Victor Ivanovski – [↖] A Tail; [↗] Defloration-I ¼; [+] School 1/3; [↙] Treatment of Constipation; [↘] Young Lovers from Boudoir Stories series (2001)

I have mixed feelings about Ivanovski’s work. Yes, it’s rarefied quality is immune to argument. And for as much as it’s perfunctory inclusions of non-heteronormative experience come across as tokenism, there is still something absolutely vital to the moments I’ve selected above.

A long braid as tail, but instead of positioned to play obviously towards the camera, the pose is angled just enough to create questions as to whether or not the viewer is the intended voyeur.

The potential momentum of the mallet’s arc and the angle of the spike and the cast of her eye triangulate the focus but also draw attention to the fact that there is some resignation to her resolve to follow through–her eyes are focused not at the point of impact but just above the blunt head.

As much as I consider cunnilingus perhaps the greatest of all possible sex acts, what appeals to me so viscerally in this is the way she’s holding her dress both so that her friends can watch but also so that she can see everything too.

The cartoonishness of the second instance of mallet and spike would have easily ruined a lesser image. The fact that her expression is really almost goofy along with the way she’s holding the spike in a manner both intended not to cause accidental pain but that could also be utilitarian. Also, that she’s wearing a watch and her fingers wrapped around the mallet handle show off her nail polish are just happy accidents for me.

Boudoir stories features several suggestions of lesbianism. And I find all of them off putting. The last image here is the only exception. And it’s actually my favorite of the bunch because without any explicit flourishes it perfectly demonstrates that clumsy–to mix pop music metaphors–constant craving for more fumbling toward ecstasy that so aptly characterizes the experience of new mutual desire.

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