Your Pornographic Heart
text: Jonathan Kemp
>> In response to 'My Pornographic Heart' exhibition:
“Assemblages ...have component parts that serve as criteria and allow the various assemblages to be qualified. Just as in painting, assemblages are a bunch of lines. But there are all kinds of lines. Some lines are segments, or segmented; some lines get caught in a rut, or disappear into ‘black holes’; some are destructive, sketching death; and some lines are vital and creative.” - Gilles Deleuze
“Queers, you are made of pieces” – Jean Genet.
Consider, for a moment, that all art is an act of appropriation. That is, all art appropriates, mediates, and therefore recon- textualises. Doesn’t art history tell us this? Art mediates, and one of the things it mediates (particularly since the end of the nineteenth century) is this thing called Art. Through an act of appropriation, what is found is kept, stolen, re-used, forced to say something (else). A violent, yet subtle, grafting of one thing onto another; ankylosis; welding. A pornographic union, or fusion. The heart’s lonely hunt; the obscene pulse of sequence and event. A dialogue of body parts, yours speaking to mine; mine to yours; with words that don’t yet exist.
The boy looked at Johnny, and Patti Smith’s Rimbaud speaks to David Wojnarowicz’ Rimbaud, and a conversation begins between Jean Genet’s flowers and those bursting blooms unfolding in Homage to 26. The delicacy of paper. And the endurance.
So collage is a duration indifferent to time, representa- tion always already a palimpsest of things renewed by their erasure. A lovers’ discourse expressed through time and the assemblage of queer(ed) (non)identities, a Mobius strip vibrating and turning in the rose of the heart. These images, these objects - the contents of this pornographic landscape - set in motion a hybrid oscillation: between tenderness and raunch; between the myriad voices of the past and the over- writings of the present; between my body and your body. A dance begins. Rimbaud is waltzing with Wojnarowicz, Divine with Amanda Lapore. Elizabeth Grozs with Carol Ann Taylor. When the boy looked at Johnny, Johnny – much like Nietzsche’s abyss - looked back.
This movement, this becoming, lays bare the tiny inti- macies and voyeurisms of everyday life. The sweet crackles of light as something is grasped – in all its opulent physicality – by your vision; plucked, like an eye, from the skull of meaning, and set to work perceiving, or constructing (it amounts to the same thing) another narrative, the details of another time, another body, another place. Secret poems are enacted wordlessly, using borrowed or stolen limbs.
The beauty of the assemblage is that, since it lacks organization, it can draw into its body any number of disparate elements. Dead technologies consumed by new, digested in the gut of a visual language that dares to speak. Faceless boys flaunting something they can never own, telling someone else’s stories. The domestic and the erotic are constantly layered and layering as outsized polaroids create new spaces through violently tender interruptions. Protection and exposure. The queer body on display, its pornographic heart dissected.
‘Homage to 26”, single channel video projection, 2013, photo by Paul Williams
The boy looked at Jonny’, acetate, thread, inkjet print, pen, razor, lightbox, 2013,
photo by Paul Williams
‘Domestic Collapse’, paper, thread, un-franked UK postal stamps, 2013
photo by Paul Williams