Aeon Flux and the Arch of Hysteria


Last night, I reconnected with a animation series from my childhood: Aeon Flux. A short a animation series by Peter Chung about a dystopian society run by the eccentric, flamboyant and cruel president Trevor Goodchild. Importantly, Aeon Flux the main protagonist, is a deadly assassin, and a part of a rebel group called the Monikan. Aeon utilises any means possible in order to sabotage Trevor Goodchild’s corrupted endeavors. Which ultimately leads both Flux and Goodchild  coercing in some sort of battle over sexual dominance, flirting and of course trying to prevent one another from destroying each other plans. Goodchild generally dabbles in curiosities and fascinations with projects that lean over to the corrupt and has the ultimate plan in having Aeon to himself.

I have not watched this series in a very long time, I only had the luck of catching glimpses of the episodes on late night viewing television. Sometimes not at all. The glimpses themselves were always midway or the end of the episode. However, how does Aeon Flux and the arch of Hysteria  correlate, to be fair it’s quite a far-fetch link. But visually, within my practice, the practice of Louise Bourgeois and the theory of the arch of hysteria – I can see some loose connections.




I think what really draws me to bond these three together is the precarious nature of the centre of the arch within the compositions of all these bodies. The idea of one’s body  snapping in half or the idea of ascending or descending into a void or some depth of some sort. With Aeon Flux, she is a character that doesn’t necessarily exude all these things. Yet, the way in which Peter Chung creates Aeon is fascinating, as the movements of Aeon’s waist and spine tip over the edge of it being vulnerable. However, Chung exercises  flexibility , power and endurance with Aeon’s character design. But how does this relate to the Arch of Hysteria?

The French neurologist, Jean Martin Charcot had based his theories on the origins of hereditary hysteria by documenting various studies on female patients. He described the symptoms of hysteria as a melange of tension, limb immobility and a unstable and extreme emotional state. He associated this theory to be more relative in females than males. In Bourgeois’s practice was influenced by this French neurological theory on hysteria. She subverts this theory directly related it to women and implements the composition of “The Arch of Hysteria” upon a male form.
In relation to my practice, I have only just realised the indirect tranference of the composition in within these examples  within my own drawings.


My interpretation, lies in the fact that there is an air of immobility and you know not whether the figure is drowning, ascending or descending.