Ground artist-run space presents "Pimps and queens and criminal queers", a screening programmed by Alexandros Pissourios
Works by: Steve Reinke, James Richards, William E. Jones, Kenneth Anger, Jerry Tartaglia, Jean Genet, Neil Bartlett with Stuart Marshall
Homoeroticism presents us with a paradox. The eroticisation of the male within the same-gender, illustrates social constructs which refer to mythic relationships between genders, and then confuses them. Along with the advances of capitalism, commercial art has claimed masculinity and the male has been scoured to a site for both production and consumption of desire and pleasure. It is exaggerated, perhaps as a parody in itself, in gay pornography, with the employment of stereotypically masculine roles such as cops, army officers, workers, athletes, to embody the epitome of sexuality, beauty and virility. These muscular men, with their “modern-day armor” as feminist theorist Camille Paglia refers to the extravagance of muscularity, are a “work of art, a protest against nature”.1 They are employed as penetrators, sadistic agents towards their sameness. We could suspect this relationship to be traumatic, hence, instrumental to the formation of homosexual desire and experience. We suspect this because of pornography’ s educational role in understanding sex (just think of how many teenagers actually learn what sex looks and sounds like via pornography).
This program addresses issues around the inversion of public to private, of serious to frivolous and of real to artifice. This is achieved through close approximation to the conventional traditions through mimesis, performance and appreciation of appearances over essence. Subsequently, irony, or even mockery is also intrinsic components of queer culture, where the construction of desire draws upon the reciprocal relationship between threat and pleasure.
1 Paglia, Camille. “Sex, Art, and American Culture” Viking, London, 1992
Alexandros Pissourios is a visual artist based in London.