lolaloops – Title Unknown (2016)
My initial thought had been to run this image side-by-side with this fetish image as a part of my juxtaposition as commentary series. (But I always worry that they may be seen as me ‘phoning it in’ so I do try to hold them to a higher standard as well as only posting them occasionally–unfortunately, this week has been kind of insane with a dear friend having a life-threatening medical emergency in Russia and me having to fly her back to the US where I am now single handedly responsible for her care; it’s a lot but I don’t fuck around when it comes to the people I love in this life.)
Anyways, juxtaposing this above with the fetish image wouldn’t necessarily convey everything I would want to say on the subject. I mean the above image is definitely superior in technique, form and execution. The fetish image–despite being some first rate #skinnyframebullshit–does actually present an interesting variation on the notion of nipple clamps.
In this case I don’t want to suggest that as far as it pertains to the exploration of pornography as a subject for capital A Art is superior to the fetish image; it’s more that I think the distinct between Art and Pornography hinges on the distinction between figurative vs. literal.
I mean there are literally hundreds of thousands of ways in which art history is rich with works that actively engages questions of desire and sexuality–but these topics usually remain little more than implicit. Whereas pornography tends to be the venue for explicit depictions of sex and desire.
It’s easy to say lolaloops’ image is better than Candle Boxxx’s and art history will obviously validate that distinction; and I want to make clear that such is not what I’m advocating for–I am more of a mind that the fetish image, in this case, has the spark of something interesting too it; it’s just presented in an offhand, informal and not especially well visually parsed manner, a record of an event that is interesting for what it depicts but fails at not objectifying the woman depicted. (Conversely, lolaloops’ image is obviously about sexuality but requires the viewer to activate the work by making certain associations, otherwise it’s just a pretty still life.)
For example: the fetish image is clearly from a hotel room. (Where else have you ever seen those types of hangers?) Why is she there? Who is she performing this scene for? (The lighting and the fact her hands are cuffed behind her back suggest this isn’t masturbatory in nature.) It would be nice to know a bit about her. Did she come with a suitcase? What time of day is it? Is she a natural masochist or is this a part she’s playing for someone else’s gratification?)