In a time where we are all becoming increasingly de-sensitized to more extreme images of sexuality through the platforms of online porn and the flippancy of sharing a spectrum of startling images through tumblr, it can be easy to forget how both alluring or shocking an image or statement of sex once had the possibility to have.
The creation and physical making of an erotic magazine was one of the only ways to experience sexual content outside of the physical act for the vast majority of the first half of the 20th century. Media such as pornography or fetish specialized magazines would mainly be available to buy through subscription or visiting an adult shop; which now seems like a strenuous act in comparison to the immediate and endless nature to satisfy our instant sexual needs.
However the vast majority of sexual printed matter fell into two polar categories; sophisticated erotic literature or the more blatant photographic publications.
It wasn’t until the early 1960s that Eros, a quarterly magazine by taboo busting editor Ralph Ginzburg exploring all things to do with sexuality and love came about that publishing’s view on sex drastically changed. Utterly progressive for its time the hardback magazine cost a huge $19.99 which was then considered one of the most expensive magazines in existence. Playboy was of course in its hay day but the Hugh Hefner personality still oozed a kind of sleaziness which couldn’t arouse the more intellectual of minds and essentially exclusively only attracted the heterosexual males libido. In comparison to this Eros created the opportunity for both men and women to be able to interact with discussions of erotica and sexuality which was previously unheard of.
During the radical 1960s the magazine was received with both [...]
The fourth part of performance artist and Sang Bleu contributor Ron Athey’s Incorruptible Flesh lands in London this summer. Messianic Remains is the latest in a series of performances beginning in the mid 1990s created by Athey alongside artist Lawrence Steger, who died of AIDS in 1999. Beginning with Incorruptible Flesh: Dissociated Sparkle, in which visitors were invited to touch a baseball bat-impaled Athey whose face was forced into a grimace with hooks, the series continued through Perpetual Wound, in which the never-healing malady is passed on from collaborator Dominic Johnson to Athey, culminating in Incorruptible Flesh which previewed in London earlier this month. Revisiting the impaled and pierced scenario of its first incarnation, Athey’s ritualistic resurrection extends his “exploration of the continuation of his own post-AIDS body”. Below are images from the series offering a rare glimpse of the grueling endurance sustained by the inimitable and influential artist:
UK performance dates for Athey’s Incorruptible Flesh: Messianic Remains will be announced this month.
Exhibiting “They thought i were but i aren’t anymore…” from June 7th at Luhring Augustine, Larry Clark will display a series of photographies dating from the 60’s to present day. Clark, infamous for his significant and strong photographic and film works documenting and portraying not kids, nor adults but entities in their adolescence. His work starting, like many, with a portrait of his friend Johnny Bridges, with his mothers Rolleiflex. From here Clark developed a great interest in portraying young men and women in their twilight, parting from their childish tendencies, yet not fully adults. Capturing their serenity, chaos, overloads and distinct characters showing us what a beautiful period of life this is.
Through series of snapshots, Clark captures the essence of each character’s story. The entities portrayed are often linked to surfing, punk, rock, skateboarding or other subcultures alike, and often casually involved in illegal drug use, underage sex or violence.
Having expanded his field of work from photography and collages to sculpting and painting, this exhibition will be an installation of mixed media. Clark showcasing his paintings for the first time.
The exhibition opens June 7th and lasts until August 1st.
531 West 24th Street, New York, NY 10011
Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm
The tongue was pressed against the flesh and trailed against the natural curve of the body. Along its way down it absorbed the sweet trickles of the sweat, whilst savouring the tension of the skin. It moved gradually across the ridges and bumps, each circular movement of the tongue enthused a new sensation. The breath warmed the quivering area. It travelled further and further down the stretch of skin, searching for new tastes and smells. A smaller and wider arch was found. Squirming in delight from the likely new folds of skin ready to be explored, the tongue began travelling around the bend of skin. The body tenses. Muscles contract. The elbow – the tipping point of pleasure.
Although rather an ordinary fetish when compared to other forms of sexual excitement, the armpit is a site of sensory recreation that employs a number of bodily senses to induce pleasure. Also known as Maschalagnia, the sexual allurement towards this area manifests itself as a combination of intoxicating aromas and the anticipation of friction. It is a beauty of its own. The urge to act upon this fetish stimulates the senses. To the eye its appeal is in its shape, when the arm is stretched, the hollow space of the under skin is inviting and the possibility of envelopment tantalising. To the nose, the odour is pure and animalistic; the devotee savours the skin and the hair. To the tongue, the textures and the sweet tastes enable new boundaries of playful intimacy. For the receiver, a sense of unbridled passion and a playful force that stimulates other parts of the body.
Cultural aesthetes have explored this fetish through both high and low channels. Digging into the depths of gay porn I am presented [...]
Into You Tattoo has long been regarded as an innovative and forward-thinking tattoo shop. The shop’s London and Brighton locations host a number of well-regarded tattooists who actively push the limits of tattooing both aesthetically and technically. Such is the case for Adam Sage, who work’s out of Into You’s Brighton location, and creates seemingly flawless tattoos – strictly without electricity. We recently had a chance to discuss with Adam why he chooses to work this way, his views on tattooing, and where he draws inspiration from, among a number of other things. To see more of Adam’s work be sure to visit his Instagram and personal website.
To start, could you talk about your introduction to tattooing? What is your earliest memory of tattooing, did you decide to become a tattooer, and from that point, how did you go about learning?
The very first tattoo I ever saw was my Dad’s. He is dotted with classics from the seventies on his arms, back and chest. Later on in life I learnt that he had also tattooed himself a little bit. The first time i got tattooed was in 1996, in Canterbury, I was 16. It was a gritty studio with chain smokers queuing up to get in the chair. There was a guy there getting his face tattooed and that blew my mind! I thought to myself where had all these people been hiding?
I knew I wanted to be tattooed and probably be a tattooist, but back then I did not have the confidence to go for it right away. I went to art college and amazingly a tattoo shop was on the list of places we could go for work placement. Through Steve Graves at The Tattoo [...]
With innovative displays and an unprecedented roster of contributors, Tatoueurs et Tatoués, is an ambitious new exhibition in Paris that aims to explore the multifaceted nature of tattoos and tattooing: from social markers to sites of cultural exchange to works of aesthetic beauty. Curated by Anne & Julien and advised by famed French tattooer Tin-Tin, the exhibition displays works from tattooers from Europe, America, Asia, and Oceania: Filip Leu, Dong Dong, Xed Lehead, Horiyoshi III, Mark Kopua, and many, many others. Attending simply to view the fantastic array work would be an acceptable end.
Tattooing, as a form that lives on a moving body, is not especially conducive to a museum setting, and Tatoueurs et Tatoués sets a remarkable precedent for tattoo exhibitions in the future. In a collaboration with Atelier 69, the museum developed a skin-like silicon, from which thirteen “body excepts” were cast from live models. The excerpts were then given to thirteen tattooers who tattooed directly on the “skin.” Curators also sent blank canvasses to 20 other tattooers, who used more traditional art materials to map “body suits” onto them. These materials were then combined with a series of photographs, featuring the work of Guy Le Tatooer and Jonas Nyberg among others, and displayed along with the more traditional “archival”documents one might find an anthropology exhibition.
To me, the role of tattoos as objects of display, both within the museum exhibition and without, is all-important. Tattoos, given their attachment to the body, have managed to defy commodification, partially as a result of their inability to be displayed and thus sold. Of course, mounted skins and flash have their own history of display, but the curatorial decision to create ersatz tattoos from paper and silicon is especially interesting. Anne [...]
It’s easy to forget that even in our hyper connected, hyper-global, world that we live in where most people spend their time either on the phone and or computer screen, that social exclusion is still an issue that pervades the virtual and non-virtual spheres of everyday life. From minute instances attributed to income, age and gender to the exclusionary practice experienced by so called “newbs” on sites such as 4-chan and twitter to the ongoing practice of exclusion faced by the working poor, social exclusionary practices are something we either continue to face or have faced at some point in varying degrees. Since the mid-2000s in Japan, for example, there has been very xenophobic sentiments from right-wing group Action Conservative Movement toward immigrants of both Korean and Chinese decent (similar to past xenophobic attitudes towards Jews in Germany, and Black South Africans and Armenians and Kurds in the middle east) that have found its primary voice on the internet and increasingly in non-virtual spaces via public demonstrations. These demonstrations call for the exclusion of Chinese and Korean people from all matters of ethnic Japanese cultural lifestyle. The goal of many of these discriminatory sentiments is to highlight the impurity of the “other” as a major detriment to the perceived establishment and progression of “authentic” culture. Foreigners, minorities, and anyone not Japanese is seen as impure and must thus be socially excluded for the sake of social and economic harmony through the banning/shaming of intermarriage, prevention of upward social mobility, and many times the gerrymandering of specific districts to isolate them geographically.
Zongo areas in the West African country of Ghana are certainly characteristic of this notion in that many of its inhabitant Zongorians, mainly the Moslem population, are shunned by the [...]