(GAY)SEX, SADO-MASOCHISM,VOYEURISM IN THE OFFICIAL LIVERPOOL BIENNIAL!BY STEVEN BENSON

I owe liverpool (official) Biennial a part apology. Re-reading their exhibition listings booklet scrupulously, I found listed an exhibition of work by Mark Morrisroe, the American artist/video artist who made works around the subject of the AIDS virus in the body(he died of AIDS in 1989, aged only 30)and about gay male images(including men having sex with men). These were effective, striking and redressed, to an extent, the absence of lgbt representation in the official Biennial anywhere else(except the “no faggots” card in the caravan)https://towardsutopia.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/the-liverpool-offcialbiennial2012included-or-excludedthe-perspective-of-a-gay-man-by-steven-benson/

No lesbian,or transexual/transvestite representation though(unless I am proved wrong again).

Here are two startling images by Morrisroe

Gallows

To me, this obviously represents the death sentence AIDS was(then) and is also a sado-masochistic image; and

Virus

The colour blobs, to me, represent the virus spread around the body: an obviously sickeningly unwelcome “guest”

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There was also an exhibition, in the same venue (“Open Eye Gallery”)by the Japanese photographer Kohei Yoshiyuki, which was intriguing because:

1.it was images of opposite sex AND same  sex couples having sex in public outdoor spaces.2 it was adventurous in a number of ways; firstly,visitors were given torches(!) to be, themselves/ourselves, VOYEURS on the voyeurs/participants in the sexual activity in the photographs(in, I think, a Japanese park); and the exhibition, like the captured activity, was  itself in the dark, hence the torches; well one reason for the torches!The other being, they made us captive audiences, seriously and intently and sombrely looking at these sexually explicit images, watching the watchers; I started giggling at this thought. And how people had been EMARRASSED into,possibly unawares, carrying out this clandestine activity; whereby art mirrored life/reality. This being one of the things these exhibitions often do well, perhaps sometimes more knowingly than others: the blurring of life and art.

(More on The Cunard Building , next; and, possibly on the old sorting office in Copperas Hill, in the light of this)

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As regards the (welcome or unwelcome) guest theme of the official Biennial, we were unwelcome (or WERE we???!)guests spying, in the dark, by only torchlight,on these couplings. And the unwelcome feeling had nothing to do with sexual orientation this time,because there were same sex couples photographed having sex(so i felt WELCOMED in that sense, but also UNwelcome in that we were all voyeurs; but perhaps the couples were all indulging in “dogging”, so we WERE welcome (extra) guests!)

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Anyway, since there was at least SOME  gay male representation, THOUGH NOT IN THE BEST CIRCUMSTANCES, and no discernible same sex female representation or trans representation,you are slightly redeemed further, official Biennial!I say slightly because there is the lesbian/transexual/transvestite neglect but also because the images of the gay men/ same sex activity were mainly of sex-related content, which was gloriously voyeuristic but panders to the myth that gay men are obsessed with sex and are, by “definition”, promiscuous.

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About decayetude

ENTHUSIASMS: CLASSICAL MUSIC, ESPECIALLY OBSCURE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS; BACH/HANDEL LITERATURE, ESPECIALLY THOUGHTFUL, WELL-WRITTEN(STYLISTICALLY)NOVELS W G SEBALD WALTER BENJAMIN THEODOR ADORNO(JUST BEGINNING!) AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHY GAY MEN'S WRITING;QUEER THEORY STIMULATING DISCUSSIONS(EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY) GOOD RICH THICK ESPRESSO MICHAEL PONTI SPRITUALITY/LIFE'S "AURA"(BENJAMIN), WHATEVER TRANSCENDENTAL THING YOU WANT TO CALL THIS MEMORY-the elusiveness thereof. LOST TIME AND AN ATTEMPT AT ITS REDEMPTION(NON THEISTICALLY/RELIGIOUSLY)
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