Thursday, 20 June 2013

Gay Porn at ICA

The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London is so desperate to attract punters that yesterday it opened Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper). The exhibition brings together the work of eight artists: Judith Bernstein, Tom of Finland, George Grosz, Margaret Harrison, Mike Kuchar, Cary Kwok, Antonio Lopez and Marlene McCarty. It's mainly a mixture of gay and feminist art with some protest art from pre-Nazi Germany thrown in. Shown is the late Antonio Lopez's Gianni Versace Campaign (1984), one of the more commercial images, presumably in the Lower Galleries. ICA warns art lovers "Please be aware that this exhibition contains material visitors may find challenging. Some of the works in the Upper Galleries contain sexually explicit imagery" (CLICK). On its home page, ICA asserts "Your support is essential in encouraging emerging art and artists". I fail to see how this retrospective exhibition of deviant art helps any emerging artist.

8 Comments:

At 13/7/13, Anonymous Anonymous said...

deviant art?

 
At 13/7/13, Blogger Ian Cox said...

What else would you call it? Porn is generally regarded as deviant, whether it's gay or hetro. Look at all the recent fuss about banning it.

 
At 15/7/13, Anonymous Anonymous said...

out of interest... have you gone to the show to see the extent of the pornographic nature of the works... or are you basing your opinion on the inclusion of tom of finland in the show?

 
At 15/7/13, Blogger Ian Cox said...

I haven't visited the show, but my opinion isn't based on Tom of Finland, who doesn'r strike me as pornographic. He paints large butch men looking rather silly. I Googled every artist in the show and checked their online graphics. I can assure you there is some real gay porn on the first floor.

The Shunga Japanese porn show at The Brotish Museum looks far more interesting.

 
At 17/7/13, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cary Kwok does use sexual elements in his work, but it isn't pornographic in the way I think you are insinuating.

Mike Kuchar's works are executed in such a cartoony approach, they end up being too comedic to be considered seriously as pornographic.

Judith Bernstein merely uses the image of the phallus in her work which Louise Bourgeois also did and I am guessing you would not refer to her Fillette 1968 as pornographic.

I am still very sure you are using generalizations in this review without having made the time to visit it, and having made snap decisions based on works seen on the internet and not ones selected for the show.

 
At 17/7/13, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just checking are you saying the Shunga Japanese porn show at The British Museum is interesting and the gay porn in this show is deviant?

 
At 17/7/13, Blogger Ian Cox said...

Having wasted an hour or two Googling all 8 artists named in the show and viewiing samples of their online graphics, I think you're being most unfair accusing me of making a snap judgement. Argue with ICA. It warns potential visitors that "Some of the works in the Upper Galleries contain sexually explicit imagery" that visitors may find "challenging".

If you weren't challenged enough, don't blame me.

 
At 17/7/13, Blogger Ian Cox said...

The Shunga exhibition also includes some gay porn! It's more interesting because it encompasses an historic art movement by some talented artists.

Did you know that when the Home Office decided what was deviant porn, it exluded images of bondage. The Japanese are into bondage in a big way. I assume the Home Office is too. So bondage porn isn't deviant, unless a child is involved! That's official.

 

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