Entertain Me?

“Of Flesh”, a new project begun in 2010, is a continuing analysis of entertainment culture in modern society; in this case, delving into the sexual realm – the core (and epitome) of what sexual entertainment itself signifies and represents, coexisting along with the shame and denial of it set by society’s moral standards.

Particularly, these images are a series of close ups of faces in submissive acts, culled from amateur S&M porn sites. By this elimination (or censoring) of what would be considered to be the extreme graphic element, the isolation empowers the subjects to emit bizarre yet very expressive emotions, extremely personal – a sort of almost romantic suffering – leaving the viewer to question the story behind the image as a possible act of violence. Yet in reality, they are in the exact moment of, or just immediately post, a state of acute pleasure achieved by an entirely voluntary submission. To some, these works might inevitably provoke a certain arousal, exposing the innate sexual nature of our psyche: we are animals with a voracious sexual appetite – bringing into perspective another layer of our human complexity: the suggestion of the intimately close relationship between sex and death – exposing us as complex creatures even more so than we like to admit.

Subjectively, these works are a commentary on how to this day, despite the enormous evolution of the Internet medium – sex and pornography are still its number one usage for entertainment. By broad definition, whether that be as slightly related as social networking, all the way through to sites for dating, fantasizing, or blatant gratification.

This says a lot about society as a whole, especially American society and its obsession with being entertained – whatever that may imply.

For these works, the skin tones are more akin to dead swine flesh, as a slight commentary on the objectification of the subject; not of the subjects themselves, but by those “entertained” and those who oppose the concept entirely as grotesque, immoral. At the same time, this wrestles with the main notion of what these subjects communicate; they are willing candidates in the act of submission. This represents a certain argument, a duality of thoughts: as participants, they are not “victims” as it is typically dismissed – they are probably more alive than most, by choosing to explore their human desires.