Cremaster 5 | 1997
As an opera plays, the Queen of Chain sings and executes the grand gestures of romantic suffering while contemplating an empty stage. During the performance, she is accompanied by a series of characters. The first is the Diva, an androgynous acrobat who shinnies up a flowering vine and dangles upside down when he reaches the top. Another, called the Magician, is a swashbuckling equestrian who bends down from his horse to give the Queen a farewell kiss. From her theater box, the Queen is able to peer through a hole in the floor into a Turkish bath in which another ritual unfolds, involving water nymphs and a third primary figure, the Giant, a sea god with plastic body extensions who slowly wanders into the pool and becomes immersed. As the nymphs swim around him, they cut white ribbons attached to his crotch, releasing a flock of pigeons that pull at him as he wades deeper into the water.