; it almost looks like a henna piece of art, or paint that Native Americans might use in a ritual. There are also, drawings on what looks like a rock, which look like something that is used in Wicca, to perform spells, and invocations. This could be possible because Eros was "interested in the mystical exploration of the place of the human body within a techno-promitivist semiotic."

In addition, there are segments shown in which we see people looking as if they are performing rituals. One such image is a man with long black hair, who looks like he may be Asian or of Indian decent, and who is violently thrusting his head back and forth. His eyes are closed as if he is trying to shake whatever he wanted to shake out of his body. His hair wiped back and forth, showing how hard he is thrusting his head. Then, Eros cuts to a close up of the man.

Another thing to note, is that the video, although in color, Soma Sema only seems to have dark shades of blue, red, and browns. White is used as body paint, and is the color of the covering in the figure; however, it is the only bright color seen. Plus the music that is chosen throughout the piece is haunting. At times it is a techno sound that is hard and intense, to tribal drums beating in the background. The music, and the interaction shown throughout the piece work well with each other, giving the viewer both visual and audio stimulation. It can be called a ride through human sexual emotions.

Overall, Soma Sema is a work that describes the essence Bradley Eros wanted to achieve at the time, and perhaps still does. Soma Sema shows through tribal and ritualistic dances, that the dance of human nature is nothing to be ashamed about; that it is only natural.

--Jessica Kostek, 2004.

Bradley Eros