Georges Bataille’s 1928 novella Histoire de l’Oeil (“Story of the Eye”), a nightmarish pornographic fantasy, explores ideas of transgression and sadism taken to an extreme through the immersive, first-person account of the story’s narrator. Like so many surrealist works of art, Histoire de l’Oeil conjures the subconscious connection between sex and death as infinitely intertwined—a link that is shockingly resonant to most readers on a far deeper level than that of lived experience—through the depiction of entirely alien scenarios. Simply put, the deeply familiar is revealed by portraying the distinctly unfamiliar. Bataille’s work suggests adeptly the extent to which our own brains are almost foreign realms to us—that we live in one corner of the brain, largely terrified to approach any other. The central metaphor of Bataille’s story is the eye, an image and object potent with meaning as an orifice, or aperture, through which experiences pass—arguably a portal between reality and fantasy, normalcy and transgression, life and death. The eye has been a potent visual metaphor for many artists; Jay DeFeo returned again and again in her work to the form of the radiating circle—in flowers, fans, eyes, and apertures—even before she became interested in photography, and the form became even more potent once she integrated this medium into her practice. The eye is both an organ that sees actively, a lookout onto the world, and a passageway through which light, images, and information travel without effort.