Browse

You are looking at 51 - 60 of 614 items for :

  • Art, Architecture and Visual Culture x
Clear All
Abstract only
Surrogates, envelopes
Andy Campbell

Bound together’s conclusion ruminates on two series by the artist Monica Majoli, who sees her works as both ‘surrogates’ and ‘envelopes’ for herself. In luminous oil paintings of gay male piss orgies and monochromatic gouaches of suspended rubbermen, Majoli visualizes leather scenarios that center the masochist’s body and experiences. Each extrapolates from an archive of lived experiences of an other, forcing Majoli to grapple with questions about subjectivity and sociality. Like Majoli, these paintings have become, over the years, ‘surrogates’ and ‘envelopes’ for the author and the work of collecting, archiving, and entering the scene of leathersex. Connection begets connection, and the transmission of sexual gifts is discussed as a hallmark of leather and queer cultures more broadly.

in Bound together
Andy Campbell

This chapter discusses Fred Halsted’s pornographic leather film, L.A. Plays Itself (1972), and traces its editing and exhibition history. Composed of two dissimilar sections—one focusing on urban cruising and fisting and the other on penetrative sex in the natural grandeur of the Malibu hills—Halsted switched the ordering of these sections in the early years of the film’s history. His 1974 screening at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and his subsequent gift of L.A. Plays Itself and two other films to the museum, became a point of pride for the director, who may have reordered his film to suit the narratives of Modernism pervasive in the museum’s permanent collection installations. Decades later, the artists A. K. Burns and A. L. Steiner watched Halsted’s film in MoMA’s screening room and it inspired the pair to make their own pornographic art video (also now owned by MoMA), Community Action Center (2010). In a sequence of polymorphously perverse scenes, Burns and Steiner directly quote L.A. Plays Itself and incorporate its gritty, experimental attitude with lesbian-feminist, queer, and trans performers and sources, assembling a heterogeneous pornographic archive in the process.

in Bound together
Andy Campbell

The third chapter discusses the recent reception of Tom of Finland, perhaps the best-known artist within and outside of leather communities, and asks the question: What does Tom of Finland’s work gain when it is collected by major art museum in the U.S.? In exploring a potential answer to this question, the historical influences, reception, and distribution of the artist’s work are detailed; it is a history that is now primarily told by the Tom of Finland Foundation. The Foundation, located in the house the artist lived in for a time, is one of the primary subjects of a video by artist Patrick Staff entitled The Foundation (2015). In it, Staff explores the limits of normative leather masculinities through verité footage of the daily activities at the Tom of Finland Foundation and a constructed studio scenario, wherein Staff and an older gay man (roughly fitting into the ‘gay daddy’ type) dance together and explore their differences.

in Bound together
Abstract only
Bound together
Andy Campbell

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.

in Bound together
Abstract only
Andy Campbell

Berlin-based artist Dean Sameshima’s painted silkscreen appropriations of erotic connect-the-dots activities (which initially appeared in the pages of Drummer magazine) are the subject of the fifth chapter. Reading his interest in ‘numbers’ broadly—including Sameshima’s direct reference to John Rechy’s 1967 novel of the same name—the chapter discusses the work’s capacities to frustrate handy readings of archival objects. One work in particular, Bodily Fluids, 2007, is emblematic of these efforts, and it brings together various concerns across Sameshima’s oeuvre. Bodily Fluids not only entangles racialized subjectivities with historical sexual codes, but also intimates the ways in which we may be alone while also with others.

in Bound together
Andy Campbell

The second chapter discusses an installation by the California-based artist collective Die Kränken, who made use of the Blue Max Motorcycle Club papers (owned by the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives) in a wide-ranging installation that translated a theatrical production staged yearly by the Southern California motorcycle club. In thinking about history, care, and relationality Die Kränken puts particular investment in the nurse as a figure of historical stewardship. Die Kränken’s project is placed in stark opposition to an exhibition of a ‘found’ album of photographs discovered by New York gallerist and poet Scott Zieher, who refused to contextually place or research his find before separating the album’s contents and selling them. In critically engaging with Zieher’s project and book—both entitled ‘Band of Bikers’—the chapter concludes that motorcycle clubs, an important engine of the social lifeways and aesthetic programs of broader leather cultures, deserve better than to be shrouded in mystery.

in Bound together
Andy Campbell

Detailing the history of the Leather Archives & Museum, the only bricks-and-mortar archive to be solely dedicated to the collection, preservation, and display of leather histories, this chapter takes a cue from Michel Foucault’s habit for reading archives on the diagonal, using the hanky code, a color-coded sexual signaling system developed in the 1970s, as an organizing principle for apprehending the social lifeways of gay and lesbian leatherfolks. By choosing yellow as a focal point in unspooling leather histories—a color whose relation to golden showers, or the erotics of pissing, remains consistent across the many historical iterations of the hanky code— the depth and breadth of the institution’s collections are put into coordination with the constellated visual and material cultures of gay and lesbian leather communities.

in Bound together
The global exposition and the museum
Jane Chin Davidson

One of the reasons why global expositions, biennials, and artfairs appear as ‘new’ global institutions is due in part to the museumifying permanence of objects reflecting the manufacture of the art / science divide. Throughout the twentieth century, it was the museum, not the biennial artfair, that inscribed the artwork and the artefact according to the categories of the modern and the primitive, the west and the non-west. The historical objects collected by museums in Europe and the United States have come to represent the colonialist past, and its archival methodology is defined by the temporary collections of some of the same cultures represented in global artfairs worldwide. Ultimately, this chapter’s contextualization of the discursive domain of museums, global expositions, and their representation of Chinese states is conceived as a study of the ‘performative archive.’ In the analysis of the first artists representing China, Taiwan and Hong Kong in official pavilions at the Venice Biennale between 1993 and 2005, the individual case studies offer an understanding of how cultural and national identities are performed and produced in the expositions’ metaphorical spaces.

in Staging art and Chineseness
Jane Chin Davidson

Chapter 1 introduces the theoretical, historical, and political dimensions of the term Chineseness as it relates to Chinese artists and global exhibitions. The question of artistic authenticity and what constitutes ‘Chinese contemporary art’ compels new approaches to addressing the identification of artists from China and diasporic elsewheres. The chapter tracks the development of the discourse of Chineseness, articulated by Rey Chow in 1998 as a theoretical problem derived from Orientalism’s systematic exclusivism separating the West from the non-West throughout the twentieth century. Contributions to the discursive shift in the twenty-first century were led by film theorists, including Chow, Sheldon Hsiao-peng Lu, and Shu-mei Shih, who used the term Chineseness to theorize the diasporic differences among sinophonic film scripts in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Chinese-America. In contrast, the bodily-oriented video works explored in this book update Chineseness as a performative identity. The subjects of film are connected to performance video through the concept of interpellation, traced to the influence of Mao on Althusser’s On Contradiction and the ‘imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence.’ Chineseness ultimately represents the fluid, unstable, unfixable meaning of ‘Chinese’ within historical and contemporary discourses for the staging of art and culture.

in Staging art and Chineseness
Jane Chin Davidson

Chapter 4 pivots to the subject of global expositions. Located across the globe in places such as Guangzhou, Taipei, Fukuoka, Gwangju, and Busan in the regions of Asia, the biennials/triennials serve as the very example of a de-centered and decentralized institution for art as they are held in diverse places when once they were reserved solely for Euro-American nations. But contrary to this notion of exhibitionary innovation, the biennial’s organizing principle was first conceived in the nineteenth century – the longest-running artfair, the Venice Biennale, began in 1895. For this reason, the inclusion of China’s artists in the 1993 Venice Biennale was an important ‘first’ in the exhibition of China’s xiandai yishu contemporary art. Significantly, the 1992 Guangzhou Biennale the year before was the first-ever biennial-type art exposition held in China. The Biennale’s archetypal institution provides a useful genealogy for investigating the structural tendencies that were closely related to the representation of nations in the nineteenth-century world’s fairs. In contrast, the political way in which curator/director Okwui Enwezor has contributed to the Documenta quinquennial in Kassel, Germany (inaugurated in 1955) reveals the twenty-first-century potential of the art exposition for showcasing trans/national issues and advocacies.

in Staging art and Chineseness