Introduction
Bound together
in Bound together
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Making the argument that leather archives and certain strands of contemporary queer artistic practice are bound up with one another, and that each gives the other meanings that enrich and deepen their respective significance to their own times, communities, and even, to culture at large, the introduction sets out to define the book’s critical terms—chiefly, leather and archives. Leather, for the purposes of this text, is proposed as a diverse sexual ecology that privileges fucking and improvisatory play, genital and non-genital pleasure, rules and their effacement—all under the rubric of a seemingly static visual iconography, which in actuality is always in the process of being amended, shored, repurposed, and obliterated. Eschewing the metonymic linguistic figuration of ‘the archive,’ the introduction argues for taking a more on-the-ground approach to assessing and working with archives. A work by queer/non-binary artist Roy A. Martinez, a comic strip by leather artist Bill Ward, and the online archive ‘The Colors of Leather’ are discussed as brief case studies.

Bound together

Leather, sex, archives, and contemporary art

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