kagablog

May 24, 2015

Agnes Martin on the artist’s pride

Filed under: art,philosophy — ABRAXAS @ 2:01 pm

You think it would be easy to discover what is blinding you, but it isn’t so easy. It’s pride and fear that covers the mind. Pride blinds you. It destroys everything on the way in. Pride is completely destructive. It never leaves anything untouched. First it takes one way … telling you that you’re all right … boosting up your ego, making all kinds of excuses for you… It takes a long time for us to turn against pride and get rid of it entirely. And, of course, with every little downfall of pride, we feel a tremendous step up in freedom and in joy. Of course, most people don’t really have to come to grips with pride and fear. But artists do, because as soon as they’re alone and solitary, they feel fear. Most people don’t believe they have pride and fear, because they’ve been conditioned on pride and fear. But all of us have it. If we don’t think we have it, then that’s a deceit of pride. Pride practices all kinds of deceits. It’s very, very tricky. To recognize and overcome fear and pride, in order to have freedom of mind, is a long process.

more here: http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/03/31/agnes-martin-john-gruen-interview/

May 23, 2015

costica bradatan reviews marius hentea’s life of tristan tzara

Filed under: art,literature,philosophy,poetry,reviews,unga dada — ABRAXAS @ 3:02 pm

Marius Hentea
TATA DADA
The real life and celestial adventures of Tristan Tzara
360pp. MIT Press. Paperback, £24.95 (US $34.95).
978 0 262 02754 0

It is . . . foolish and self-destructive to lead a Dada life”, the poet Andrei Codrescu has written, because a Dada life will “include by definition pranks, buffoonery . . . intoxication, sabotage, taboo-breaking, playing childish and/or dangerous games, waking up dead gods, and not taking education seriously.” Dada is all these things and, beyond them, a constant practice of self-creation, an orgy of self-fashioning. That much is clear from the life of one of its founders, Tristan Tzara, as recounted by Marius Hentea.

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Tristan Tzara was born Samuel Rosenstock in Moineşti (a small town in Romania, some 200 miles north of Bucharest) on April 16, 1896. At the time, Romania was still using the Julian calendar. By the modern calendar, his birthday would be April 28, which, as Hentea points out, happens to be the day when the Romanian Orthodox Church celebrates the martyr Dada. (This is not a Dadaist joke.) Although he was born into an affluent middle-class milieu, Samuel lacked something important: a country. Until the end of the First World War, Jews in Romania were rarely citizens, even when they were born there, even after several generations. Those who did gain Romanian citizenship – for example, decorated war veterans or influential financiers – were naturalized on an individual basis, through a complicated legal procedure. Young Samuel must have found that unbearable, because around 1915 he decided he should have in his name what he didn’t have in real life: Tzara (“country”).

Most ironic of all, however, is the fact that the word is slightly misspelled: it should in fact beŢara (which Samuel also considered). To simplify pronunciation and spelling, it might make sense to use “Tzara” abroad, but not inside Romania, where it looks unusual and foreign. That must have been precisely Samuel’s point. Alienation became his second nature, and foreignness his artistic method. When he adopted French as his main language, he made sure he didn’t sound too native in it. As Hentea aptly points out, “the foreignness of French contributed to his distinctive poetry, which could be destructive and bric-à-brac in the way that a native poet could not be”.

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Once Samuel Rosenstock became Tristan Tzara, he was perhaps bound to leave his native country; indeed, another way of reading “Tristan Tzara” in Romanian is Trist înțarǎ: “[it is] sad in the country”. His feelings about Romania, though, would have been more complex than that, for his young country was in the throes of a “rushed modernity”, as Hentea puts it. Barely independent from the Ottoman Empire, Romania was furiously refashioning itself as a European country, adopting everything Western. Bucharest, once a sleepy Eastern town, dreamed of being “a little Paris”, and was undergoing the most dramatic changes. As the French author Frédéric Damé noticed in 1906: “Everything which today makes up the capital’s beauty, everything which gives it the air of a modern city only dates from yesterday”. So the notion of radical reinvention, of re-creation from scratch, was something Tzara must have breathed along with Bucharest’s dusty air. And he smuggled it out with him when he left for Zurich.

Officially, Tzara went to Zurich to complete his studies, but he spent much of his time in the city’s literary cafés and cabarets. In February 1916, having nothing to lose, he decided to perform in one of these cabarets with a handful of friends. Nothing in these youths’ exotic, awkward appearance suggested the earthquake they were about to produce. Hugo Ball, the cabaret’s founder, recalled their arrival at his first performance: “an Oriental-looking deputation of four little men arrived, with portfolios and pictures under their arms: repeatedly they bowed politely. They introduced themselves: Marcel Janco the painter, Tristan Tzara, Georges Janco, and a fourth gentleman whose name I did not quite catch”. The birth of Dada, orchestrated by these “little men”, can be traced to that performance. Other future Dadaists were already there or on their way: Ball, Emmy Hennings, Hans Arp and Richard Huelsenbeck, to name just a few. From Zurich, Dada would spread like fire on a dry night.

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When Tzara mockingly whispered, “Adieu ma mère, adieu mon père”, on the cabaret’s stage, his farewell had little to do with his family. Rather, it must have been addressed to a whole civilization and the order on which it was based – political, economic, military, cultural and intellectual. That order itself was an odd thing. Firmly rooted in the “Age of Reason”, it evolved into something that was anything but rational; what had started out, innocently enough, in the literary salons of the Enlightenment, with writers singing praises to “man in a state of nature” and philosophers dreaming of “perpetual peace”, ended up with one of the bloodiest wars the world had ever seen. The civilization of Europe came to exhibit the wildest contradictions: it mostly did away with transcendence, yet it worshipped science; it gleefully proclaimed that “God is dead”, yet embraced reason with a boundless faith. The latest discoveries in chemistry were used to gas the other side’s soldiers; barely invented, the aeroplane was deployed to bomb their cities more thoroughly. The First World Ward showed just how easy it was for a civilization built on a faith in “infinite progress” to regress to barbarism.

What Tzara – and, with him, the whole Dadaist movement – did was, in a sense, disarmingly simple: they placed a mirror before a civilization that seemed to be committing suicide. They just sat to one side, amusing themselves to death. As Tzara put it, Dada remained within the “framework of European weaknesses, it’s still shit, but from now on we want to shit in different colours so as to adorn the zoo of art with all the flags of all the consulates”. And the place where all this started – referred to by Tzara as a “cosmopolitan mix of God and brothel” – was called, quite fittingly, “Cabaret Voltaire”.

Hentea traces Tzara’s every step from Moineşti to Zurich to Paris, and discusses everything he published, every magazine he edited, every hoax he performed, almost every letter he wrote. The Tzara that emerges is Dada’s leading figure: a gifted poet, performer and editor, a tireless manager, promoter and public relations expert. As Hentea points out, the overwhelming importance of modern mass media for the dissemination of avant-garde ideas was something that Tzara understood like few writers before him.

Tzara’s unforgettable manifestos, with their combination of literary, artistic, typographical and even commercial elements, created the social awareness needed for Dada to make an impact. In no time he became a virtuoso of “l’arte di far manifesti”, as the Futurist Marinetti put it. His voice was clear and poignant, his gestures precise, self-assured, light-handed, his writing razor-sharp. Take this fragment from the “Dada Manifesto” (1918):

“abolition of logic, which is the dance of those impotent to create: Dada; abolition of memory: Dada; abolition of archaeology: Dada; abolition of prophets: Dada; abolition of the future: Dada; absolute and unquestionable faith in every god that is the immediate product of spontaneity: Dada;”

Such statements did not make Tzara a militant or activist. In line with Dada’s absurdist philosophy, his manifestos are manifestly against everything and nothing, which makes them nonsensical, which is precisely his point. “I write a manifesto and I want nothing”, he said. “In principle I am against manifestos, as I am against principles . . . . I write this manifesto to show that people can perform contrary actions together while taking one fresh gulp of air.” Eugène Ionesco and Samuel Beckett would take the absurd from where Tzara left off, and turn it into a new art form altogether.

Importantly, Tzara’s manifestos are not sermons; he is in no position to sermonize. This, for instance, is from the “Manifesto of Mr. Aa the anti-philosopher”:

“Take a good look at me!
I am an idiot, I am a clown, I am a faker.
Take a good look at me!
I am ugly, my face has no expression, I am little.
I am like all of you!”

Proclamations such as these touch on something deeper than the sheer “entertainment” some Dada performances, happenings and hoaxes might suggest: they reveal the philosophical vision in which all of them were rooted and which is not reconstructed in Hentea’s book as fully as it might have been. Tzara the philosopher is an intriguing figure, as complex as he is unexplored. Throughout his work the former philosophy student engaged – unsystematically and eclectically, but passionately – with Nietzsche, Wilhelm Wundt, Henri Bergson, and perhaps even, as Andrei Codrescu and others have shown, with elements of Hasidic and Kabbalistic philosophy. On the one hand, Tzara’s thought is a philosophy of crisis – an “anti-philosophy” – that responded to the manmade catastrophes of his time. On the other, there is something trans-historical and metaphysical about Tzara’s vision. His universe is one where chance, spontaneity and indeterminacy rule. “Logic is always false”, he said. “It draws the superficial fibres of concepts and words towards illusory conclusions and centres.” For Tzara, as for Dostoevsky’s underground man, one can find liberation only in sticking one’s tongue out. Life in such a universe, he once suggested, boils down to “a game of words”; yet still a game worth playing.

On his deathbed, Tzara told a journalist: “Everyone is a poet in one way or another, in a more or less conscious way”. He may have started out as a “faker” and a “clown”, playing the “idiot” out of media savviness or just a desire to provoke; yet he came to take his own masks seriously. If as a young rebel he made a career out of poking fun at the literary establishment, late in life he fought tooth and nail to ensure that his position in the canon was properly recognized, and his legacy taken care of. More seriously, he ended up entangled in some of the contradictions of the world he had always laughed at, finding himself mocked, as it were, by the object of his own mockery. Early on he had rejected political activism and thought Communism a “bourgeois form of revolution”, but after the Second World War he joined the French Communist Party, and took an active role in it. He was, as Hentea puts it, “fully committed to PCF cultural initiatives” and represented the Party abroad. Tzara even went so far as to sing the praises of the Soviet Union for having “guaranteed freedom of expression”. What kind of freedom Soviet Russia guaranteed was revealed in 1956, when the Red Army put a bloody end to the Budapest Uprising. Tzara promptly left the PCF.

Marius Hentea has given us what will probably be the book in English on Tristan Tzara for some time: splendidly written, thoroughly researched, balanced and sophisticated, and infected by his subject’s creative energy. With its eye-catching design and generous illustrations, there is also something distinctly Dada about TaTa Dada, for which the publishers deserve their fair share of praise.

Costica Bradatan is Associate Professor of Humanities at the Texas Tech University and Honorary Research Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Queensland. His most recent book, Dying for Ideas: The dangerous lives of the philosophers, was published earlier this year.

first published here: http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1558393.ece

May 21, 2015

pierre de vos on willem boshoff’s proudly racist

Filed under: art,politics,reviews — ABRAXAS @ 3:27 pm

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keep reading this review here: http://constitutionallyspeaking.co.za/at-the-venice-biennale-an-ugly-condescending-scream-on-the-wall/

a portrait of dina kuijers

Filed under: art,caelan — ABRAXAS @ 3:10 pm

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May 14, 2015

on picasso and money

Filed under: art,dick tuinder — ABRAXAS @ 4:36 am

“As for Picasso, it’s been recorded that he was a cheapskate, who didn’t like to spend his money if he could avoid it. So what he did was, whenever he wrote a check, he would draw a small doodle on it as well. This way, he hoped, the recipient would choose to keep a signed Picasso drawing, rather than actually cashing the check. In this way, everyone benefited; Picasso got to keep his money, and the recipient was able to sell the check for more than its face value.”

http://www.shaviro.com/Blog/

May 1, 2015

Filed under: art,caelan — ABRAXAS @ 2:51 pm

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April 21, 2015

earthshattering

Filed under: art,helgé janssen — ABRAXAS @ 8:56 am

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Title: Earthshattering

medium: oil on canvas

size: 460mm X 610mm

April 17, 2015

vagina selfies on trial

Filed under: art,censorship — ABRAXAS @ 11:17 am

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keep reading this article here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/15/japanese-artist-trial-vagina-selfies

April 16, 2015

andrea vinassa on kaganof’s sanctuary @muti gallery

Filed under: art,kagagallery,reviews — ABRAXAS @ 10:22 am

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first published here: http://artsouthafrica.com/archives/archived-reviews/213-main-archive/archived-reviews/1586-aryan-kaganof-2.html

April 15, 2015

aryan kaganof interviews thokozani mthiyane

Filed under: art,kaganof — ABRAXAS @ 10:06 am

WAR from African Noise Foundation on Vimeo.

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first published here: http://www.unlikelystories.org/04/kaganof1104e.shtml

April 12, 2015

adorno on so-called “protest art”

Filed under: art,philosophy,politics — ABRAXAS @ 5:06 pm

the only protest left to authentic art is complete withdrawal from society.

April 8, 2015

why not auction the statues?

Filed under: art,politics — ABRAXAS @ 11:29 am

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April 2, 2015

frank moore on performance

Filed under: art,Frank Moore — ABRAXAS @ 9:17 am

When someone goes to a cabaret, he knows there are certain limits involved such as that each act must end before another begins; but in performance, anything is possible. A performance can last for a minute or it can last for days. Performance can start in one space but then move to another. Performance can be storytelling, it can be a guy threatening you with a baseball bat, it can be a guy hanging by his skin, or throwing food, or anything. In performance all things are possible. And that is what gives you an extra edge to create dreams.

Performance, like any avant garde art, is the way society dreams; it is the way society expands its freedom, explores the forbidden in safety, loosens up. Society needs its dream art, just as an individual needs to dream or will go insane. Our moral majority society, bent on going backwards into the violent blank rigidity of a censored mind, needs taboo breaking dreams to get back to freedom. Performance is perfectly suited for this dream role. At the present time, our society is at a fork in its growth. It can go deeper into high tech impersonal isolation, or it can rediscover the magic that happens when physical and emotional humans actively and directly link up with one another. Art can either just follow society, just recording the trends, or it can take a pathbreaker role. I am talking to you artists who are not as lucky as I am to have a physical reminder that they are misfits of society whose job it is to push back the limits of society. This is a reminder that we misfits are still needed.

Mother's Day from African Noise Foundation on Vimeo.

Performance art, the art of performance, is rooted in the private games of babies where every move and gesture has its own meaning to the baby it is rooted in the creative and the destructive games that a little kid does when he is all alone games that adults still do, but will not admit to doing, even to themselves.

One of the main criticisms I get is that my art is old fashioned, a throwback to the 60′s. I find this funny because the roots of the art are much more old fashioned than that, going back to the cave.

Performance obviously goes much farther back than 1909 when it became a formal art form. The Futurists were reacting to the bankruptcy of formal art, with its gallery power scene, the elitism of art, the money, the politics, and the social scene of art. This is a true but a one sided view of why performance appeared at that time.

I think performance came into existence to fill a void in western life. The void was the lack of magic and inspiration. The two areas of creativity, theatre and religion that traditionally were the source of this magical inspiration had long ago moved from magic to entertainment and politics. This void also gave birth to psychology during that same time period. I often get the criticism that my work is really psychology and therapy, and not art. When it is realized that psychology as a formal science and performance as a formal art were born at the same time, this criticism can be answered. Performance and psychology are both involved in spiritual healing by digging into the hidden mysteries of life.

The dynamic of seeing art is not the fundamental dynamic of art. The doing of art is art’s basic dynamic. The doing of art and having other people see the art work are two separate dynamics, events, rituals. The seeing of art is what the viewer or listener does in her head. The doing of art is the ritual of creation, is what the artist does. In reality, this ritual has more to do with the act of doing than the act of creating. When a child first draws crazy lines on the wall, he is not trying to create something…but to do something for some effective purpose that our linear logic cannot grasp. The crazy person does his insane rituals, not to express himself but to keep the sky from falling or to make pain go away. And it works. The sky does not fall down. Maybe it is because of the rituals of the insane.

A SACRIFICE from African Noise Foundation on Vimeo.

The very act of doing changes the whole universe. This is a key principle of magic. By doing a ritual or by speaking a spell, you can effect change. Painting a picture, doing a dance, writing a poem, any act of art can be a magical ritual, the doing of which has nonlinear effects. Seen in this way, most acts of creation are private rituals done in personal caves. What we usually think of as works of art are aftermaths of art.

The problem with our modern frame of art reality is not that we make art to be seen, but that we have forgotten (or have been made to forget by those who control what is to be seen and what is not) that the power of doing art is the main power of art. The private performance is a way to regain the magical power of the doing of art. Defining what a private performance is is an interesting way to enter the magic. I define it as a ritual that is not for an audience. It is something that has to be done, something you may not even want to do. One of the easiest to frame as a private performance is a shaman going to his secret spot to do rites nobody will see to open himself up for channeling visions that he cannot personally use or tell anyone about. We have seen other obvious private performances the child, the madman, the artist alone doing art. We can add things like doodling, singing in the shower, playing invisible drums to the radio when you are safe alone in your room. It is something that has to come out. It is something too silly, too taboo, too sacred, too intense, too raw, too vulnerable to be done in public, to be expressed. This may be where real art begins. This kind of doing by one person is clearly private performance. It has an element of secrecy and undercover. I can remember singing on my bed along with the radio, quickly stopping when anyone opened the door, not wanting to be exposed, not wanting to lessen the magic. And now I sing in rock clubs.

The hidden ritual not only kept me from insanity (some people will say that makes it therapy, not art), but opened nonlinear routes of possibilities not only for me, but for everybody. The private performance gives the artist freedom from limits and shoulds and morals, so that she can go beyond where the society or culture or the consciousness has reached, to connect to the universal power. By doing this she brings a new universal area into this reality.

first published here: http://www.eroplay.com/Cave/shaman.html#WritingAnchor

March 29, 2015

frank moore on the cave of creation

Filed under: art,Frank Moore,i&I younity movement — ABRAXAS @ 1:25 am

“The problem with our modern frame of art reality is its preoccupation with what is seen. What we usually think of as works of art are aftermaths of art. The fundamental dynamic of art is in the doing. The doing of art and having other people see the artwork are two separate dynamics, events, rituals. The seeing of art is what the viewer or the listener does in her head. The doing of art is the ritual of creation, is what the artist does. In reality, this ritual has more to do with the act of doing than the act of creation. When a child first draws crazy lines on the wall, he is not trying to create something or express himself or show you something … but to do something for some effective purpose that our linear logic cannot grasp. The crazy person does his insane rituals, not to express himself, but to keep the sky from falling or to make pain go away. And it works. The sky does not fall down. Maybe it is because of the rituals of the insane.

“The very act of doing changes the whole universe. This is a key principle of magic. By doing a ritual or by speaking a spell, you can effect change. Painting a picture, doing a dance, writing a poem, any act of art can be a magical ritual, the doing of which has nonlinear effects. Most acts of creation are private rituals done in personal caves.

“The ancient cave artists operated in this magical way. Their art was not for looking at. This is why they did their rituals and paintings in very dangerous, inaccessible, pitch-black bowels of caves. The purpose of these paintings and rituals was to magically effect change in the world (the past, the present, and the future, as well as the life after death …) or to communicate with the universal powers. The act of doing this magical art released an energy, some of which remained within these caves, making them ‘holy’ or ‘magical’ sites. The walls of a lot of these caves have layers upon layers of magical drawings done by different tribes over the time spans of hundreds or thousands of years. These tribes may have been drawn to these dangerously inaccessible caves by this special energy, released through the doing of art, stored in the caves, radiating out of the caves, and recharged by every new act of magic art done within the cave.

first published here: http://www.eroplay.com/Cave/magicalblend.html

on art and the abyss

Filed under: art,philosophy — ABRAXAS @ 12:25 am

What art presents are not the Ideas of Reason, but the Chaos, the Abyss, the Groundlessness to which it gives form. And through this presentation, it is a window on the Chaos; it abolishes our tranquil and stupid assurance about our daily life; it reminds us that we forever live at the edge of the Abyss.
Cornelius Castoriadis

March 26, 2015

EROART by Frank Moore (1984)

Filed under: art,Frank Moore,nicola deane,sex — ABRAXAS @ 10:52 am

I wrote the below manifesto before the internet, before people like Annie Sprinkle reclaimed the word “porn” for life affirming art, before VIMEO.com, really before a lot of things. I am bringing it back from the vault because I am starting a new group on VIMEO.com, NUDE PERFORMANCE ART, DANCE AND VIDEO. There is a ton of what I called below EROART of all kinds on VIMEO.com. the erart video group is here: https://vimeo.com/groups/eroart
Frank Moore, August 2011

EROART
Frank Moore
1984

Thanks to the repressive, anti sexual, anti pleasure morality, romanticism, and pornography, the traditional area of eroart — art that uses nudity, physicality, and/or sex to turn people on to life — has been ripped off by pornography.

Almost everyone is against porn films. Almost everybody in his right mind. But everybody isn’t in his right mind, which is why there is porn anyway. But it is fashionable to be against porn. There are many good reasons to be against porn. Fashion is not one of them. The anti sex, anti pleasure, anti nudity morality is not one of the good reasons to be anti porn. This kind of repressive morality is the main reason why during the nineteenth century kinky violent porn caught on.

What I am interested in is art that creates in people the desire to go out and play with other people, and to enjoy life. This is the art of eroplay. Historically, one of the tools of this art has been the sex act. But sex has only been a tool, not the goal. And it is just one of many tools.

NICOLA'S FIRST ORGASM from African Noise Foundation on Vimeo.

Isadora Duncan is a person whom I would call an artist in the eroplay tradition. She used nudity (especially at private parties where she could dance without feeling moral judgments) and movement to turn people on physically to their own bodies and to passion for life. This is the true goal of eroplay art, which has been called eroart. Most books on eroart miss the true purpose of such art. There has always been sexual erotic art. This kind of art is universal and can be traced back to the caves and beyond.

This is not true for what is defined as porn. I am trying to define eroart. We are forced to separate it from porn, and rightly so.

It is fashionable to be anti porn. But it is human to be anti porn because porn is anti human, not only anti female. It is violence between individual people. At times, this violence is graphic. It is personal and intimate violence in a hostile and impersonal form. I hurt you to make me feel turned on because I cannot get turned on in any other way because I cannot feel … besides, you like being hurt … if you don’t … who cares. This isn’t the symbolic or surreal violence in other kinds of films.

Porn is also anti human because it creates a picture of what sex should be that is unreal and boring. It creates pictures of what you should be like … pictures which are hard to live up to … and if you do live up to them, you will be a big- dicked jerk or a big titted bimbo.

These are the fundamental reasons why to be anti porn.

PRIMAL SCENE from African Noise Foundation on Vimeo.

But face it, the main reason that most people are anti porn is because porn is boring and dumb. The people who make porn (I am talking about straight porn now, leaving the kinky, violent porn in the trash can) think that the main reason why people go to see porn is to see tubes going in and out of holes. So they cram in as many tubes going in and out of holes as possible in ninety minutes … and as close up as possible. This may be true for some people, but for most people, it gets boring once curiosity is satisfied, curiosity about what it looks like, and once the possibility of seeing everything is fulfilled.

It is fashionable to be anti porn. But it is not fashionable to offer an alternative to porn. It is not fashionable to admit that people like seeing other people nude, seeing other people getting turned on and being turned on. It is not fashionable to admit people are curious to see other people’s bodies, to see what they are really like under those clothes. It is not fashionable to admit people feel cheated whenever the camera moves away, fades away, when people on the screen are getting intimate. It is not fashionable because it would be putting yourself, your body, and your emotions where your ideals and your politics are.

To make videos that satisfy that child like need of seeing nude bodies and seeing people playing, making out, and having fun is not as profitable as either what Hollywood does or what the porn makers do. This child like need is the healthy human desire that is perverted in porn.

The time is right for an art form that addresses this healthy desire. The women’s movement has changed people’s standards with regard to sex and the quality of relationships. This is true of both men and of women. They have scrapped, or are scrapping, the old sexist ways and attitudes, and now they find the old style porn disgusting … but more importantly, they are finding porn is not meeting their needs and desires. They want to be turned on in a way that is not sexual; they want to see nudity without stupidity; they want to see new ways of relating between humans both in and out of bed. Eroart in all media can show this way of relating … can show both purely nonsexual eroplay and eroplay as foreplay in sex.

DIABELLI VARIATION XXXIII from African Noise Foundation on Vimeo.

Film and video can do this. But the producers of porn haven’t the foggiest idea of this, and have a vested interest in the meat approach. In its broadest definition, erovideo could be any kind of film westerns, thrillers, science fiction, etc. — in which the unwritten rules are not followed. The camera doesn’t fade or cut away from erotic scenes before it is logical to do so … bodies wouldn’t be cut off. Cable has made porn so available that it has removed the glamour of the forbidden. As a result, porn has to stand on its lack of merit. As a result, the sales and rentals on adult tapes are going down, and the adult cable systems are going out of business.

The desire to see nudity and intimacy and to be turned on is not being satisfied. Hollywood is caught between being ruled by taboos and being in the business of teasing. Andy Warhol once said Hollywood has been doing a forty year striptease, showing a little more each year to get people to come back.

The closest Hollywood comes to the erotic/sexual (except for a few maverick directors like Roeg) is the sex exploitation and youth exploitation films. There seems to be an unwritten rule that if it is sexy sexual nude, it has to be dumb. Hollywood does exploitative films because they make money. They make money because they are the closest thing to the erotic/sexual that is offered. But sitting through a dumb movie to see nude bodies of dumb people is not worth it. Hollywood, however, will not take risks.

Hollywood will not make such a risky, daring product as a truly erotic film mainly because of the high money stakes involved. The pornographers will not do it either because of their lack of skill, insight, and morality, or because they too are ruled by money, and by criminals.

But breaking taboos has always been a part of art, at least the area of art that seeks to change consciousness, change morality, change reality. The breaking of taboos ideally should not be a part of eroplay for everyday life. But it is. Art can slowly take eroplay out of the taboo area. This is one of the functions of art.

inmediares from African Noise Foundation on Vimeo.

Here is where art comes in. As I have said, this kind of art creates a kind of bubble in which the forbidden can be done with immunity, releasing the energy of the broken taboo … energy which then affects society as a whole. Art makes a clear circle of difference between this bubble and everyday reality; it is a kind of safety valve for society … much as dreams are to the individual. According to the book THE PAINTED BODY, the caves where the first artists did their work where no one could see were such bubbles, as was body painting. Performance art is this kind of consciousness altering art. It creates a special time and place where taboos can be broken, where new ways can be introduced into the society.

The other way that art can make it easier for us in everyday life, and at the same time fight against the anti pleasure, anti human morality, against sexism, against pornography, against romanticism, is by showing us eroplay, both with and without sex, and getting us acquainted and comfortable with eroplay. This can be done in all media. Enter erovision. Erotic projects could be made on half inch video tape by individual artists to be sold directly by mail from the artist to the individual viewer. This would avoid the power structures that grow up around big money.

Half inch video, home video, is cheap in materials, editing, and post production, and distribution is much, much cheaper than in any other format. The technical quality is acceptable, and free from the comparison with film or professional three quarter inch video. Home video is the workable channel for any product that the establishment will not touch … or that you don’t want the establishment to touch, hence control. Such is erovideo.

Whether we as artists do eroart to release magically eroplay into the air (such as through performance art) or to show the non sexual way of relating that is eroplay (such as through video or film) … whether we choose to use the sex act or not in our eroart … we must not let our work be defined in relation to pornography. There has been a huge amount of time and energy wasted trying to define and ban pornography. The best way to undermine sexism and pornography is to create an alternative to them. Take back nudity, pleasure, sex, and eroticism from pornography. Show pornography up as being drab, inhuman, unfun by creating a fun, human, happy alternative. Create eroart! This is overstating the case somewhat because you cannot do good eroart if it is in reaction to porn … only if it comes from some warm and playful place, can it be good eroart. Unless we put ourselves — our creativity, our minds, and yes, our bodies — into representing eroart as the humanistic alternative, the pornographer, the sexist, and the moralist will win by default.

previously published here: http://www.eroplay.com/Cave/Writings/eroart_1984.html

March 23, 2015

Filed under: art,nicola deane — ABRAXAS @ 2:14 pm

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March 19, 2015

Filed under: art,caelan — ABRAXAS @ 9:24 pm

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maxine

Filed under: art,helgé janssen — ABRAXAS @ 12:44 pm

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March 11, 2015

unseen things

Filed under: art,Ieva Jansone — ABRAXAS @ 2:35 pm

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March 9, 2015

string

Filed under: art,Lizabé Lambrechts — ABRAXAS @ 1:32 pm

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empty and i

Filed under: art,Lizabé Lambrechts — ABRAXAS @ 9:59 am

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Filed under: art,Lizabé Lambrechts — ABRAXAS @ 9:06 am

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the shadow

Filed under: art,Lizabé Lambrechts — ABRAXAS @ 8:46 am

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the group show

Filed under: art — ABRAXAS @ 8:36 am

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