Interview with Fabrice AKA Cokney, Hugo Vitrani and Thibault Choay about the release of their book Chiaroscuro
Back in April, illegal artist and tattooist Cokney had an exhibition at Sang Bleu Contemporary Art and Project Space. He has recently launched a new book ‘Chiaroscuro’ that chronicles his alternative life and work in two volumes; the first ‘Chiaro’ (the white book) including personal ephemera of himself and his art alongside film photography given back to him by police after his first arrest. The second ‘scuro’ (the black book) features an array of documents that followed his court case after he was publicly arrested by the anti-graffiti brigade in 2011. The book reinvents the way graffiti art is exhibited and presented, taking its usual spatial and temporary platform of the urban surface inside; from public to personal property. We talked to Cokney, Hugo Vitrani and Thibault Choay about the publication of this exciting project.
Interview by Lea Gosselin
L: How did you get the idea of making a book?
C: When the cops gave me back these two films, I thought it would be stupid to not use it.
I explain it in the book, I make analog photography, not because it’s kind of cool. Nowadays, we are in an overconsumption of the photography (digital), we do not value the picture itself anymore but we totally remove the « selection » aspect.
So they gave me back these films, I thought it was stupid to only develop it and store it with my other pictures.
Actually I needed a letter for my stories of justice, from his publishing house (ndlr Thibaut Choay, Classic Paris).
And he told me that we wanted to publish a collection of very simple photography books. I proposed him to develop these two films without seeing the content before the release.
T: The series in question, for now I just published one volume, this [...]
Frederico Rabelo is a Young Brazilian tattoo artist who creates incredibly detailed ink work. Rabelo caught the attention of Maxime and so guested with us at Sang Bleu this weekend. We had an informal conversation with him about tattoos and his inspirations. Fred owns his own shop ‘Covil’ in a small town in his native Brazil, at the age of just 24.
What is Brazilian tattoo culture?
Nowadays in Brazil there are a lot of tattooists doing really well, however many of them come from traditional schools like oriental, tribal or American traditional. The biggest Scene is in Sao Paulo, but as Brazil is a really big country you can find interesting things now and again but overall there isn’t an original movement specific to Brazil. I can feel the scene in Brazil growing fast though and the artists with innovation will succeed in a country where the scene hasn’t been saturated that much yet at all.
How do you like working in London and other parts of Europe?
Working here is awesome, to my mind London has the best tattoo scene in the world at the moment, here in London you can find many really good studios and tattoo artists who do such genius work. Professionals form everywhere come here all the time because you feel part of something special when you do and in doing so it makes the scene grow. The London artists have clearly put in a tremendous amount of dedication to get the scene here to this level of professionalism and when I come here and other countries other than mine I aim to help build something good for our generation. I really love to go to New york, I just really love to guest, its a [...]
The Barbican’s series Nan Goldin and Friends, a programme of films inspired by the photographer’s life, work and person, continues tonight with a screening of Bette Gordon’s 1984 film ‘Variety’.
Nan Goldin and Friends is a series of screenings of films created in the downtown film scene of the late 70s and 80s and one later work, ‘High Art’ (1998), which features a character based on Goldin’s person. This late 70s underground film scene is better known as No Wave and championed guerrilla style film making primarily concerned with the moods and the textures of a film above all else. Pioneer No Wave film makers such as John Lurie and Tom de Cillo contributed to the production of Gordon’s ‘Variety’.
‘Variety’ (1984) shows tonight; Christine, an aspiring journalist takes a job selling tickets for a porn theatre on Times Square but soon becomes obsessed with those she serves- the passing instances and the seasoned regulars, with one in particular installing a sense of perverse intrigue and desire for her character. It’s a post feminist noir set against a decaying and dangerous pre-gentrified Manhattan; the gaudy lighted ‘VARIETY’ cinema sign acts as a beacon of bygone entertainment and sexual energy against the foul and depressive New York that we can no longer comprehend or understand.
The film is a profound discussion on contemporary sexuality, especially through its female characters – women newly navigating the terrain of the sex industry, finding themselves there from curiosity and an economic drive. The film presents a generation of women understanding that the sexual liberation of the 60s hadn’t actually provided them with much; the ‘Tiny Tits and Cute Asses’ porn mag that Michelle is reading in the ticket booth is Gordon’s, bought before being asked to leave a [...]
is a book seller based in Brussels. What makes Bang Bang books so good is their specialty in selling the rarest and most obscure erotic books, so accordingly we’ve spoken to them to choose some of their favourite pieces to share with us.
Extases – Ron Raffaelli & Nicole Avril
Tchou/Vertigo, Paris, 1975 Created by rock photographer Ron Raffaelli and his lover Nicole Avril, this is a brilliant book featuring nine “chapters” of psychedelic love and sex stories. It also has a little bit of text but admittedly, the most impressive part is the photography. I’m thrilled every time I open it.
Dragon’s Dream, Paris, 1978Continuing with my obsession with all things psychedelic, Penny Slinger and Nik Douglas’s ‘Mountain Ecstasy’ is a perfect mix of poetry, erotic collage and tantric sex on paper. It does not need much introduction, I think the images speak for themselves.
The New York Review of Sex (and Politics)
Issue 7,NYC, 1969
This was an underground sex paper without much sex in it… It was founded by early members of Al Goldstein’s legendary Screw Magazine and positioned itself as a more high class & politics inclined version of Screw but was unfortunately quite short-lived.The design and the front pages were absolutely gorgeous and always inventive…
Swish Publications, London
Mouths, tongues, nipples and assholes populate l’étrangère gallery as Emma Hart and Jonathon Baldock present Suckerz, an ordered disorder of their corporeal sculptural work.
Hart and Baldock have transformed the gallery into something that resembles a Bacchanian feast with the exhibition centered around a banquet table playing stage to silhouette structures of wine bottles and glasses; piles of potatoes and fererro rochers (the universal symbol of the feast) and dismembered heads spilling with pearls from facial orifices. The table is set out for one to dine from breast shaped plates with napkins wrapped in textural tongues; a feast of the body, on the body. It’s a foul and titilating prospect.
The exhibition is evidently informed by the theories of the grotesque body, mostly Bahktin’s study of Rabelais’ work. The grotesque is the distortion and transgression of boundaries and in Suckerz the boundaries of what we consider the interior and the exterior of the body are questioned; our corporeal passageways are set out to be explored, the entrances and exits of the body- the sexual and the functional. As spaghetti like hair forms cascade from hair scrunchies attached to a wall and a strand of white hair, curled at the bottom hangs from a small sculpted arse, the grotesque’s preoccupation with the lower bodily stratum (the anus) is evidently referenced.
Baldock’s ‘Orifice Painting No 4′ is a screen peppered with hand sewn holes all over with two feet set at the bottom; one cannot pass without thinking of the glory hole, an entrance and an exit of the seedily sexual; a fragmentation of the body into one sexual part, devoid of character but its penetrative presence through a constructed passageway.
Suckerz alludes to the body that we never confront, the estranged world to [...]
Elizabeth Bathory and her Husband, Ferenc, were an extremely wealthy partnership, owning many castles and more land than the king himself. Bathory was very clever and wealthy and Ferenc was the only one with a strong enough army to fight the Turks. The two families were the most powerful and respected throughout Hungary, this plays a huge part in how she managed to get away with the murder and torture of over 650 girls over a span of 25 years from 1585-1610.
Only years into the murderess’s spree did the rumours begin, and yet nothing was done for another twenty years. The stories of her serial murders and brutality are verified by the testimony of more than 300 witnesses and survivors as well as physical evidence and the presence of horribly mutilated dead, dying and imprisoned girls found around the castle and grounds at the time of her arrest.
The Countess was a beauty and wanted to stay beautiful, her looks became an obsession. The reason for the murders was to drain the blood of the girls and bathe it in to keep her skin young and pale, however the murders themselves became increasingly elaborate and there was vast evidence of cannibalism and extreme torture. A room beneath the castle was created with the sole purpose of torture, a cage was made, ordered by the Countess that would close upon the girls with inverted spikes that would pierce all over their bodies and drain their blood for Elizabeth to use.
This obsession with retaining her youthful skin was brought on by being completely heart broken by a young man from court who’s affair with Bathory was stopped by the boy’s father on account that she would never marry him and his reputation [...]
Anita Dark Vuitton is the self proclaimed ‘Queen Porn Star’ of Second Life. Her body exemplifies our contemporary obsession with a consumeristic sexiness to a level impossible within the physical world. The extravagance of fantasy that a computer game like Second Life offers us enables someone like Anita to create an idenity completely based around an idea of impossible levels of luxury and sexuality. The aesthetic of the porn star body and imagined lifestyle has been accomplished by Anita through her dedicated to Second Life and presents us with a fascinating reflection on how our modern society is deciphering how we see sexuality as something almost capitalistically aspirational now.
To have a body in the physical world similar to Anita’s is not only logistically impossible but to achieve this body would cost a phenomenal amount money, verging on the idea where sexuality is a financial investment.
Besides from this clear obsession with luxury and prestige, Anita has happily created herself into a walking physical mass of sex. The body becomes an nothing other than an invitation to fuck in an utterly primal rage glossed over with whispers of confused consumerism.
So, to find out more about Anita’s exaggerated fantasy we interviewed her.
Who is Anita Dark Vuitton?
I am a 28 year old big bust porn star who is a provocative, extravagant blonde silicone sensation. I am the proud owner of Dark Productions porn studio which specializes in hardcore movies, glamour, soft and hardcore photography while also keeping an eye out for new talent.
WOLF made my first nude pics in december 2012. I knew since the very first time that I needed more and more to have those reflectors on myself. I met Graham Collinson during a new year party in 2012, and he took my first porn photos. Graham [...]