In the Biblical story Salome’s lust for the Prophet John the Baptist is so obsessive and overwhelming that, because she is humiliated by his rejection, she is willing to have him killed so that she can possess him. After the ‘Dance of the 7 Veils, she demands his head as the prize.
There is a mixture of romance bubbling with lust, religious values and astonishing expectations which gives this story a hedonistic appeal. She could so easily be part of our consumer society, forever grasping for more.
To capture the sensations of the story and our ambiguous relationship with desire and stardom, I’ve made comparisons with reality TV which gives participants who crave celebrity the opportunity to achieve their aims. We look on with horror and perhaps a touch of envy, but look on we do. The large audiences who watch the reality shows, buy the magazines, Google celebrity and try to live the dream are just part of the fantasy of excess.
‘If I dream I have you, I have you.
For all dreams are but fantastical.’ John Donne