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Culture éclectique

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December 2012

Interview Maxime Dufour | Ciné Tribeca Film Festival | Books : L'Autre, le sexe et le punk|Poésie Lab's | Photo Kares Dossier Pornographisation of pop culture

ISSN 2262-2780 | Free | Français / English

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Cool these engines Calm these j ets I ask you, " How hot can it get?" As you wipe off beads of sweat Slowly, you say, " I' m not there yet" (2005) Š MAROON 5

SECRET

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EDITO

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Pour Jean le Rond d’Alembert l’érotisme est « une épithète qui s'applique à tout ce qui a un rapport à l'amour des sexes ». Mais il s’agit aussi, et plus profondément, d’un désir ascensionnel, concret, dérivé et dérobé où l'on voit l'animal dans l’humain. L’érotisme expose et fait exploser la sexualité dans toutes ses dimensions, de l’obscène au sublime. C’est l’odeur d’un corps et de sa saveur. La texture de la peau et comment celle ci change de couleur dans l’extase. C’est aussi, l’imagination qui intensifie toutes les émotions. Il s’agit d’une forme d’approbation de la vie, à partir de l’exquis goût pour la sexualité, la sensualité et sa connaissance. Pourtant, aujourd’hui l’érotisme ne rime plus avec plaisir... À l’heure actuelle, une requête sur les moteurs de recherche nous indique que le mot « porno » donne plus de 900 mille résultats sur le net. La surexposition au sexe est à la portée de tous, presque de manière omnisciente. Et, c’est cela qu’on appelle « pornographisation ». Avec l’intérêt de comprendre ce phénomène, Artéfact a élaboré une étude où l’on retrouve des travaux inédits : « Pornographisation(s) » de Marys Hertiman offre un panorama introductif sur la pornographisation de la pop culture. C’est ensuite au tour de Jasmine Shadrack d’analyser la question sur le prisme du genre. Catherine Curran Vigier décryptera le nouveau roman à sensation, 50 shades of grey d’E.L. James. Puis, ce sera au tour de Cyril Dumas de présenter son étude à propos de la pornographie antique. Vicky Gilpin analysera l’œuvre d’August Strindberg, Miss Julie. Enfin, João Gabriel Lima da Silva clôturera ce dossier avec un article qui s'intéresse à la question du désir. Voici des outils qui ouvrent les voies de la réflexion sur un phénomène de taille, inquiétant pour quelques uns, mais libérateur pour d’autres. Artéfact présente aussi un panorama cinématographique et photographique. Ce deuxième numéro offre encore plus des nouveautés avec des critiques littéraires et les poèmes de Jorge Artel, traduits pour la première fois de l’espagnol latino-américain. En attendant la fin du monde...

Arté

Directrice de la publication : MARYS HERTIMAN, Rédactrice en Chef : DARIA TOMCZYK, Conseiller artisti WERBROUCK, JASMINE SHADRACK, VICKY GILPIN, CYRIL DUMAS, CATHERINE CURRAN VIGIER, JOÃO GABRIEL Couverture : © Emmanuel CAROUX. To view a copy of this license, visit creativecommons.org or send a letter 4

rtéfact Culture éclectique

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December 2012

According to Jean le Rond d'Alembert eroticism is "an epithet that applies to everything related to love of the sexes". For us, it is a desire upward, something profound, concrete and derived. Something that shows animalistic part of human nature. Eroticism exposes sexuality in all dimensions, from the obscene to the sublime. It's body's scent and flavor. The texture of the skin and how it turns into ecstasy. Also, it is the imagination that intensifies emotions. And endorsement of life, from the exquisite taste for sexuality, sensuality and knowledge. Therefore, it's no longer a synonymous with erotic pleasure... Nowadays, when we type “porn”, a browser gives 900,000 search results. Overexposure of sex is omnipresent. And that's what we call "pornographisation." In order to understand this phenomenon, Artéfact presents a study commited to "pornographisation of pop culture". Marys Hertiman introduces a review regarding pornographisation of pop culture. Jasmine Shadrack analyzes this theme from the perspective of gender studies. Catherine Curran Vigier decodes a worldwide bestseller 50 shades of grey by E.L. James. Then Cyril Dumas shares his study on ancient pornography and Vicky Gilpin analyzes August Strindberg's Miss Julie. Finally, João Gabriel da Silva Lima closes the dossier with an article presenting a relationship between desire, art and pornography. Here are some tools that elaborate the way of perceiving this phenomenon (for some disturbing, for others - liberating). Also, Artéfact presents an overview of film and photography. The second issue offers even

more of literary reviews and few poems by Jorge Artel (for the very first time translated from the Spanish). Waiting for the end of the world...

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ique : BÁRBARA HERTIMAN. Ont contribué à ce numéro : CLAUDE GASTOU, BÁRBARA HERTIMAN, JUSTINE LIMA DA SILVA, JULES LE FRANC, EMMANUEL CAROUX, MARCELO CABARCAS ORTEGA et TEKLAL NEGUIB. r to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA. 5

DOSSIER

Pornographisation de la / of pop culture 10 Pornographisation(s) 16 Occupying the Simulation: the sexualised panopticones 32 La pornographie antique : les origines du Mâle

41 Attempting to Dominate Objectification: Sexual Power Exchange in Strindberg’s Miss Julie

50 Liberation through bondage? Fifty Shades of Grey and the new ‘mommy porn’

64 Désir : de la pornographie à l'art

Sommaire 6

ARTÉ

ARTS

Cinéma 72 Un regard sur les Tribeca Films 78 La Pianiste d'Elfriede Jelinek Books and reviews 82 More Dirty Looks: Gender, Pornography and Power)

84 Nex Punk Cinema

87 Quand l'Autre c'est le Mal (Moravagine et King Kong Théorie) Photo 92 Kares Le Roy

INTERVIEW

98 Maxime Dufour

LAB'S

106 Nightly drums

112 Le Verbe

FACT

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DOSSIER

THE PORNOGRAPHISATION

OF POP CULTURE

© Terry Richardson

LA PORNOGRAPHISATION DE LA POP CULTURE

Dossier

P ORNOGRAPHISATION (S)

Par Marys HERTIMAN

Aujourd'hui l'industrie culturelle emprunte les codes de la pronographi et les biens culturels à connotation sexuelle se banalisent : des chansons orgiastiques, pornographisation de l'offre médiatique, hypersexualisation des jeunes liée à l'imitation du comportement du « star system », etc. Mais, quelle est le véritable effet de ce phénomène sur la culture populaire et sur les personnes elles­mêmes ? Afin de le compréndre, voici un panorama de la situation. iverses études entreprises par des laboratoires de recherche, notamment ceux de l’Université de Laval ou de l’Université de Moncton, se sont intéressé à la question de la pornographisation de nos sociétés : Cinquante milliards d’euros, c’est le chiffre d’affaires annuel de l’industrie du sexe, soit trois fois plus que celui de l’industrie musicale. Pour la rattraper, l'industrie culturelle emprunte son savoir faire et, les biens culturels deviennent de plus en plus sexuels. Ce phénomène qui affecte à grande échelle les cultures dans tous ses aspects fait référence plus particulièrement à la banalisation du contenu érotique, et surtout son explicitation. Il semblerait que l’on vive à l'heure actuelle dans une époque où la suggestion est démodée et que l’exhibition prend le dessus. L’injonction des médias paraît être la suivante : expose ton corps, adopte les pratiques sexuelles à la mode et consomme les produits et les services que l’industrie à a choisit pour toi afin de faire comme « tout le monde ». Mais sans stigmatiser, l’industrie médiatique paraît offrir un discours où l’épanouissement personnel passe

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d’abord par l’épanouissement sexuel. Sauf que le sexe n’est plus un plaisir quand il semble être une obligation, même s’il est à la portée de tous (grâce à des gadgets et d’autres jouets ou stratégies de séduction). Pour s’en rendre compte, il suffit de taper sur les moteurs de recherche « insatisfaction sexuelle » (195 000 résultats en 0.26 seconde sur Google). Quand la culture se pornographise

À la télé, des chaînes comme MTV, BNN (Pays Bas) ou encore MCM proposent un contenu érotiquement très explicite. Des émissions comme Spuiten en slikken, Jersey Shore, Skins ou Le Club des amateurs en disent long : des pratiques sexuelles suggérées, fictives ou non simulées dans des chaînes classées Jeunes­ Adultes. Mais la pornographisation n’en demeure pas là. Depuis des années l’hyper­ sexualisation touche la pop culture. Madonna avait déjà scandalisé la société dès les années 80­90. On cite ainsi quelques exemples comme la masturbation sur scène durant la Blond Ambition Tour en 1990 ; la publication en 1992 de Sex, un recueil de photos plus qu’érotiques ;

© Affiche promotionelle Skins MTV

ou même ses clips Justify my love et Human nature réalisés par Jean­Baptiste Mondino, ou encore, Erotica de Fabien Baron. Mais Madonna a fait école et la reprise de la polémique dans le même registre a été assurée, par Lady Gaga, qui tente toujours de renchérir. Leurs mises en scènes (des poses, des manières et des postures lascives, comme le montre, par exemple, la vidéo de Lady Gaga Alejandro) et leurs discours loin d’être subtils, revendiquent ce pouvoir conféré par le sexe. En définitive, une symbolique construite, ou en tout cas étroitement liée, à l’imagerie pornographique. Le recyclage des archétypes pornographiques ne reste pas un domaine exclusif du « star system », car il s’est aussi imposé dans d’autres marchés comme la publicité (qui a déjà été maintes fois l’objet d’étude pour son sexisme et son utilisation du sexe comme stratégie marketing), la littérature (notamment avec Fifty Shades of Grey d’E. L. James), la télévision, la mode, et entre autres, la presse écrite. Si nous

regardons de plus près la presse écrite nous retrouvons un fort prosélytisme de l’hyper­ sexualisation : des magazines comme Les Inrockuptibles (qui consacre d’ailleurs un numéro spécial sexe chaque année) une partie de la presse dite féminine qui assure que « les femmes doivent absolument vivre une sexualité épanouie »1. Sur leurs couvertures de nombreux énoncés assez clairs fleurissent :

Chez Psychologies Magazine, N°324, paru le 23 novembre 2012 on peut lire : « Sexualité. Ce que les préliminaires révèlent ». Chez Femme Actuelle, N°1468, paru le 12 novembre 2012 on lit : « SEXO. 6 nouveaux jeux pour pimenter notre libido. On les a tous testés pour vous ! ». Le magazine Be, N°129, paru le 2 novembre 2012 énonce : « Sexe : Zéro complexe au lit ». Chez Causette, N°22, paru le 27 février 2012 la consigne est la suivante : « Sexe partout lâchez­ vous le minou ! ». En passant rapidement par l’industrie cinémato­

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l’histoire cinématographique du pays et du monde. Mais Vingt ans plus tard c’est au tour de Paul Verhoevens de faire la controverse avec le soft­core thriller Basic Instincs, considérés comme l’un des plus importants contributeurs de la pornographisation de la pop culture. Si on s’éloigne de ces blockbusters mondiaux pour se positionner vers un cinéma plus authentique, on retrouve les traces de cette hyperérotisation comme dans les films : Ultimo tango a Parigi de Bernardo Bertolucci, Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma de Pier Paolo Pasolini, Blue Velvet de David Lynch, La Saveur de la pastèque de Tsai Ming­ liang, ou encore le film collectif Destricted de Marina Abramović entre autres.

© by Steven MEISEL Studio 1992

graphique on peut constater un phénomène très similaire : l’arrivée en 1972 du film Deep Throat de Gerard Damiano a démocratisé la consom­ mation pornographique. Ce film, l’un des premiers du genre à connaître un tel succès, a aussi introduit le terme « porno chic » (terme qui désigne une pratique publicitaire ou artistique inspiré des codes pornophoto­graphiques2). D’après Ralph Blumenthal, rédacteur au Times, « il [Deep Throat] a contribué à l’expansion des horizons sexuels des gens, et en particulier, il a emphatisé que la satisfaction sexuelle de la femme n’est pas plus importante que celle de l’homme »3. Durant des années, cette industrie a connu des hauts et des bas, notamment par la censure aux États­Unis qui a restructuré

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Et puis, il y a le monde de la musique, quoi dire de plus sinon qu’il a toujours été imprégné d’érotisme. Il faut seulement lire les premiers textes de blues ou voir les premières danses afroaméricaines qui ont cartonnés et qui s’y sont imposés de manière populaire. Du i can't get no satisfaction des Rolling Stones, au Sexual Healing de Marvin Gay (et la presque totalité de la Soul) et en passant par le Je t’aime moi, non plus de Serge Gainsbourg, la musique populaire s’est fait écho du sexe. À l’heure actuelle, il ne s’agit plus d’un jeu de mots, ni d’une façon de subvertir la musique, mais plutôt d’une forme d’exhibition comme stratégie de communication. Stratégie où la femme reste toujours l’objet du désir masculin (confer hip­hop, reggaeton, new R&B, etc.).

Trop de porno tue la libido et la vie sociale Des études récentes ont démontré que la dépendance pornographique s’accen­ tue de plus en plus. En effet, d’après un article publié en juin 2011 par le journal gratuit britannique Metro, les hommes passent trois mois par an à regarder du contenu X. Si l’on décortique ceci, nous avons la proportion suivante : cette étude menée auprès de mille hommes et mille femmes s’est intéressée à leurs pratiques et à leurs attitudes concernant la pornographie. Les hommes regardent © 'Balkan Erotic Epic' (Destricted) by Marina ABRAMOVIC 2005 des images érotiques (magazines, films augmentera celle de la dopamine. En consé­ et vidéos online) au moins 40 minutes par quence : la libido chute par une sensibilité moins semaine (les femmes passent quant à elles 19 importante par rapport à ces images, ce qui minutes par semaine) ou 35 heures par année. conduira l’individu à rechercher un contenu plus Et une personne sur vingt reconnait avoir vu extrême. Ce principe mécanique fonctionne de un(e) ami(e) dans un film porno et 11% admet manière similaire que le système de s’être déjà filmé pendant l’acte sexuel. Le récompense/renforcement généré par la résultat alarmant dans cette affaire est consommation de stupéfiants. Ainsi, les l’explosion des MST, comme l’a révélée la problèmes d’érection et de satisfaction sexuelle retentissante affaire sur la dissimulation par peuvent être intrinsèquement liés à la l’industrie du porno de la « recrudescence des surexposition pornographique. cas de syphilis parmi les acteurs de films X », dénoncée en août 2012 par la AIDS Selon un article publié par Atlantico.fr en octobre 2011, qui reprend l’étude menée par la Société Healthcare Foundation (AHF). Italienne d’Andrologie et de Médecine Sexuelle Mais le notable impact de cette surexposition est (SIAMS), « 70% des personnes traitées pour aussi tangible sur la santé psychique et sexuelle problèmes érectiles auraient commencé à des individus. L’excitation ressentie lors d’un consulter des sites pornographiques dès leur premier visionnage pornographique est plus adolescence. […] Les médecins consultés ont importante que pour les visionnages suivants. souvent un seul diagnostic : l'anxiété de la Ceci s’explique par la surcharge d’endorphine performance ». Le site d’information français qui retournera à son point initial après la conclut ainsi avec des chiffres concernant la première excitation. Lors du second visionnage consommation porno­graphique en Europe, ce le cerveau régulera la sécrétion d’endorphine, et qui se reflète par le classement suivant : en

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première place on retrouve les Allemands avec 34,5% de consommation pornographique sur internet. Suivent les Français avec 33,6% et les Espagnols avec 32,4%.

Ce qui est inquiétant dans ces chiffres c’est la domination du porno dans la vie des adultes, car le temps consacré aux contenus X peut se traduire aussi comme une perte de temps de productivité, de sociabilité ou d’enrichissement culturel. Et le tout sans la moindre sensation érotique du départ. Il ne s’agit pas de

condamner l’érotisation, qui fait partie de la vie des hommes, mais de critiquer l’exacerbation des mœurs, l’injonction des pratiques et des manières d’être. Car il n’est de secret pour personne que les médias, et avec cela l’industrie culturelle, tente de s’approprier les codes pornographiques afin de créer de nouvelles normes, prérogatives, qui visent à nous imposer un stéréotype. Mais le plus intéressant dans tout cela, c’est de voir les forces de résistance que les individus tentent d’opposer.

1 . Poulin, Poulin et Laprade, Amélie, « Hypersexualisation, érotisation et pornographie chez les jeunes » SISYPHE. 2. Lugrin, Gilles, « Entre surenchère homosexuelle et "glam-trash", la polémique du "Porno Chic" ». Gilles Lugrin. ComAnalysis. Publication n° 25. 2001 . 3. Dargis, Manohla, “A Cautionary Tale Arguing for Freedom of Expression” The New York Times. Movies, February, 2005.

• L'Empire du sexe, documentaire d’Amal Mogaïzel pour France 5 Télévision. 201 2. • Hearn, Jeff, Jyrkinen, Marjut, "What's on the Telly?" Nordic Gender Institute, NIKK. 2006. • Corlis, Richard, That Old Feeling: When Porno Was Chic By Richard Corlis. The Times. March, 2005 • Cotation en bourse de la compagnie DNXCORP. Les Echos Bourse. Novembre 201 2. • « L’industrie du sexe et de la rencontre fait le coup de la panne en Bourse », Toutsurlesplacements.com. Juin 201 2. • « Quand le porno tue la libido de toute une génération », Atlantico.fr, Octobre 2011 . • “Porn industry calls for temporary shutdown after reported syphilis cases” AIDS Healthcare Foundation. August, 201 2. • “Men spend three months of their lives watching porn” Metro. June, 201 2.

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© Girl Gone Wild by Mert ALAS & Marcus PIGGOT 2012

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Dossier OCCUPYING THE S IMULATION : THE SEXUALISED PANOPTICON

by Jasmine SHADRACK

“What we need to accept at the deepest level possible is that culture is the product of a long, cooperative, highly selective, highly developed and last but not least, highly coercive process that culminates in an agreement that shields us from other possibilities” Carlos Castenada1

orporatocracy is falling short of selling strategies. The global market place is over­saturated with companies attem­ pting to push existing and rebranded commo­ dities onto a much reduced spending capitol with the constant threat of diminished returns.

If this is the economic contextualisation we’re faced with during a global recession then by extension this would infer a more aggressive advertising protocol employed by vertically integrated companies in order to sell to us. However, it’s the mode of selling in the digital space that is the primary concern of this paper. Althusser referred to the advertising model as interpellation2 and it is possible to witness an ideological assault through this mode that has broken free of its previous printed press and TV advertising context and now exists in a more amorphous form online. The digital realm hails us more consistently, more totally and more thoroughly than any other media because it’s mobile, it’s at our fingertips and it’s immersive. One could state that interpellation operates as ideological colonialism and the cultural logic of late capitalism3 employs an extension of empire imperialism that captures and dominates business, consumerism and ideologues where

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the excess of space (the digital, third space) appears to shrink the planet and the excess of ego places a capitalist emphasis on the individual’s capacity to buy and sell in the market place. The modes through which these occur are prescribed and predelineated through imperialist structures in commerce. The notion of spacial practice, who organises/occupies this space and/or its practice is the focus of this paper. Henri Lefebvre4 suggests that digital space is abstract or inter­temporal and if this is the case, how do women negotiate this abstract when it is bursting at the seams with sexualised constructs of the female form. One could suggest that both the product and perpetration (the ad and its promotion) are in the midst of the process of culture itself that rely on coercive control tactics using ideology as its vehicle, in other words capitalism and fiscal incentive are the vehicles for coercion and employ ideological constructs to sell us our own oppression online. Given that power relations are spatially manifested, certain social spaces can offer intimate representations within a patriarchal construct that occupy a potentially negative and unverifiable position. The digital or online space shall be referred to herein as the third space.

This is referenced within a duality. Ray Oldenburg’s recognition of differing locations for community and communication in The Great Good Place (1999)5 beginning with the home, the workplace and the third space, that was denoted to occupy a social space for the coming together and connection of communities.

gender performativity and representation is essential. The move of media from hard copy to online has drawn its legacy from one space to another, more personalised, mobile and unverifiable location. How women interact with this space and how they are represented requires negotiation.

1. The first space: subject; the self.

compound to infer how women are represented and thus, expected to “perform”10. This is increa­ singly problematic in a social context that is moving persistently towards the third space operating on a sexualised model of gendered behaviour, interpellation via the sexualised model of advertising and the desert of the real11 becomes precisely that…

For women, the third space is liminal Whilst the delineation of these three social interactive spheres is [...] and that it attempts to locate key, this paper will adopt the same a place where hybridised cultural term used by Homi Bhabha in his performativity is situated. work The Location of Culture This potentially reflective model of represen­ (1994)6 as a space for socio­cultural hybridity, tation that Margaret Marshment discusses in her performativity and liminality specifically applied 1997 essay Representations of Women in herein to women’s attempted occupation online Contemporary Popular Culture7 when applied to and how through prescriptive gender codes and the third space, constructs a duality for women; expectations of performativity, sexual currency women as consumers and women as the versus buying power provides a dichotomous sexually available construct or simulation8. choice in which women attempt to exist in the Through the various components that have led liminal space in between. Oldenburg's and to the sexualisation of social spaces9 from Bhabha’s liminal third space notion becomes deregulation of the media to the repositioning of extended to reference the digital sphere. The sexually explicit material from marginalized, three spaces are identified accordingly: peripheric containment to high street visibility all 2. The second space: object; the other. The mirror that presents an ideological lens to view the self and the social. This paper posits that traditional forms of hard copy media are positioned here. This is characterised by the ruling patriarchal hegemony. 3. The third space; the digital or online media sphere as the most dominant and encompassing mode of communication and connection.

Given the patriarchal nature of the online space, as an extension of patriarchal socio­economic structures and global marketing strategies, engendering this location and understanding

For women, the third space is liminal. Bhabha’s notion of liminal space is that it’s ill­defined, lacks agency and is represented as other and that it attempts to locate a place where hybridised cultural performativity is situated. In increasingly sexualised cultural texts and practices, the notion of performativity can readily be correlated with sexual performativity and

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therefore this dubious responsibility rests at the feet of women. This is not to obscure men’s role or representation however, for example Anthony Easthope writes,

“Clearly men do not passively live out the masculine myth imposed by stories and images of the dominant culture. But neither can they live completely outside the myth, since it pervades the culture. Its coercive power is active everywhere – not just on our screens, hoardings and paper, but inside our own heads”12

Therefore if it’s this pervasive for men, it is considerably more problematic when applied to the marginalised, gendered “other”13. Gendered behavioural and aesthetic sexualised codes are not empowering, inflicting serious damage onto notions of the female self, even though sexualised advertising sells the mythology that it is empowering for women to accept complete sexualisation of themselves as currency in the online space that requires performativity (see appendix i & ii). According to Bhabha,

“Terms of cultural engagement, whether antagonistic or affiliative, are produced performatively. The representation of difference must not be hastily read as the reflection of pre­ given ethnic or cultural traits set in the fixed tablet of tradition. The social articulation of difference, from the minority perspective, is a complex, on­ going negotiation that seeks to authorize cultural hybridities that emerge in moments of historical transformation”14

The representation of difference here marks out gender as opposed to ethnic considerations as was Bhabha’s primary focus. However, his state­ ment is just as true of either notion which is why it is easily rendered to the set for adaptation from ethnic concerns to gender concerns. If the “historical transformation” could be considered the emergence of the digital space, then

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performativity of the marginalised in these spaces represents not only an on­going negotiation but the cultural hybridization that, for women, represent the consumer dichotomy: buy commodities in the online market place that signify you as “female” and/or be prepared to sell your sexual allure. When Bhabha’s notions of liminality are applied to the digital space, it’s possible to state that there is an indication that the hegemonic lion’s share of the online space and the make­up of the delivery system are patriarchal (see appendices ii & iii). Therefore women’s attempt to occupy the space that is left over, liminally, is in the most part prescriptive in terms of either woman’s consumerism or their expected sexual performativity. Consequently, the dichotomous female body, half buying power, half selling power, existing between Argos and Internet Pornographic codifying signifiers, identifies a form of “islanding”. According to Marta Gutman in her text Designing Modern Childhood: History, Space and the Material Culture of Children15, the process of islanding or separating minorities, or in Gutman’s case, children, into a separate space means they become disconnected with their experience of the world as they are constantly shepherded by adults and their world view blocked. Apply this notion to women and patriarchy and we see women are islanded by the third, online space and shepherded by patriarchal digital pathways and sites that constantly determine what they should buy and how they ought to behave. Deleuze and Guattari make mention of a “non­ knowledge” of what the marginalised are supposed to be doing, in Ronald Bogue’s 1989 publication of the same name16. This notion is applicable to the patriarchal digital delivery

system only tailoring itself to the hegemonic framework, leaving this “non­knowledge” for every system that falls outside of the hegemonic remit. It could be said that the “non­knowledge” was pre­existent to the application of this idea in the third space but it almost seems like a pre­ emptive strike that prescriptive online behaviours for women are sewn into the fabric of the delivery system to prevent any deviant (any behaviour deemed by the hegemony as “other”) online practices. It can also be argued that the third space has also given birth to “women only” spaces (that would be considered deviant by the hegemony) such as fledging feminist sites, pages on social networking sites and blogs17 but this level of occupation of the third space is minimal when compared to the online delivery system in its entirety. As McLuhan stated, the medium is the message18 but who is accessing the messages and in what volume; who is listening to the subaltern speak?19

Women’s agency is invisible and sterile, even though the majority of the performativity and representation is sexual. Women experience a lack of connection, in Gutman’s terms, by being islanded. They see the sexualised images that exist in the online realm, the popularity of Internet Pornography and the inherent connec­ tion between the two and immediately identify this set of prescribed signifiers as a mode for being female in terms of constructed performa­ tivity. One could argue advertising has always operated on the notion of the mythological construct however the volume of sexualised advertising that constantly hails women and men (albeit in different ways) still function on the notion of the sexual: women must present themselves as available, compliant and must show physical evidence that they have bought into the female advertising construct in order to have some level of agency in the market place. Without adhering to these notions, a woman is insignificant and invisible.

Women experience a lack of connection, One in Gutman’s terms, by being islanded. As a result of this minimal occupation of the third space, it could be understood as a form of islanding; the legacy of the media’s move to the digital space and the sexualisation of society20, means that women are presented with this liminal space of consumption and pornographic performativity. Consequently women are seeing themselves through the wrong end of the telescope. The implicit politics of female body space are played out constantly within the liminality of the third space and women need to be able to renegotiate the complexity of the constructed online space that they’re attempting to occupy.

must consider how the digital, third space affects the female self, notions of sisterhood and comprehension/acceptance of gender reality when this concept is constantly overshadowed and recapitulated by the online space, making women’s bodies into a palimpsest. It presents damaging notions of the female (and male) body that show little to no verisimilitude, no “reality”; no cellulite, no wobbly bottoms, no spots, only perceived and externally constructed notions of an unattainable perfection21 or in Baudrillardian terms, the simulacra. All the sensorial worlds that are present online, women’s agency is excluded and excommunicated from these dialogues; they are included only as a subordinate secondary narrative device or a

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subordinate sexual tool to interpellate for adver­ tising purposes (see appendix ii & iii).

One must question and interrogate the modalities of online female subjectivities which include codes of online behaviour and internet pornography (or IP) normativity that have, through economic pressure and market over­ saturation heralded an osmosis of sexualised images into previously innocuous online zones; from pornography sites to its filtration into the delivery system as a whole in order to continue to sell to the hegemonic market that suffers at the hands of the recession and the politics of Post­Modernism22; seen it all, heard it all, done it all… Marketing strategies are at once fighting for the same limited pot of gold and apathetic blindness to advertising. The more sexualised the online advert, the better chance the marketing strategies have of gaining, and keeping, their business.

misogynistic tracts and rebuttals. According to Patricia Hill­Collins,

“Contemporary forms of oppression do not routinely force people to submit. Instead they manufacture consent for domination so that we lose our ability to question and thus collude in our own subordination”23

This could be applied to the third space and also characterised as geographies of seclusion24 where the discursive and constructed digital woman dominates and occupies the third space and leaves no room for real female represen­ tation. There is a double subjugation at work here: the female construct or simulation that occupies space online is subordinated because it is not real yet there is no space for the real woman to occupy online spaces. Women, therefore, are aliens in and of the digital realm who cannot make the space work for them unless its consumer based and sexualised, which leaves the question, where do the “other” women go?

Women’s attempt to occupy any online space is jolted by sexist counterpoint from Beyoncé or The simulations, the Barbie Rihanna’s videos on YouTube to online blogs by dolls exist within internet pornography and online journalists such as Laurie Penny. Is it a case that the third space presents women with an erotic/economic freedom or is this third wave feminist aesthetics that have been co­ opted so women become complicit in their own online oppression? Women’s attempt to occupy any online space is jolted by sexist counterpoint from Beyoncé or Rihanna’s videos on YouTube to online blogs by journalists such as Laurie Penny. Consequently, these spaces become liminal and side­lined, let alone women being able to exercise the ability to occupy space online without fear or threat of sexist and

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advertising that blur the notion of public and play spaces for everyone who access the internet and displaces them against the hegemony. Therefore women’s sensorial relationships with their gender in the online space, is intensely problematic.

When examining the most hegemonic sensorial worlds online, Internet Pornography for example is shot through with a sense of loss; it’s encoded and inscribed in the mechanical labourization of sterile sexual practice25. It presents a ubiquitous “non” place of the internet; its pornographic mise­en­scene that details a collection of

strangers in the third space, that exist momen­ tarily in the majority for financial reasons, not for sexual desire; a space initially characterised by Oldenburg as a location for community and communication. Internet porn is prescriptive and didactic and details nothing of the reality of the sexual encounter. The more IP is engaged with, the less of the real life experience is obtained as the notion of permeable boundaries between different spaces is hotly contested. This is currently an antagonistic area of research between the medical profession, psychologists and cultural theorists that26, for the sake of the paper, is purposefully being omitted at this juncture. However, it may be possible to examine internet pornography as a type of socialist realism seen in communist literature from 1948 onwards in that it is made by and for the workers and is designed, negotiated and constructed for the proletariat yet omits real emotion other than sexual release and extinguishes the need/desire for the real life, first space tangible experience. Therefore, those who argue that internet pornography is free expression ought to re­ examine this idea. It’s not free expression; it’s state sanctioned puppetry that is sold to us as freedom and emancipation. In considering online sensorial spaces, the question remains how do we put the “real” woman into the image, however pornographic and how do we negotiate this subject position. Attempting to understand the habitual male gaze27, the associated social apprehension, to appreciate the Baudrillardian falsity of the online appearance, explicit gender politics and the encoded sexual performance is a complex textual narrative to negotiate and deconstruct but

a warning must be issued: visible fictions are just that, fictitious. As Roland Barthes states, “always interrogate the falsely obvious”28. Yet this call for interrogation is drowned out in a sea of sexualised mythological interpellation that constantly distracts and is in fact, a brilliant social control mechanism that uses women as tools in the means of production to maintain control of the dominant hegemony; Edward Bernays would have been proud… Space, unfolds to interaction29 and if the medium is the message as McLuhan states30 that occupies this unfolding space, it’s crucial that, as De Certeau31 defines, the distinction between place and space is vital since he conceives of the shifting purpose of sites. This characterises the liminality of the digital space for women, the architecture of which performs domination (woman as consumer) and punishment (woman as sexual object) at every turn. To take the notion of power and visibility that the internet provides, to see everything, in the online space recalls Foucault’s panopticon32. The central patriarchal tower from which to observe everything, presents a restrictive and moniterable liminal confinement zone for women’s enforced (having already had consent engineered by sexualised advertising interpellation) performativity. Foucault illustrates the concept that the panopticon33 that should be “visible and unverifiable”. There is a dislocation, a dissociation of the “voyeur/voyeured” reciprocal dichotomy; in the digital space one is panoramically seen without being seen with little to no accountability nor is the individual invested with the power to "see" back in return. Thus the amoral, patriarchal nature of the third space delivery system is demonstrated through its panopticonic capabilities. The notion of a perfor­

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mative platform of the online space that encodes behaviour and aesthetics allows vision that is not reciprocal (leaving to one side the notion of the webcam for the moment34) provides a metanar­ rative, a macrocosm of prescribed cultural practice that is inherently gender specific. The legitimacy of deconstructing what we see will always be a struggle because it is impossible to discern where reality stops and the imagined, the construct, the myth assumes control. From sexualised advertising strategies and images to internet pornography, being able to exist as “just a person” amongst all this information feels like one is suffocating and that liminal space is really an overcrowded, islanded sheep­pen or in Foucauldian terms, a prison. Any attempt to represent real women online is an extremely marginalised practice. Women have been replaced by the Barbie decoy, the doll35 (see appendix ii) which presents women with a complete lack of normal agency unless we pay with our sexual currency or we morph into a doll via the violence and financial investment of plastic surgery. The performativity of the doll in online spaces presents a simulation far removed from reality whose dominance is overwhelming and illegitimate. The simulation, the fake representation, has overtaken the real. And where does this leave the real woman? Not represented, negated and advertorially left for dead. What we are witnessing is a cultural execution of the real female self. As many including Walter, Power and Penny to name a few have stated, the doll has taken over the woman and this is evident in the digital space. What we experience with online representations of women is an inappropriate reflection of reality that states we

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are sexually available all the time and must have the dimensions of an early German sex toy. The way this all­pervasive mythology infiltrates, as Easthope mentioned earlier, the head of ordinary women and men can have disastrous effects on real­life interaction. If the online realm (and hard print media too) are constantly playing the female sexual availability card, it doesn’t take much of a leap of faith to realise how this is manifest in personal and socio­cultural terms. Sexualised advertising and interpellation is monological, it comes from a single, patriarchal hegemonic ideological perspective that doesn’t allow polyphony of other voices, other minorities, other positions. This has now extended beyond society, first and second spaces and into the third. The first and second space, according to Mikhail Bakhtin36, is the official culture, with the binary opposite to this identified as carnival culture. In some ways, Bakhtin’s Carnivalesque can provide some insight into the digital space, gender constructs and social control mechanisms. According to Bakhtin,

“The laws, prohibitions and restrictions that determine the structure and order of ordinary, that is noncarnival, life are suspended during carnival; what is suspended first of all is hierarchical structure and all forms of terror, reverence, piety, and etiquette connected with it – that is, everything resulting from socio­hierarchical inequality or any other form of inequality among people (including age). All distance between people is suspended, and a special carnival category goes into effect: free and familiar contact among people”37

When considering the above quote, he is obviously applying this to the concept of the medieval carnival. However, if we take the notion of the carnival and apply it to the digital, third space, the prohibitions and restrictions that determine the structure and order of the ordinary

life or official culture do not apply. When accessing the internet, all things are possible, unregulated and open and could be therefore considered Carnivalesque. Whilst Bakhtin refers to the carnival as operating outside the normativity of ordered social and state structure/imposition, it is possible to state that the original ethos for the digital space was the true sense of the Carnivalesque; open, free, equal, personable. What the internet has become however, as independent entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg were bought for their online ingenuity, the Corporatocracy spreads its tentacles through the online space, slowly eradicating its previous, Carnivalesque ideology as vertically integrated companies buy the independents, as we witnessed with the golden age of Hollywood and the music industry, ensuring the survival of the corporate and state sanctioned monolith. Bakhtin’s dichotomy falls as follows:

Carnival Culture / Official Culture Laughter / Seriousness Body / Mind Profane / Spiritual Unofficial / Official Horizontal / Vertical Open / Dogmatic Contingent / Immutable Movement / Stasis Abundance / Scarcity Intensity / Control Transparency / Opaqueness

From this dichotomous list of Bakhtinian Carnivalesque signifiers, the one binary opposite that requires questioning is the “movement­ stasis” component. It can be argued that the third space elicits static positioning from the browser whilst viewing movement online. The rest of Bakhtin’s list, however, seems to

coalesce with some success with the first/second space existing as the official culture and the third space as carnival culture. According to John Storey,

“Carnival offered, according to Bakhtin, a temporary refusal of the official world. But, he insists, carnival was not just a retreat from medievalism; it offered a utopian promise of a better life, one of equality, abundance and freedom.”38

Whilst it may have been a utopian, idealistic ideology that initially underpinned the internet, this is not how it operates in contemporary terms. However, the temporary refusal of the official world can be applied to the third space insomuch as it offers another world that is escapist, anonymous and lacks individual responsibility. The promise of a better life is something that advertising has always promised but rarely delivered, capitalism, consumerism and the protestant work ethic offered the same dream but as Janice Winship states,

“Without bothering to necessarily buy the product we can vicariously indulge in the good life through the image alone. This is the compensation for the experience you do not and cannot have”39

And if we apply Winship’s notion to sexualised advertising, the pretty bleach blonde girl with her breasts on display (see appendix ii) is the compensation for the lack of the real experience, internet pornography is the compensation for the lack of the real sexual encounter, online dating sites are compensation for actually meeting people. The third space could therefore be understood as a displacement or replacement of the actual experience, in favour of the mytho­ logical construct. This would indicate that the Carnivalesque third space experience of gender representation through the cultivation of mytho­

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logies and selling strategies actually attempts to engineer consent and to stall autonomous attempts to affect change on one’s environment by trapping, or islanding the individual in a panopticonic web of deceit and misrepre­ sentation that is constantly on display with no room for the real. Therefore occupation of the simulacra is at best, problematic and at worst, an impossibility. In conclusion, the form and function of sexualised advertising strategies, including internet pornography, in the third space and its promotion of the totalitarian gender construct and pornographied reification women have to resist, renegotiate and occupy, presents a very real and present danger. Laurie Penny identifies this perfectly;

1 . Castenada, C. (1 999) The Active Side of Infinity, London: Harper Collins. 2. Althusser, L. (1 971 ) “Ideologies and Ideological State Apparatuses”, in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, Trans B. Brewster, Paris: Monthly Review Press, pp. 85-1 26. 3. Jameson, F, (1 992), Postmodernism: or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Poetics of Social Forms),

London: Verso Press. 4. Lefebvre, H. (1 991 ), The Production of Space, London: Wiley-Blackwell. 5. Oldenburg, R. (1 999), The Great Good Place; Cafaes, Coffee Shops, Book Stores, Hair Salons and other Hangouts and the Heart of the Community,

3rd ed, London: Marlowe & Co.

Press. 6. Bhabha, H. (2004), The “The ‘fragmented parts of the body’ that Baudrillard describes are a key feature of 2nd ed, London: Routledge. advertorial eroticism: disembodied parts, 7. Marshment, M. (1 997) particularly of women, are fetishized as symbols of a sexuality that they cannot access. Shampoo suds run down naked torsos in soft­focus; lingerie is stretched over moronically thrusting groins; and everywhere, on book covers and cereal packets and boxes of sanitary towels, disembodied legs in stilettoed high heels emblematise a cutesy, feminine consumer imperative that edges to replace genuine erotic impulse in as sincere a manner as that which O’Brien in George Orwell’s 1984 vowed that the party would destroy the orgasm. To paraphrase Orwell, if you want a vision of the future of feminism, imagine a high heel coming down on a woman’s face – forever”40.

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Location of Culture, Representations of

Women in Contemporary Popular Culture in Introducing

Women’s

Studies,

London:

MacMillan,pp. 1 29. 8. Baudrillard, J. (1 981 ), Simulation and Simulacra, Paris: Editions Galilee. 9. Power, N. (2009), One Dimensional Woman, Hampshire: Zero Books, pp. 43 1 0. Butler, J. (2006), Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, London: Routledge, 11 . Baudrillard, J. (1 981 ), Simulation and Simulacra, Paris: Editions Galilee, pp. 4. 1 2. Easthope, A. (1 986) What a Man’s Gotta Do: The masculine myth in popular culture, London: Paladin. 1 3. N.B. There are no differences in how sexuality is understood in brain function between women and men and this notion negates ideologies purported by biological determinism

between the genders. See Fine, C. (201 0), Delusions of Gender, London: Icon Books. 1 4. Homi K. Bhabha: the Liminal Negotiation of Cultural Difference (1 0/11 /201 2) 1 5. Gutman, M. (2008), Designing Modern

29. Massey, D. (1 994), Space, Place and Gender, London: Polity Press. 30. McLuhan, M. (1 996), Understanding Media, the Extension of Man, Massachusetts: MIT Press 31 . De Certeau. M. (1 984), The Practice of Childhoods: History, Space and the Material Everyday Life. Trans. Steven Randall, Berkeley: Culture of Children, Newark: Rutgers University University of California Press. Press. 32. Lyon, D. (2006), Theorizing Surveillance: the 1 6. Bogue, R, (1 989). Deleuze and Guattari, Panopticon and Beyond, London: Willan Press. 33. Bentham, J. (2002), Panopticon ovvero la London: Routledge. 1 7. Penny, L. (2011 ), Meat Market: Female Flesh casa d’ispezione, Eds. M, Foucault & M, Perrot. under Capitalism, Hampshire: Zero Books; Trans. V, Fortunati Italy: Marsilio Press. 34. The notion of the webcam, whilst allowing (1 0/11 /201 2) 1 8. McLuhan, M. (1 996), Understanding Media, more reciprocity, does so from a distance. The webcam divorces the real and active the Extension of Man, Massachusetts: MIT Press. engagement of the first space experience and 1 9. Spivak, G. (1 995), "Can the Subaltern positions it firmly in the realm of the fake and Speak?" in The Post­Colonial Studies Reader, eds oneiric; a web cam experience, sexual or Ashcroft, B, Griffiths, G & Tiffin, H. London: otherwise is happening but it doesn’t seem real. One could also argue that the use of the web Routledge. cam breaks the fourth wall, insomuch as the 20. Walter, N. (201 0), Living Dolls: the Return of spectator, the audience is being stared at by the digital abyss as the digital abyss stares back into Sexism, London: Virago, pp. 4, 33. them. 21 . Wolf, N. (1 990), The Beauty Myth, London: 35. Walter, N. (201 0), Living Dolls: the Return of Vintage. 22. Hutcheon, L. (1 993), The Politics of Sexism, London: Virago, pp 23. 36. Storey, J. (1 997), Introduction to Cultural Postmodernism, 4th ed, London: Routhledge. Theory and Popular Culture, Hemel Hempstead: 23. Hill Collins, P., Intersecting Oppressions. Prentice Hall/Harvester Wheatsheaf, pp. 1 31 . (1 0/11 /201 2) 37. Morris, P. (Ed.) (1 994), The Bakhtin Reader: 24. Low, S. M. & Lawrence-Zuniga, D. (2003), Selected Writings of Bakhtin, Medvedev, The Anthropology of Space and Place: Locating Volosinov, London: MacMillan Press, pp. 91 . Culture. London: Wiley-Blackwell. 38. Storey, J. (1 997), Introduction to Cultural 25. Power, N. (2009), One Dimensional Woman, Theory and Popular Culture, Hemel Hempstead: Hampshire: Zero Books, pp. 51 . Prentice Hall/Harvester Wheatsheaf, pp. 1 31 . 26. See media reviews and dialogues 39. Winship, J in Pribham, D. E. (1 988) Female concerning Naomi Wolf’s Vagina: A New Spectators: Looking at Film and Television, Biography (201 2) London, New York: Virago. London: Verso Press, pp. 1 44. 27. Mulvey, L. (1 989) Visual Pleasure and 40. Penny, L. (2011 ), Meat Market: Female Flesh Narrative Cinema in Visual and Other Pleasures, under Capitalism, Hampshire: Zero Books, pp. London: MacMillan Press, pp. 1 4. 1 0. 28. Barthes, R. (2000), Mythologies, London: Vintage.

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Appendix i

Appendix ii Exemple 1

This image from Wazoo sourced from Facebook illustrates how by altering one singular component part, exchanging genders, the mythology of sexualised sales is broken. This bestows a considerable amount of advertising power through interpellation in terms of women as tools of production of consumerism and labourization.

Browsing session November 2012; please note that the author is not signed in to this site therefore indicating that You Tube is automatically assuming a male user, who is assumed to be automatically looking for “no strings attached” dating through the interpellation of reified images of the female form, to “hail” the user into visiting the advertised site. I was, in fact, looking for Mozart…

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Appendix ii Exemple 2

In this second example, on the same site during a different browsing session later in November 2012 and this time signed into a registered account, YouTube still presents the perceived user with dating site information but this time, the imagery is much more sexualised even though the user logged in is female. Whilst trying to watch a music video, users are being “hailed” and interpellated by the hot pink, overtly feminised and sexualised zone on the right hand side of the screen. Either the site is assuming automatic male engendered users as its dominant demographic or it’s assuming to know individual sexual preference. To deconstruct the image of the dating site advertisement, in Barthes’ semiotic terms would fall as follows: Primary signification: 1. Signifier. Dating site ad. 2. Signified. Associated image construct. 3. Sign. What the ad is selling.

Secondary signification: 1. Signifier. The colour pink. 2. Signified. Female association. 3. Sign. Indicates woman.

Tertiary signification: 1. Signifier. The image of a woman. 2. Signified. What the woman looks like. 3. Sign. Female gender construct.

Quaternary signification: 1. Signifier. Image deconstruction – how is she posed, what is she wearing etc. 2. Signified. Bleach blonde hair, glamour model pose, camera angled to focus on semi­naked breasts. 3. Sign. Sexually available. Quinary signification: 1. Signifier. The language of the ad. 2. Signified. “No strings attached dating”. 3. Sign. No emotional or sexual responsibility required.

Senary signification: 1. Signifier. Where is the ad located. 2. Signified. On YouTube.com 3. Sign. Host site allows advertising construct indicating a normalising of the idea of “selling women”. The nature of the gender construct used for this example implies that this particular woman has been chosen specifically for the advert and her appearance resonates with any woman who played with Barbie (and to a lesser extent Sindy) when she was a little girl. A decision has clearly been made to use this woman’s constructed Barbie appearance to get the attention of male users. This has vast

27

ramifications for both genders. Namely, there is a hegemonic assumption that this is the type of female beauty aesthetics that man desires most. The other component is that women will see this, assume this is what men desire and if they are heterosexual, attempt to alter their appearance to fit the construct. Consequently, not only does this promote a very narrow vision of beauty and of femininity, it produces a narrow vision of what men are supposed to want in a woman. Not only that, but the advert and the host site it appears on, to all intents and purposes, looks like it’s selling women under the guise of a dating site. The fact that the advert zone is bright pink instantly identifies that area as specifically female (female for male purposes) and also interpellates browsers by hailing to them that there is a “woman available” area on their screen. This process also recodifies the colour pink as not just representing the female, but representing the sexually available female, as if one is synonymous with the other negating any active

Appendix iii

Below are two examples from Facebook

In the first the image depicts an outline of two people, on the left a male shadow and on the right a female. Given that society in the West reads from left to right, one can infer from these examples that because the male image is on the left and that the secondary position of the female is on the right, the woman has been specifically presented in a subordinate posi­ tion. It is possible to consider that patriarchal constructs extend to the construction and delivery of online spaces including social networking sites.

The second image is a banner that appears on the top of a personal account on Facebook. The user is logged in and the banner is stating a promotional element of the make­up of the site. However, even though the user is female, the image included therein is male. This subversive and almost transparent element to the site quietly supports a privileged male position that almost goes unnoticed because society is increasingly desensitised to the format and graphology of sites like Facebook that we become blind to the smaller intricacies that have so much gender constructed and bound up in its microcosm of details.

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Occupying the Simulation: the sexualised panopticon Jasmine Shadrack

lectures in Popular Music and Post-Colonial theory and discourse at the University of Northampton, England. She is currently undertaking her PhD in culture and gender studies and considers herself a gregarious recluse, a socialist revolutionary given half the chance and a Dalmatian fancier.

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© Cumshot by Emmanuel CAROUX

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Arté

éfact

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Dossier LA PORNOGRAPHIE ANTIQUE : LES ORIGINES DU

MÂLE

par Cyril DUMAS

Le sexe dans l’antiquité revêt un caractère sacré où le sortilège et le charme exercent un pouvoir sur le plaisir et la fécondité. L’art semble être un témoin involontaire de ce spectacle impudique qui appelle à la luxure. Pourtant, cette tradition licencieuse demeure une transgression acceptée et ritualisée par la morale. Car, la continuité de la gens est soumise à une seule chose : le contrôle de l’instinct sexuel. Il est ainsi intéressant de s’interroger sur le rôle et la lecture réaliste de cet art qui mêle trivial et sacré, rendant accessible à tous des scènes de dépravation. Plus prosaïquement, cette esthétique pourrait être un art Pompier destiné à éteindre les feux ardents des Plaisirs ? epuis la préhistoire, le sexe et la reproduction humaine demeurent atta­ chés à des rites magico religieux. Cette ten­ dance s’affirme sous l’autorité de Rome, où le phallus devient un symbole religieux à part entière. Il est la personnification d’un Dieu dénommé Priape. Ce dieu est stigmatisé par une érection permanente et disproportionnée.

Il incarne la fécondité des hommes, la fertilité des troupeaux et des vergers. Son usage s’étend à la protection du commerce, du transport et de tous lieux potentiellement dangereux (ponts, arènes, bateaux…). L’omni­ présence de ses représentations a incité les premiers archéologues à établir que cette société s’était éteinte à force de se répandre dans la luxure et le stupre. L’art conforte largement cette idée grâce aux représentations pornographiques qui jonchent les sols et les murs des villes ou des tavernes. Cette esthétique livre l’intimité de scènes d’amours avec une certaine complaisance pour les sujets

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et les détails obscènes. Les images offrent une consommation effrénée de tous les plaisirs. Elles évoquent l’onanisme, le triolisme, l’adultère, la pédophilie, la zoophilie, le viol, l’homosexualité, la prostitution…Cependant, il est opportun de se demander si elles reflètent la réalité des mœurs et des pratiques antiques.

La sexualité

En guise de préliminaires, il est important de rappeler que les conceptions de la sexualité antique ne reposent absolument pas sur l'antagonisme des notions d’hétérosexualité, d’homosexualité ou de bisexualité. Sans pour autant prôner l’indifférenciation sexuelle, la société romaine répond à des codes de conduite bien précis opposés à ceux de la Grèce. La société est régie par un droit écrit qui permet de garantir la structure pyramidale du pouvoir. L’aristocratie impose sa domination sur les plus faibles classes représentées par les esclaves. Le citoyen romain est considéré comme un

homme libre donc opposé à l’esclave. Le romain exerce son autorité par la force et la virilité. Il doit être celui qui agit et l’esclave (ou la femme dans le cas des relations hétérosexuelles) celui qui subit. Paul Veyne dit : « Etre actif, c’est être un mâle, quel que soit le sexe du partenaire, dit passif ». Le romain encourt l’infamie en cas de passivité, son corps est impénétrable et ne peut pas être souillé.

que la relative liberté sexuelle du mâle dominant romain (idée chère à P. Veyne) n'est tolérée que chez les jeunes gens, mais qu'elle est condamnable chez les hommes d'âge mûr. Les actes sexuels réprouvent les pratiques buccales et l’asservissement de la femme. Cependant, le plaisir de l’homme est chaste si son activité demeure secrète et non féconde. Par ailleurs, il ne doit pas engendrer une naissance qui réduirait l’héritage et le patrimoine de ses enfants légitimes. A cette condition fondamentale, la courtisane ou une concubine sont tolérées, comme un exutoire accordé aux hommes. D’ailleurs, la prostitution est admise et les clients ne sont sanctionnés d’aucune peine morale. Elle peut être recommandée aux jeunes hommes afin qu’ils évitent de convoiter la virginité d’une jeune femme ou l’honneur d’une matrone. Cependant, il doit rester le maître de son plaisir et sans être l’esclave d’une passion. La débauche commence dès que la chose est rendue publique, car elle implique d’être jugée par la société.

L’esclave est dénué de droit et de personnalité juridique. A l’instar d’un simple objet, il doit demeurer passif et la pleine propriété de son maître. Ce dernier a le droit de vie ou de mort sur son esclave, qu’il récompense en l’affranchissant pour ses bons et loyaux services. Cette règle sous­entend que l’esclave est potentiellement un futur membre de droit de la société romaine. Par conséquent, le maître ne peut infliger des sévices et des actes de cruautés sans en répondre devant ses paires. L’homme libre est contrait de respecter les normes de la sexualité. Celles­ci s’exercent uniquement dans le cadre du mariage. La sexualité doit être pratiquée sous Le romain exerce son autorité par la le saut du secret et dans force et la virilité. Il doit être celui qui agit et l’obscurité, sauf le jour des noces l’esclave (ou la femme dans les relations où les cris et les chants grivois hétérosexuelles) celui qui subit. des convives étouffent ceux des mariés. L’épouse est le plus souvent une femme d’une douzaine d’année, L’union soustrait la femme de l’autorité de son dont la jeunesse contribue à garantir la virginité. paternel qui est transmise à son époux. La jeune Officiellement, l’homme remplit ses obligations vierge doit le dévouement à son mari et la en se mariant pour construire un foyer fidélité qui garantit la lignée de la descendante. hétérosexuel, monogame, à rapports procréatifs. On peut affirmer que dans la société publique la C’est la raison pour laquelle les mariages au­ femme reste soumise à l’homme. Elle est delà de l’âge de soixante ans pour les hommes autorisée à sortir sous la protection d’un voile et sont jugés scandaleux, car le vieillard traîne une d’un esclave. Mais dans la sphère privée de la réputation de stérilité. Plaute rappelle par ailleurs domus, elle s’émancipe et devient libérée du

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pouvoir (potestas) du pater familias. Elle règne sans partage dans la maison du Maître en assurant la bonne tenue du lit conjugal et du comportement des domestiques. Sa légitimité est entourée d’un véritable culte. Sa situation de femme légitime est placée sous la protection de Junon, car elle protège sa dignité et les valeurs du foyer conjugal la familia. Elle est le plus souvent dispensé de toute tâche servile au dépend d’esclaves mis à disposition par l’époux. En revanche, elle se réserve les activités de filage et de tissage pour confectionner les toges et les tuniques de son mari. Son autorité concoure à garantir la bonne moralité de son époux. Parallèlement à cette idéalisation du couple pudibond, il se développe une hypersexualisation de l’art. L’aristocratie semble particulièrement apprécier la présence d’images indécentes qui révèlent l’intimité de l’amour. Insidieusement, la banalisation fait son œuvre dans l’espace privé ou public en s’affichant aux yeux de tous. Fondamentalement phallocratique, l’art et la société dénoncent un paradoxe.

Quand l’Art ébranle les consensus

La société romaine est partagée entre deux aspirations contradictoires : le droit à la jouissance de l’homme et la volonté d’imposer des limites à ce droit en punissant les «pervers» qui en abusent. Pourtant, l’art révèle une iconographie particulièrement explicite, où tous les genres se confondent. De la classique scène du missionnaire aux déviances les plus extrêmes, l’art n’a aucun tabou. Parmi ces représentations, il est notable de constater la présence d’ébats amoureux avec des animaux. Ces unions montrent une femme couverte par un cygne, un âne, un crocodile ou un monstre.

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Cette perversion sexuelle relève de la zoophilie. Pourtant, ce terme ne nous satisfait pas, car il n’est pas inadéquat au regard de la culture romaine. Un second examen révèle que la réalité est attachée à une symbolique mythologique. Les Dieux ayant la faculté de se muer en animal, ils manifestent de l'amour pour ceux­ci où se métamorphose pour duper leur victime. Parmi les aventures chimériques qui ont été le plus souvent évoquées figurent celle du viol de la belle Léda. Pour la posséder Zeus prend la forme d’un cygne et vient nager à ses côtés. Léda se laisse charmer par la présence de ce bel oiseau blanc, qui en profite pour la couvrir. En conséquence, cette sexualité bestiale représente une union symbolique et immaté­ rielle. Dans cette étude, une autre priorité est donnée aux images des célèbres orgies. Pourtant, malgré tous nos efforts aucune collection archéologique européenne et méditer­ ranéenne n’a livré de telles œuvres. L’investigation a révélé uniquement des scènes de triolisme. L’Oscillum du Musée Rolin reste un témoignage évocateur. Le premier plan est occupé par un homme alité dont la barbe et les traits du visage attestent d’une longue souffrance. Il reçoit une caresse d’une jeune femme, dont la robe est relevée jusqu'au bas du dos révélant son postérieur. Un troisième personnage habillé en serviteur en profite pour s’emparer de cette ouverture. L’examen de cette scène est fondamental, car elle ne relève pas de l’érotisme ou de la partouze mais du Vaudeville. En effet, l’observation du rôle secondaire accordé à la présence d’un tiers dans le rapport du couple est une évocation du célèbre trio du mari, de l’épouse et de l’amant. Pourtant, d’autres représentations évoquent les relations

sexuelles des femmes dépravées qui se nouent, au gré des rencontres car soumises à un instinct sexuel non contrôlé. Ainsi, on retrouve dans tout le monde romain cette même iconographie la stigmatisant. La scène présente un gracieux couple sur un luxueux lit. Pour accroître son plaisir, l’homme est dressé sur ses genoux et maintient de la main gauche le bassin de sa partenaire pour l'attirer contre lui. Il soulève dans l’autre main la cheville de la jambe dressée de la jeune femme. Pour rendre plus confortable cette levrette, la femme est confortablement accoudé sur son avant bras rehaussé au moyen d’un coussin. Le soin apporté à la chevelure et le

souci d'individualisation du visage évoquent davantage un portrait. De ce fait, la femme est coiffée d’un chignon sophistiqué et tressé, symbole de la puissance aristocratique et de la dignité de la matrone. Elle tourne la tête vers son partenaire dont le visage est marqué d’un large sourire cynique. La minutie des détails révèle le luxe et l’intimité d’une femme aristocratique, sa chambre, sa soumission au plaisir, son amant. L’artiste prend un malin plaisir à user de la caricature et de l’humour pour dénoncer la luxure. Ainsi, il n’est pas étonnant de découvrir sur les murs d’une villa pompéienne une scène de

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levrette. La fresque illustre un couple s’affairant sur un lit matelassé recouvert de draps verts. Il s’agit d’un jeune homme imberbe aux cheveux ébouriffés dont le regard traduit une certaine appréhension. La femme a conservé un soutient gorge (fascia). Ses traits et sa coiffure trahissent un âge et un niveau social plus élevés. Une inscription a été ajoutée à la scène : Lente impelle, soit une fois traduite : Vas­y doucement.

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La description de ce tableautin inspire plusieurs hypothèses : les frasques d’une courtisane, le dépucelage d’un jeune homme, ou la corruption d’une matrone. En tout cas c’est l’ironie qui prime sur la pornographie.

L'appétit sexuel

La pornographie antique est restée un sujet tabou pendant plusieurs siècles. Enfermée dans les cabinets secrets et les enfers des musées, ce corpus iconographique échappe à toute analyse scientifique précise. Ce contexte offre à l’auteur l’opportunité de déflorer un sujet exceptionnel. Certes, comme toujours, la représentation du sexe demeure l’expression d’une certaine forme de vulgarité phallocratique. Elle est en quête d’une surenchère dans la transgression. Pourtant, les images antiques ne sont pas comparables au célèbre Kamasoutra. Car, les artistes reproduisent les mêmes figures dans tout l’empire romain pour satisfaire une élite aristocratique masculine. Ces images licencieuses s’enfilent les unes derrières les autres en l’absence de recherche apparente d’excitation dont l’aboutissement serait l’acte physique. L’art transcrit une réalité artificielle (et parfois artificieuse) pour nous ouvrir les yeux sur une authenticité du ressentir. La stéréotypisation et le recours au paradoxe établissent une instrumentalisation de cette vulgarité qui puise dans la tradition licencieuse pour mettre à l'index l'appétit sexuel. A l'instar de l’anarsuma (exhibition phallique) de Priape, ces odieuses et salaces images incarnent une obscénité à la limite du tolérable. Au regard des interprétations successives, on s’aperçoit du rôle conjuratoire de l’art qui exhortait la bonne société choquée à s’accommoder d’un rire prophylactique !

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La pornographie antique : les origines du Mâle

1 . C. Dumas (201 2) Nouvelles réflexions sur les objets gri¬vois du quotidien, Instrumentum n°35 juin 201 2 2. C. Dumas (201 2) Direction Scientifique de la rédaction du Dossier de l’Archéologie n°22 Avril. Hors Série, Edition Faton 6 articles : -Le sexe à Rome. -Le lupanar de Pompeï. -L’antiquomanie. -L’art érotique, de la mythologie au spirituel, -L’immoralité. 3. C. Dumas & D. Fürdös (201 2) Priape entre invocation et superstition. 4. C. Dumas (201 0) L’art érotique chez les romains, L’archéologue, n°1 08, Juin-Juillet 5. C. Dumas, J.-M. Baude (2007) L’art érotique en Gaule romaine, Sexologies -Vol. 1 6 -n°2, pp.1 44-1 47, Ed. Elsevier Masson SAS -ISSN : 11 58-1 360- 2007 6. C. Dumas (2005) La Gaule : un goût de paradis, Histoire Antique n°21 , septembre 7. C. Dumas (2005) L’art érotique en Gaule romaine du IIe siècle av. au IIIe siècle apr. J.-C L’archéologue n°80 octobre- novembre 8. C. Dumas & Jean-Michel Baude (2005) L’érotisme des Gaules, Ed. Musée des Baux, 55p. 1 50 ill. coul. ISBN 2-9525039-0-7 Cyril DUMAS

exerce depuis 2002 la fonction de conservateur des Baux de Provence. Cette charge comprend les monuments et les musées des Baux de Provence (Musée d’histoire, Musée des Santons, Musée Yves Brayer). Il œuvre en faveur de la valorisation et de la conservation du patrimoine à travers de nombreuses actions de sensibilisation. Son travail engagé couvre l’ensemble des domaines du champ culturel. Avec, humour, audace, impertinence, sa quête d’histoire et sa passion pour l’art le conduisent régulièrement à concevoir de nouveaux projets d’expositions. Ainsi, il organise en 2005 une exposition très médiatique sur l’art érotique antique où il révèle la morale romaine, bien loin des idées reçues. Depuis, il poursuit son analyse des images issues des collections archéologiques de : L'Autriche, Algérie, Albanie, Belgique, Croatie, Chypre, Allemagne, France, Grande-Bretagne, Hongrie, Hollande, Italie, Libye, Maroc, Portugal, Espagne, Suisse, Turquie, Tunisie, États-Unis. Au terme de cette expérience, il est nommé conseiller scientifique aux éditions Faton pour la direction d’un hors série sur le sexe à Rome.

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Dossier

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Steck Bratwurst in dein Sauerkraut ! Just a little bit, be my little bitch You’ ve got a pussy I have a dick So, what’ s the problem? Let’ s do it quick PUSSY (2009)

© RAMMSTEIN

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Dossier

ATTEMPTING TO D OMINATE OBJECTIFICATION : SEXUAL POWER EXCHANGE IN

STRINDBERG’S MISS JULIE

by Dr. Vicky GILPIN

August Strindberg’s Miss Julie’s primary interpretations emphasize the power struggle between class and gender as well as strengths and weaknesses inherent in personality. Through a blurring of gendered and socio­economic roles, Miss Julie breaks and explores perceptions of boundaries and power. In this work, the failure to thrive is neither due to the social roles of the time nor the attempted sexual power exchange thwarting those roles and expectations, but due to weaknesses within the characters themselves. ritten during the fin de siècle, August Strindberg’s Miss Julie’s primary interpretations emphasize the power struggle between class and gender as well as strengths and weaknesses inherent in personality. A work in which the mistress of the house, whose unorthodox upbringing has blurred her perceptions of gender roles, has sex with a servant whose ambition and autodidactic nature blurs his conditioned acceptance of social roles, Miss Julie breaks and explores perceptions of boundaries and power. In the introduction to the play, Strindberg notes the importance of the characters’ complexities; however, their complexities do not necessarily mean the characters have an increased number of tools from which to manufacture personal contentment. Although the combined issues of sexual activity that crossed social lines and frank discussion and awareness of sex without love shocked 1888 audiences, the blatant sexual

language of domination and submission also gave cause for hearts to flutter in the chests of proper society members. Miss Julie depicts the characters’ sexual power exchange as an ineffective attempt to use nonproductive expenditure to eradicate the feelings of alienation caused by utilitarian objectification. One aspect of utilitarianism popularized by Marx and Kant emphasizes that people become objectified like tools because they become identified with their vocational purpose or role. To outsiders, servants and the working class become indistinguishable from their roles and are seen as their purpose rather than their humanity. For example, Jean is the jacket that indicates his subordination to the masters of the house, in this case, Julie and her father. Even Jean’s view of himself is affected by his objectification. His actions are preconditioned based on whether or not he wears the symbol of his utilitarian nature. The master’s power is

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objectified by his boots and the bell, as both produce reactions in Jean even when Julie’s father is absent, demonstrating the power of the objectification. Because of viewing each other as differing tools rather than through the basis of shared humanity, objectification alienates humans from each other, as is exhibited by Julie’s actions that indicate she views her reality and needs as more valid than those of servants. One example of Julie’s objectification of servants occurs when Julie attempts to wake Kristine, the cook, to be her chaperone even though Kristine has been cooking all day as part of her regular duties and then even into a celebratory night, as Julie had ordered her to cook food for her dog.

examples of nonproductive expenditure because it lifts them briefly from their lives of objectification but serves no utilitarian purpose.

A facet of nonproductive expenditure through non­procreative sex includes sexual power exchange activities found in sexual interactions with elements of dominance and submission (D/s). Although Strindberg writes of the sexuality within the play as comparable to “beastiality” in his 1888 letter to Edvard Brandes (Tornqvist and Steene, 74), the idea of sexual power exchange has more credence because of the emphasis on domination and the blurred roles within the work. Within Miss Julie, the power roles are ambiguous because Julie possesses utilitarian power as the mistress of the house, but Jean has traditional sexual power interpretation because of his male gender.

She emphasizes this when she tells Jean that she got engaged to her lawyer fiancé 'in order to make him my slave' Although Georges Bataille wrote at least half a decade after Miss Julie was written in 1888, his theories create a unique lens through which to analyze the work. Bataille wrote that in the time of animalism, before the differentiation occurred caused by items and people’s utilitarian objectification, undifferentiated intimacy was like “water in water,” and that humans now attempt to recreate this experience through fleeting moments of intimacy aimed at dissolving the boundaries of objectification. Bataille claimed one method to destroy the objectification and differentiation is through nonproductive expenditure through luxury, lavish purchases, and non­procreative sex (Noys, 108­110). One could view the dance and sexual activities of the servants in Miss Julie as successful

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“In a time preoccupied with defining, within the bourgeoisie, a strict gender dichotomy with a clearly defined and static gender role distribution, a feminization of masculinity or blurring of gender lines was perceived as especially threatening and dangerous” (Fraunhofer, 1). At the start of the play, Jean relays to Kristine how Julie’s behavior demonstrates blurring of traditional psychosexual gender lines by discussing Julie’s rift with her former fiancé:

That evening they were out near the stable, and she was “training” him—as she called it. Do you know what she did? She made him jump over her riding crop, the way you’d teach a dog to jump. He jumped twice and she hit him each time. But the third time he grabbed the crop out of her hand, hit her with it across the cheek, and broke it in pieces. Then he left. 77.

Not only does Julie’s behavior exemplify blurred lines of appropriate gendered and social

behavior, it also hints that Julie’s desires for an intimate partner stray from the strictly heteronormative expectations of her class and era. She emphasizes this interpretation when she tells Jean that she got engaged to her lawyer fiancé “in order to make him my slave” (98). A primary element of sexual power exchange is the appearance that the power roles are not blurred: one participant is dominant, and the other is submissive. However, these roles often do not conform to societally­ accepted gender roles.

has the power even when the situation appears otherwise (Warner). The success of sexual power exchange relies on compromise and agreement to dominance and submission within the participants’ established roles (Woltersdorff). In Miss Julie, however, Jean’s pride and constant consciousness of their traditional utilitarian roles prevent him from mentally submitting entirely to the freedom of the nonproductive expenditure of non­procreative sexual activity.

The success of sexual power exchange During the beginning of their relies on compromise and agreement to interactions, Julie attempts to dominance and submission within the retain her utilitarian power as the participants’ established roles... mistress of the house, even when she orders Jean not to take her orders as orders: “Oh tonight, we’re all just When Jean has given more warnings than even ordinary people having fun, so we’ll forget about a class­conscious hot­blooded man might ever rank. Now, take my arm!” (80). The moment be expected to give to a sexually desperate where she orders Jean to kiss her shoe, and he woman, he encourages Julie to go to his bed, so does so (82), as well as when she gets Jean to they will at least be out of sight of the other put his arm around her and kiss her, resulting in servants; at that point, Julie asks, “Am I to obey her slapping his face (85) echo the scene in you?”(88), and they exchange sexual power which her fiancé would not follow Julie’s orders roles: Julie may still be Jean’s mistress, and he the way she wanted. Jean submits to her will may still be her servant, but their roles alter even when he cannot determine whether she is before the sexual activity. They are not equals playing or serious and even as he warns her of and friends, as Julie would like to pretend(86), the consequences to her already tarnished nor should she believe Jean’s declaration that reputation if she has sex with a servant (85). “I’m your friend and I respect you”(89), but the Several times, Jean asks her to order him to power has shifted as Julie submits to Jean. take action, such as drink the beer that she Despite that she swore to her mother she would prefers, but he knows the dangerous situation in “never be a slave to any man,” her own which her urges place him, particularly when desperation and Jean’s awareness made her a reminded of the master he respects, Julie’s slave to their desires to disastrous father, the Count: “I never agreed to be your consequences. playmate, and never will. It’s beneath me”(85). Many elements of Miss Julie hint at sexually Jean’s words remind one that during sexual dominant and submissive mores and behavior. power exchanges, the submissive chooses his Julie’s actions suggest a desire to dominate, or her submission and has the power to stop the particularly the attempted “training” of her former activity through a safe word, so the submissive 43

fiancé, the request that Jean kiss her boot, and the mixed signals that encouraged Jean to kiss her but result in her slapping him.

Some types of intimate play (in sexual situations known as “scenes” for their constructed and theatrical elements) incorporate the dominant requesting impossible tasks or providing similarly ambiguous demands, so the submissive will have “earned” a punishment, similar to Julie hitting her fiancé with her riding crop or smacking Jean. Gosselin and Wilson note, “sexual rituals have much in common with dramatic, religious, and magical rites, for example in the use of pseudo­aggression, menace, special clothing, compulsion, restraint, chastisement, and ordeal to acquire powers, expand self­awareness or alter identity boundaries”(175). In addition, when Jean exhorts Julie to “Come!” (89) up to his room after they have swapped sexual roles so that he is now the dominant sexual force, the double entendre not only alludes to a slang term for orgasm made popular in 1650 in the anonymously­attributed poem “Walking in a Meadowe Green.” The command also depicts a common behavior in scenes of sexual power exchange, where the orgasm is under the control of the dominant until he or she gives permission, often by this term phrased as an order. In this case, Julie’s movement and sexual pleasure are under Jean’s control.

Where modern sexual dominance and submission relies on the adage “safe, sane, and consensual,” the activities in Miss Julie may be physically safe and consensual for the moment; they are not sane for the participants and do not overcome objectification. Amidst the gaiety of Midsummer Eve, Jean, as the educated servant,

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© Vassar College. Meryl Streep ’71, in the title role of Strin

and Julie, as the less­than­genteel mistress, craft a perilous intimacy based on the hope of finding a semblance of commonality; unfortu­ nately, their interaction remains merely common, demonstrating no transcendence from objecti­ fication. As Jean says at the start of the play, “that’s what happens when aristocrats pretend they’re common people—they get common!” (78). In this case, Julie is too common and vulgar to be Jean’s dominating mistress, and

ndberg’s Miss Julie in 1969.

Jean is too ambitious and self­educated to remain Julie’s submissive; in their anger that nothing has changed in the morning, Julie returns to her belief that “a servant is a servant,” and Jean declares, “And a whore is a whore!” reiterating the repugnance toward Julie he admitted to at the start of the play(93). Neither can they continue to exchange sexual power according to the more traditional dominant male and submissive female lines: Jean is too much a

servant to dominate Julie, and Julie hates that she submitted to any male, especially a male servant. She even admits Jean’s strength and power when she rails in an attempt to justify or excuse her behavior: “What terrible power drew me to you? The attraction of the weak to the strong?”(93). Bataille’s theory of recreating animality depicts an attempt to eradicate the objectifying differences between objects, but in Miss Julie, the differences between Jean and

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Julie are too great to allow acts of nonproductive expenditure to shatter their roles past the morning light. The tradition of sexual power between men and women wars with the tradition of power between those of differing classes, and neither Jean nor Julie are strong enough to overcome or alter their objectifications.

she would have needed the strength of Medea to do so, and Julie is no Medea. Neither Jean nor Julie has the strength to immerse him or herself always into a dominant or submissive role; in modern D/s parlance, they would be termed “switches,” people able to succeed within both dominant and submissive roles, but Jean and Julie’s ambiguous natures These male poets are haunted by resist reflection and personal lovely women whose most fetching body contentment, so they cannot parts, [...] the intensest focuses of desire retain intimacy with others. [. . .] are in practice, occasions, locales, Although some men of the era instruments, of horror and pain, even of may have desired submission to women, Jean possesses strong death. (Cunningham) ambition combined with a “dual, indecisive nature, vacillating between sympathy In 1886, Kraft­Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis for people in high social positions and hatred for popularized the term “masochism,” as inspired those who currently occupy those positions” by Leopold von Sacher­Masoch’s 1870 Venus in (Strindberg, 69). Furs; Stewart­Steinberg’s analysis of art and literature from the fin de siècle posits that male In addition, Julie’s nature disrupts the status quo. submission to the feminine existed as a In his introduction to Miss Julie, Strindberg subversive theme of that period, despite the notes, “The half­woman is a type who pushes simultaneous overt theme regarding male fear of her way ahead, selling herself nowadays for figurative emasculation and feminization. power, decorations, honors, and diplomas, as Thompson writes, “It is no coincidence that the formerly she used to do for money. The type notion of sadomasochism arose in an identical implies a retrogressive step in evolution, an time and manner as the concept of inferior species who cannot endure” (68). Julie homosexuality. Both terms were constructed out cannot wield and maintain power as a half­ of medical discourse as a means of social woman, and Jean cannot wield and maintain control”(xiv). Works of Swinburne, Rossetti, and power as her servant. The contradictions and others emphasize the lure and danger weaknesses in their natures do not allow the power exchange to free them to long­term submissive love holds: animality or intimacy. Their lack of respect for “These male poets are haunted by lovely women themselves, either as mistress and servant or whose most fetching body parts, the absolute sources of sexual pleasure, the intensest focuses fallen lover of an ambitious hotel­keeper and of desire [...] are in practice, occasions, locales, hotel­owner himself, do not allow them to instruments, of horror and pain, even of death” respect their potential partners in intimacy. (Cunningham, 108). Although he admits he is not in love with her, Julie had the opportunity to represent the Jean notes that he cannot feel triumph in her monstrous feminine for Jean, but not the power; downfall and offers several suggestions for how

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they might proceed, even going so far as to suggest he could easily learn to love her if they left together(94­95). Jean is even willing to return to their initial roles of the previous evening and remain submissive to Julie when he realizes he has no idea what Julie wants: “For the last time—what do you want? Shall I cry; shall I jump over your riding crop?”(100). The primary challenge to moving forward is that Julie does not know what she wants, either. Jean is willing to risk his current position on a plan, but even with a half­hearted attempt to focus and leave with Jean (and perhaps Kristine because, at this point, what is a little polyamory among not­really­ friends?), she is unable to be decisive and needs Jean to spur her on to action, much as he did the previous night when he goaded her to come to the bedroom. Even though she begs for guidance when she pleads, “Order me! Set me in motion­­­I can’t think or act on my own…” (101), Julie is the one giving the orders, much like a submissive who sets the parameters in a D\s “scene.” However, when she also orders him to “Speak kindly to me, Jean!” he cannot help but reply, “An order always sounds unkind—now you know how it feels”(101). Because of their failure to use nonproductive expenditure to reject objectification, Strindberg unintentionally has Jean and Julie follow Bataille’s most extreme method of rejecting the profane: through the creation of sacredness by sacrifice; in Bataille’s theory, when an object or objectified person is sacrificed, it is no longer profaned by objectification and is instead considered sacred. If Julie becomes sacred through self­sacrifice and loss of her objectified role as the mistress, then Jean is sacred in return by loss of his mirrored objectification as her servant. Despite his disagreement with suicide because he thinks “suicide is a crime

against the Providence which gave us life” (99), Jean becomes dominant to Julie one last time, even as he shivers with anxiety about the reaction of his true master, her father, and is once again shackled by the symbolism of the livery on his coat (111), so he encourages Julie to kill herself (112). Despite his reluctance, the power exchange is complete, and Julie appears to feel nothing but relief at the reminder that her ambiguous role as mistress of the house is over, as she is a fallen woman, soon not to be objectified by any labels. Julie’s suicide echoes the end of Robert Browning’s 1836 poem “Porphyria’s Lover,” and is prescient of Lillian Hellman’s 1934 The Children’s Hour and Pauline Reage’s, 1954 The Story of O. In “Porphyria’s Lover,” when the male servant­lover realizes his well­bred mistress,

© Elin Strömberg. Maria Bonnevie & Mikael Persbrandt, Miss Julie, The Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm, 2005.

who refuses to leave her social standing for him but continues their dalliances through her own agency, truly loves him, he kills her to suspend that moment of love forever and destroy further emasculation. The narrator no longer objectifies or is objectified by his lover as lower­class because he has sacrificed her. In The Children’s Hour, rumors of lesbianism destroy two teachers, Karen and Martha, and cause Martha to commit suicide after revealing she did have romantic feelings toward Karen, ending any hope for potential intimacy, even a platonic one. Most similar are the last lines of The Story of O: “There exists a second ending to the story of O, according to which O, seeing that Sir Stephen was about to leave her, said she would prefer to die. Sir Stephen gave her his consent.” In the last example, Sir Stephen, the person acting as the dominant within the power exchange, controlled not only elements of the life of the submissive, but also her death, much the same as Jean dominated Julie one last time. One reason for the ending of Miss Julie is similar to a potential motivation for the end of The

Children’s Hour, where the sacrifice was less to cultivate the sacred nature of the previously profane and objectified victim, but to preserve the status quo of the audience members’ interiority when not reflecting upon characters of differing sexual and utilitarian roles. Sex has long been viewed as a threat to social order (Hawkes). When The Children’s Hour premiered, homosexuality was not allowed to be referenced on the New York stages; similarly, despite Stewart­Steinberg’s research on male maso­ chism in the fin de siècle, the blurring of gender and social lines was viewed negatively, as one can see from Strindberg’s depiction of Julie as a “half­woman born of a half­woman.” In this case, Miss Julie and the characters’ failure at using sexual power exchange as an example of non­ productive expenditure to defeat objectification serves as not only a warning to understand and respect oneself, but also a warning to preserve the status quo in gender and social status at that time.

Attempting to Dominate Objectification: Sexual Power Exchange in Strindberg’s Miss Julie

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4. Gosslin, C. and Wilson, G. “Sadomasochism and Transcendence.” The Social Construction of Sexuality and Perversion: Deconstructing Sadomasochism. New York: Palgrave McMillan. 2009. Print. 5. Hawkes, Gail. Sex and Pleasure in Western Culture. Malden, MA: Polity. 2004. Print. 6. Noyes, John K. The Mastery of Submission: Inventions of Masochism. New York: Cornell Studies in the History of Psychiatry. 1 997. Print. 7. Noys, Benjamin. Georges Bataille: a Critical Introduction. Pluto Press. 2000. Print. 8. Reage, Pauline. The Story of O. 1 954. Web. 2 Feb. 201 2. 9. Stewart-Steinberg, Suzanne. Sublime Surrender: Male Masochism at the Fin-de-siecle. New York: Cornell Studies in the History of Psychiatry. 1 998. Print. 1 0 Strindberg, August. “Miss Julie.” Strindberg: Five Plays. Carlson, Harry G. [trans.]. Berkley: University of California Press. 1 983. Print. 11 . Thompson, Mark. Leatherfolk: Radical Sex, People, Politics, and Practices. Boston: Alyson Publications. 1 991 . Print. 1 3. Tornqvist, Egil, and Birgitta Steene. Strindberg on Drama and Theatre. Amsterdam University Press. 2007. Print. 1 4. Warner, Brad. Sex, Sin, and Zen: A Buddhist Exploration of Sex From Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between. Novato, CA: New World Library. 201 0. Print. 1 5. Woltersdorff, Volker. “The Pleasures of Compliance: Domination and Compromise within BDSM Practice.” Hegemony and Heteronormativity: Revisiting the political in Queer Politics: Queer Interventions. 2011 . Print. Dr. Vicky Gilpin,

a teacher at Cerro Gordo High School, Richland Community College, and Millikin University, in the United States, attempts to include horror, sexuality, and vampires into most of her research. Recent publications are “A female protagonist, sex with monsters, and questionable femmes fatale: The continuing tension of Noir elements in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series” in Women Without Borders, “Hungering for appropriate instruction: Desperately seeking the meddling-in-the-middle model in Rice’s Interview with the Vampire and Holland’s Lord of the Dead” in Research and Criticism, “Vampires and Female Spiritual Transformation: Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter” in The Undead and Theology, and a presentation for the Popular Culture Association: “If it weren’t written with vampires in mind, it should have been: A vampiric analysis of Wallace Stevens’ ‘Tea at the Palaz of Hoon.’” Vicky was also excited to be a teaching fellow for Crime and Horror in Victorian Literature and Culture as well as Literature and Sexuality through the Harvard Extension School.

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Dossier

LIBERATION THROUGH BONDAGE?

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY AND THE NEW ‘MOMMY PORN’

by Catherine CURRAN VIGIER

This article considers the success of E.L. james’s novel Fifty Shades of Grey and examines the arguments used by the marketers to promote the production of porn for women. This phenomenon is linked to what American Feminist Ariel Levy has called the ‘New Raunch Culture’. The analysis of British and American feminists and socialists are used to show how the ideals of women’s liberation are being utilized to market what is being called a new sexual freedom to women but which falls far short of offering any real liberation hile romance fiction publishers are scurrying to take advantage of the windfall profits to be made in the wake of the Fifty Shades of Grey publishing phenomenon, those concerned with women’s liberation may well be wondering precisely whom is being liberated by reading this literature. The story, which started out as fan­literature of the Twilight series, has become an international bestseller and marketers are congratulating themselves on having finally succeeded in selling porn to women. This article will explore the drive to win women audiences for porn, and the arguments which are routinely deployed in support of this drive, which use the vocabulary of ‘liberation’ and ‘empowerment’ but also of ‘fun’ and ‘choice’. It will show how the language of marketing has been used to override the slogans of women’s liberation and to transform collective ideals which have been the aim of past struggles into individual objectives related to consumption and the pursuit of personal ambition. In the process,

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human goals like genuine sexual liberation are reduced to products which can be acquired in the marketplace.

Fifty Shades of Grey was the surprise publishing phenomenon written by British television executive E.L. James. It relates the story of a young virgin, 21 year­old Anastasia Steele, who meets the millionaire executive Christian Grey when she interviews him for a student magazine edited by her best friend. The first volume of the three­part series relates how she falls in love with Christian, and successfully negotiates the challenges presented by his preference for a sado­masochistic sexual relationship in which she plays the role of the ‘Submissive’. When he invites her home, it is to introduce her to his ‘Red Room of Pain”, a fully­equipped chamber of torture in which he has entertained his previous ‘submissives’. Anastasia is presented with a contract which she must sign in order to continue the relationship. The rest of the story tells us how she progressively falls in love with

the irresistibly charming businessman, and how she finds pleasure through pain and a certain amount of humiliation.

The sales since the book’s publication in 2011 have propelled it to the status of best­selling book since records began in the UK, selling over 5.3 million copies in the UK . It has become the best­selling book ever on Amazon.co.uk and It stayed at the top of the New York Times’ bestseller list for over 16 weeks, before being displaced by a similar product. By April 2012, 40 million copies had been sold worldwide, and publication rights purchased in 37 different countries. According to Forbes online magazine, the profits from spin­off products have skyrocketed. The Pure Romance company which sold ‘relationship and intimacy aids’ through Tupperware­like in­home parties, reported that Shades of Grey gift sets, including whips, floggers and Ben Wa balls, were being sold out. The firm reported an increase in bondage sales of 186%, blindfolds were up 121 %, and Tie Me Up Tape was up 146% and the famous Personal Trainer which is basically the Ben Wa balls on a string, were up by 772%.

store in the ‘Erotic’ section. The reason: it was a ‘cultural phenomenon’. Now, the only sense in which Shades of Grey can be considered to be a cultural phenomenon is in the sense that it has succeeded in selling extremely soft porn to women. Suddenly, it was okay for women to read ‘erotica’ openly, rather than in the closet. Erotic fiction had become a mainstream category. For Selina Walker, who published EL James at Arrow Books, the success is due to the growing market for ebooks, but not just that: “This is about more than just the Kindle. I think Fifty Shades is fantasy, with its yachts and locations and gorgeous men, making it acceptable for women. Men had sexual fantasies but women didn’t, and if they did they kept it quiet. Suddenly, it’s perfectly acceptable to be seen reading a romance like this, and to talk about it."

Not only had the James novel made it possible for women to be open about their fantasies, it had also, apparently, offered them a totally liberating fantasy, Walker went on to say that it worked because ‘the author has been so clever in writing a fantasy about bondage, which is also liberating’. The message, she concluded, was that the books were liberating for women, allowing them to explore their The only sense in which Shades of Grey fantasies and be open about can be considered to be a cultural phenomenon them. Yet the ‘liberation’ argu­ is in the sense that it has succeeded in selling ment has been used to justify the extremely soft porn to women. production and sale of porn since Hugh Hefner first brought out This marketing success did not happen quite by accident, whatever the claims of the producers Playboy in 1953. In her 2005 book, Female of the product. In an interview with Marlo Chauvinist Pigs, New York journalist Ariel Levy Thomas in the Huffington Post, E.L. James says explored the reality behind the cultural argument that the editor at Random House was quite that women needed liberating’ from their sexual determined that the book should be ‘on the front hang­ups, and the supposition that this required table at Barnes and Noble’, not at the back of the women to be more up­front about their sexuality. For Levy, the period since the 1990s has seen

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the rise of what she calls the ‘new raunch culture’, in which young women are pushed to appear as sexually ‘hot’ and willing to bare all, to show that they are really free and uninhibited. While more sex and greater sexual expression can only be a good thing, the problem with the new raunch culture is that it encourages women to present themselves in the ways that porn has always presented them – hot, sexually available, and willing to show their breasts or behinds on camera. The body language of the porn actress has become the body language of sex for many young women today. Sexuality, on the other hand, is reduced to the narrow practices implied by the codes of pornography, and, whatever porn enthusiasts might argue, sexist assumptions about the relationship between

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men and women are reproduced.

As part of her research, Levy interviewed Playboy CEO Christie Hefner, the daughter of the magazine’s founder. Christie Hefner spoke at of a new, feminine audience for porn, which showed that women were more comfortable with their own sexuality, not uncomfortable or embarrassed about sexual matters as women were a few generations earlier. We were now looking at post­sexual revolution, post­women’s movement women who took control of their look and the statement they were making. Consuming porn was by implication a way of affirming your sexuality, of enacting liberation. Porn was there to accompany women in their voyage of self­discovery. Nevertheless, for some contemporary academics, like Brian McNair,

argue that the pornographisation of culture opened the way for greater sexual expression, giving women for example’ the opportunity to be ‘bad girls’.

“Women are freer to look and to be looked at in conditions where they have control and autonomy over their own bodies. In this sense, the new sexualized culture can be seen as an assertion of a particular kind of female sexuality which, if by no means compulsory and certainly not representative of how most women behave most of the time, is at least a legitimate expression of sexuality for some, in some circumstances” .

McNair warns of a backlash against the pornographisation of culture, raising the spectre of sexual freedom held hostage by rival fundamentalisms in a clash­of­civilizations scenario. Essentially, for McNair as for Paglia,

pornography is a case of freedom brought by the market, and the commodification of sex is not in any way a bad thing. His main argument is that the alternative is to side with the pro­censorship lobby that has been represented within feminism by anti­porn campaigners Catherine McKinnon and Andrea Dworkin . While history has shown that the kind of pro­censorship alliances with conservatives favored by Dworkin and MacKinnon will be used to silence homosexuals and radicals, it is possible to take a critical attitude to porn without arguing for censorship or seeking allies among the Moral Majority. McNair’s key argument is that the mainstreaming of representations of gay sex as expressed in the work of Robert Mapplethorpe helped gain greater social acceptance for gays. By analogy he suggests that porn is part of the struggle against oppression. But it can be argued that it was the struggles of the gay liberation movement that made it possible for the emergence of a gay aesthetic in the 1980s. It must be pointed out that Mapplethorpe’s work met with much more resistance from censorship and moral policing than Madonna’s mass­market productions ever did. Linking Mapplethorpe’s artistic production to an alleged capacity of the market to bring ‘freedom’ is somewhat disingenuous. In Just Kids, Patti Smith describes the difficulty Mapplethorpe had in getting images from gay porn magazines to prepare his collages. His very choice of photography as a medium of artistic expression was dictated at least as much by financial considerations as aesthetic ones; he began to take his own photographs because the gay porn magazines were expensive. The magazines were wrapped in cellophane and sold in seedy backstreet

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shops, and he had to buy them without knowing whether the images he would find inside would be of any use to him . It is clear from what Smith says that Mapplethorpe’s aesthetic interest in gay porn was part of his personal exploration of his own sexuality. It is difficult to say whether Madonna’s productions are in any way an expression of her own sexuality. Like David Bowie, she has created a number of personas. While she draws heavily on stereotypes from pornography and BDSM. Imagery, she is clearly counting on the shock value of the images to win a mass audience for her productions.

not retrograde or sexist because they are the ones who are ultimately in control.

“When Madonna directs, orchestrates and pockets the millions she makes from the sado­masochistic theatre displayed in her bestseller Sex, we would be fools to read her masochistic moments as the ‘inability to express her own desire and agency’”.

Lynne Segal uses Freud’s argument that every masochist is also a sadist to argue that Madonna’s portrayal of BDSM represented a challenge to traditional assumptions about gender . In videos like Erotica or Justify My Love, Madonna adopts the roles of Dominant and Submissive. At the beginning Showing women in chains or being of Erotica, she is masked and holds whipped is not retrograde or sexist because a whip. In Justify My Love both they are the ones who are men and women are shown in ultimately in control. chains. In BDSM, men often sought the role of the submissive partner, thus In 1992, Madonna published her coffee­table contradicting the role they were meant to uphold book, Sex, in which she and other household in society. In Fifty Shades, we are told that names such as Isabella Rosselini, rapper Vanilla Christian was the Submissive of a Dominatrix Ice, and Naomi Campbell were photographed in whom Anastasia chooses to call Mrs. Robinson. poses representing sexual activity . Some He assures Anastasia that the relationship is photographs included texts written by Madonna. now over. Since being initiated into BDSM by For many of the anti­censorship feminists, ‘Mrs Robinson’, he has fifteen other ‘submissive’ Madonna’s stance was liberating. The star partners to pleasure him in his ‘red room of pain. controlled the images, she chose to show herself Yet EL James has given him the role of engaged in S&M, and she was in control of her Dominant in the series, and this is not an own life. Some feminists such as Lynne Segal accident. As Linda Williams has pointed out, the argued that Madonna might well present herself taboo on male homosexuality in mainstream chained to a cross or engaged in submissive porn, and the segregation of the porn market acts; she was still the one who directed the into gay and straight, has tended to exclude product and made the millions. If a woman can submissive males from representations of make a huge amount of money doing something, mainstream sex. and retain artistic control, then the images she chooses to represent herself are not really “Thus, although male submissives apparently demeaning or damaging to women in general. outweigh dominators in real­life heterosexual sadomasochistic practice, the incompatibility of Showing women in chains or being whipped is this role with the more traditional use of

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heterosexual pornography as confirmation of viewers’ masculine identity inhibits its incor­ poration into hard­core narrative.”

‘empowered them’, enabling them to really explore their sexuality. She insists, however, that feminists have got it all wrong, that her book was written for fun, and that everything Ana did in the book was safe and consensual. What people did in the bedroom was up to them, and was not for others to judge. The fact is that the freedom to view pornographic representations of their sexuality was not what the women’s movement fought for, nor those on the left or anyone concerned with real liberation.

The trap here, for feminists as well as everyone interested in sexual liberation, was to believe that liberation was simply a matter of breaking taboos, of pushing back boundaries and of transgressing old norms. Visual representation was equated with liberation. This made it seem as if what was holding people back was their own ignorance of sex and their own conformity. The sexual liberation of offer took Those who see the pornographisation the form of learning from the of pop culture as a positive thing refer “experts’ about how to do things. frequently to porn’s increasing Thus the majority watched, attractiveness to women. passively, while a few celebrities showed them how. As Isabella These are the standard arguments raised by Rosselini pointed out, this attitude was extremely those in favour of the pornographication of mass moralistic. The star of Blue Velvet affirmed that culture, and they have been rehearsed since the she regretted posing in Madonna’s Sex because 1980s when the liberalisation of the media and the book’s moralism “bothered the hell” out of the growth of the internet created a demand for her. Madonna seemed to be saying “I’ll teach mass­produced content that would bring you how to be free”!” and Rossellini thought that audiences to advertisers. The cable TV this was like laying down a set of prescriptions companies have been trying for years to market for freedom. She herself believed that people porn to women, not very successfully. Those should be free to practice abstinence, to be gay, who see the pornographisation of pop culture as to have multiple partners, whatever they wanted a positive thing refer frequently to porn’s to do, it was OK . increasing attractiveness to women. This goes Those in favour of the commodification of sex hand in hand with the marketing of commodities argue that people are freer now that which promise to help women have better sex pornography has filtered into every aspect of lives – from sex toys to pole­dancing kits and popular culture. This is then inverted to argue classes, all using the argument that this is teh that we are free because of the commodification freedom that women have wanted all along. of sex. Selling sex to people in the form of James has succeeded by adding something commodities, cultural or otherwise, is held to ‘naughty’ – BDSM (Bondage­Domination­ benefit all humanity, but especially women. This Sadism­Masochism)– to the standard Mills and thinking is reflected in James’ assertion that Boon/Harlequin romance about a wide­eyed many women told her that the book had virgin who wins the heart of a jaded,

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cosmopolitan businessman by accepting the role of his ‘submissive’ in a sado­masochistic relationship. Ye in her interview, she is cautious about selling the book on its pornographic content alone. It’s not so much about S&M as about Romantic Love, she claims. She seems to sense that women are more interested in a fantasy about an ideal relationship than they are in being tied up by their partner. In fact, she makes the book sound more like a self­help manual than a pornographic read more likely to stimulate masturbation than anything else.

Rosselini’s comments emphasize the way in which sex has been marketed since the 80s as something which is outside of people, beyond their reach and something they are supposed to be endlessly striving after. It’s something that is learnt from the experts, rather than something that the individual discovers through experiment, trial and error, in a fun way. It is a humourless grind, and hard, hard work. The not­very­good­ first­time is presented as a disaster to be avoided at all costs. Thus in Fifty Shades of Grey, heroine Anastasia enjoys a magnificent first orgasm by abandoning herself to the Dominant Christian. Not only does she experience multiple orgasms, she has time to reflect on what a bad first experience her best friend had. Under Christian’s direction, Anastasia also delivers the perfect blow job first time, without gagging or choking. With him, she just knows instinctively what to do. There is no room for tentative experimentation, for finding out what the other person might like to do, or what you might like to do to them. Christian presents Anastasia with a list of practices and asks her to sign a contract agreeing to them. Instead of experimenting with sex, Anastasia gains by

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negotiating a good contract. She rules out a few items, like anal sex, and this is presented as a victory. EL James accepted her interviewer’s assessment that she was telling young women that they had the ability to empower themselves, to lay down the conditions under which they would have sex. The age, class and gender differences didn’t enter into the matter at all, in spite of the fact that he was able to sell her own car in favour of a much more expensive model, offer her a personal computer and wine and dine her at luxury hotels. Nevertheless, James tells us, ‘she stayed true to herself’. The idea that controlling one’s image could give a woman power – as opposed to simply making her one more sex object – was increasingly accepted by radicals and feminists from the 1990s on. In 1993, American feminist Naomi Wolf published what could be called the power feminists’ manifesto: Fire With Fire explained how feminists needed to move away from a negative outlook and take power – to use their skills and assets to compete on an equal footing with men. Women needed to stop seeing themselves as victims, and to start using their advantages. This strand of thinking in the feminist movement gained ground at a time when women’s lives were changing as they had never done before. The struggles of women and the Left in the 1960s and 1970s meant that women could claim places previously reserved for men, and were entering the workforce in ever­greater numbers. Positions were opened in the professions such as law, medicine, creating a new layer of professional middle­class women, but many thousands of low­paid part time jobs sucked working­class women into the workplace too. Images in the media changed accordingly.

As Hester Eisenstein pointed out, the media shaped the ideas of the feminist movement to bring them in line with the needs of the capitalist economy.

comedy, but nonetheless it finds ways to reproduce some very old sexist clichés. The young woman is a former prostitute and former porn star. She is also a drug addict. Through the experience of being knocked These postmodern, ‘ironic’ images unconscious, tied up and held were supposed to be empty of any real prisoner in her own home, she comes sexist content. to know true love and in the end willingly accepts the scenario which “This pattern of journalism encouraged the the hero Ricky proposes to her – to get married, transformation of feminism from a collective movement into an expression of an individual’s have children, and live happily ever after. Ricky personal ambition. ” gets what he wants in the end. The real violence of the film is made more palatable by the use of This emphasis on the newly “empowered” humour and by Ricky’s clownish antics, which woman fed into advertising and audiovisual serve to make him an appealing and humane media. As Rosalind Gill, professor of Gender creature. He is also fantastically good in bed, as Studies at London School of Economics has is suggested by the tears of the woman Director noted, a shift came about in the way women of the psychiatric Institute when he leaves. Our were represented in the advertising industry. A heroine, on the other hand, is reduced to playing new category of target was created, the “midriff”, with sex toys in her bath and fending off the a woman who was in control of her own sexuality lecherous advances of the film director who is and fully aware of the power it gave her over many years her senior. The message was clear: men. When a woman was shown bound at the in spite of what you think you see (brutal feet of a man, this was considered ‘knowing’, violence and coercion), the woman is really ‘ironic’, ‘tongue­in­cheek’. These postmodern, better off since this charming young man ‘ironic’ images were supposed to be empty of decided to take care of her. This is underlined by any real sexist content. Anyone who didn’t the implicit suggestion that sex is really better recognize the joke simply had no sense of with the more dominant type of man. As EL humour. James says, ‘isn’t it nice to be dominated now In fact, humour was increasingly used as a way and again, or dominating somebody else, or of reintroducing what would previously have doing a little role­playing – if it’s all in fun?’ been denounced as sexist, pornographic images This is not to say that all representations of into film. In Pedro Almodovar’s Tie Me Up, Tie bondage are inherently reactionary. In Blue Me Down (1989), a young actress is kidnapped Velvet, for example, the social context of and held prisoner in her home by a somewhat Dorothy Vallens’ (Isabella Rossellini) desire for deranged young man who has just been abusive relationships is made explicit. Her child released from a psychiatric institution. The has been kidnapped by the psychopathic overall tone of the film is one of light­hearted Frankie and she is completely isolated.

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Submissiveness notwithstanding, she manages to turn the tables on Jeffrey (Kyle McLachlann) when she discovers him spying on her in her apartment. She reverses the roles, forcing him to undress at knifepoint before beginning to have sex with him. The sound and lighting effects highlight the traumatism of violence on the victim and also the way in which Jeffrey is destabilized by his participation in violent acts during sex. He cries when remembering his violence towards Dorothy, and there is a real horror when she turns up naked in front of his house. But she herself is aware of the problematic nature of her own desires, saying ‘he put this disease in me’. Corruption and sexual predation, violence and repression go hand in hand in Lynch’s film. Blue Velvet is interesting in the way that it develops the character of Sandy, played by Laura Dern. Sandy is no saint, in spite of her pink­and­white 1950s look. She asks her friends not to tell her boyfriend Mike, that she is seeing Jeffrey. She is the one who points him towards Dorothy Vallens, thus disobeying her father’s request for secrecy. She is a key agent in the film through the decisions she makes, and her shock when she realises that Jeffrey has been involved in a sexual relationship with Dorothy Vallens does not drive her away, in spite of the heartbreak she feels. In the course of the story, her illusions about love and life in small­town America have been stripped away. The sado­masochistic relation is part of a wider network of violent relations that are uncovered as the film progresses. In this case, Lynch has gone beyond the limits of pornographic representation in order to ask questions about society, and to explode some of the myths about suburban America in the 1950s. Yet Lynch’s film is quite

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exceptional in this regard. As Carter reminds us:

“Libidinous fantasy in a vacuum is the purest, but most affectless, form of day­dreaming. So pornography in general serves to defuse the explosive potential of all sexuality and that is the main reason why it is made by and addressed to the politically dominant minority in the world, as an instrument of repression, not only of women, but of men too. Pornography keeps sex in its place. ”

That means that through porno­graphy, sex is removed from the mainstream of everyday human life. Thus, Carter argues, most pornography remains in the service of the status quo. Unfortunately, the dominant ideas within the feminist movement have made it ill­equipped to combat the pornographisation of popular culture. The marketer’s use of the term ‘empowerment’ has gone hand in hand with increased acceptance of the notion within feminist circles. Yet what novels like Fifty Shades of Grey do is quite the opposite; they perpetuate the myth that the submissive, subordinate woman who is ‘good’ will get her reward – endless love, a fairytale ending that takes the woman away from the day­to­day toil of paid labour and unpaid household labour, in which both men and women are often too tired for all but the most cursory of sexual activity – Men and women do not need the hackneyed fairytale fantasy peddled by E.L. James, they need the time and space to experiment with sex for themselves. As Carter commented: “Indeed, pornography is basically propaganda for fucking, an activity, one would have thought, that did not need much advertising in itself, because most people want to do it as soon as they know how ”.

Fantasies like Fifty Shades of Grey legitimize existing gender relations and in doing so they legitimize existing power relations. Christian is a successful businessmen whose work consists in making people redundant but who is

fundamentally good because he still take care of Anastasia’s every need and fancy. His cruelty and need to control have nothing to do with his activities in the real world or his class position, but are rooted in a past relationship with an abusive mother­figure (a sexually predatory older woman). With enough love and understanding Anastasia can rescue this poor, lost boy. On another level, she makes a wise choice concerning the investment of her sexual capital (her virginity) an comes out much the richer, joining the dominant class and being envied by other women, including waitresses and domestic servants. Relationships are as negotiated enterprises, a girl needs to negotiate her contracts and calculate profits and losses. The fantasy is really about gaining power, including power over other women, through a sexual relationship with a powerful man. It is clear that women and men need to contest a perspective on ‘liberation’ that has been fed to

us by the marketing industry. While those interested in human liberation have no interest in supporting state censorship, I believe it is necessary to contest degrading representations of femininity, which also enclose men in narrow stereotypes and shut off the possibility of real sexual fulfillment for anyone, gay or straight, man or woman. The type of raunch culture and focus on sex from which all genuine emotion or intimacy has been stripped away can only reinforce the idea that women are little else but sex objects. The argument that porn caters to a need or a human desire is used to justify the endless drive to squeeze profit from sexuality. In a different kind of society, images of sex could be part of a pleasurable human relationship. But when these images serve to reinforce the dominant ideas about women, homosexuals and other groups, while claiming to liberate them, it is time to reject them and start looking for alternatives.

Liberation through bondage? Fifty Shades of Grey and the new ‘mommy porn’

Catherine Curran Vigier

est maître de conférences en anglais à l’Université de Rouen. Elle travaille sur les femmes et la culture populaire, et sur le multiculturalisme. Son dernier article vient d’être publié par Zeteo, journal interdisciplinaire de la City Université de New York, et s’intitule "The Meaning of Lana del Rey".

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1 Matilda

Battersby. Reflected in You : New erotic novel beats Fifty Shades of Grey sales in first week. The Independent, Nov. 1 . 201 2. 2 Marlo Thomas. Fifty Shades of Success : Behind the (Sex) Scenes With E.L. James. The Huffington Post. 3 Steve Cooper. Fifty Shades Arouses More than Book Sales. Forbes 25 Sept. 201 2 4 Alison Flood, Fifty Shades of Grey thrusts erotica into the mainstream. The Guardian, 1 5 April 201 2. 5 A. Levy, Female Chauvinist Pigs, London, Pocket Books, 2006. 6 A. Levy, Female Chauvinist Pigs,. London, Pocket Books, 2006, p.39. 7 B McNair, From Porn Chic to Porn Fear, in Attwood, F(ed.) Mainstreaming Sex. London, IB Tauris, 2009, 201 0, p. 70. 8 MacKinnon, Catherine, Are Women Human? Harvard, Harvard University Press, 2006. 9 Patti Smith, Just Kids, Paris, Editions Denöel, 201 0, p.1 76. 1 0 Madonna, Sex, London: Martin, Secker and Warburg, 1 992. 11 Segal, op cit., p. 1 50 1 2 L. Segal. Straight Sex : the Politics of Pleasure. London, Virago Press, 1 994, p. 1 49. 1 3 L. Williams, Hardcore : Power, Pleasure, and the « Frenzy of the Visible ». Berkeley, University of California Press, 1 989,1 999 p. 1 96. 1 4 Isabella Rosselini regrets Posing for Masonna’s ‘Sex’ Boo. Starpulse.com, Dec 9, 201 0. 1 5 H. Eisenstein. Feminism Seduced: How Global Elites Use Women’s Labor and Ideas to Exploit the World. Boulder, Paradigm Publishers, 2009. 1 6 Marlo Thomas, Fifty Shades of Success: Behind the (Sex) Scenes with E.L. James. Huffington Post, 1 0 April 201 2. 1 7 Angela Carter, The Sadeian Woman, London, Virago, 1 979, p. 20. 1 8 Angela Carter, The Sadeian Woman, 1 979, p.1 7.

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1 . Attwood, F. (ed.) Mainstreaming Sex: the Sexualisation of Western Culture. London:IB Tauris, 201 0. 2. Battersby. "Matilda Reflected in You: New erotic novel beats Fifty Shades of Grey sales in first week". The Independent, Nov. 1 . 201 2. 3. Carter, A. The Sadeian Woman: An Exercise in Cultural History, 1 979. 4. Cooper, S. "Fifty Shades Arouses More than Book Sales". Forbes 25 Sept. 201 2 5. Dworkin, A. Pornography:Men Possessing Women. London: The Women’s Press, 1 981 . 6. Eisenstein, H. F eminism Seduced: How Exploit the World. Boulder: Paradigm, 2009.

Global Elites Use Women’s Labour and Ideas to

8. James, E.L. Fifty Shades of Grey. London: Arrow Books, 201 2. 9. Levy, A. Female Books, 2006.

Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture.

London: Pocket

1 0. MacKinnon, C. Are Women Human? Harvard: Harvard University Press, 2006. 11 . Madonna, Sex, London: Martin, Secker and Warburg, 1 992. 1 2. Power, N. One Dimensional Woman. Winchester, UK, Zero Books, 2009. 1 3. Smith, P. Just Kids, Paris: Denöel, 201 0. 1 4. Segal, L. Straight Sex: the Politics of Pleasure. London: Virago, 1 994. 1 5. Thomas, M. Fifty Shades of Success: Behind the (Sex) Scenes with E.L. James. Huffington Post, 1 0 April 201 2. 1 6. Walter, N. Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism. London: Virago, 201 0. 1 7. Williams, L., Hardcore: Power, Pleasure, University of California Press, 1 989,1 999. 1 8. Wolf, N. Fire With Fire: the London, Vintage Books, 1 993.

and the « Frenzy of the Visible ».

Berkeley,

New Female Power and How it will Change the 21st Century.

Filmography

1 . Almodovar, P. Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down. 1 989. 2. Lynch, D. Blue Velvet. 1 986. Videos

1 . Madonna, Justify My Love. 2. Madonna, Erotica.

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We need so

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ome more...

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D ÉSIR :

Dossier

DE LA PORNOGRAPHIE À L'ART

par JOÃO Gabriel LIMA DA SILVA

Est­ce la pornographie un objet produit par le désir du spectateur ? Ces désirs sont­ils toujours pervers, à tel point de contraindre à ses producteurs et ses consommateurs à l’humiliation ? Serait­il possible parler un jour de la pornographie comme d'une nouvelle forme artistique ? Avec l'intérêt de comprendre l'univers pornographique, le présent article s'interroge sur les désirs engendrés par cette industrie et son lien avec la création artistique. l’inverse du sexe, objet de jugements sur son essence et son usage, la porno­ graphie échappe à ce tribunal par la seule raison qu'elle est « faite pour le plaisir ». Elle montre son objective ouverture, elle n'a pas d’autres raisons pour exister. Contrairement à la prostituée, qu'on peut finir par aimer, la porno­ graphie, et ses personnages, est plus proche de la répétition et de l'inertie que de l'amour. Son caractère essentiel est d'être un simple objet. L'un des multiples objets engendrés au cours de la civilisation pour nous faire plaisir. Ainsi, on peut parler d'une situation pornographique, mais jamais d'une personne pornographique. Il s'agit donc d'une constatation très banale : seulement un objet peut être pornographique. Cependant, ceux qui créent l'objet pornogra­ phique sont forcément des sujets. Or, la méthode la plus simple pour découvrir ce qui est, et ce qui n'est pas un sujet, c’est d'attenter au désir. Ce que le réalisateur désire, l'acteur et l'actrice porno doivent le mettre en action. Le sujet serait donc le réalisateur, ses objets les

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acteurs. Le grand problème concernant l'objet pornographique est que le désir des spectateurs affectionne les sujets producteurs. En d'autres termes, les désirs des jouisseurs ont un fort impact sur le désir des producteurs, de sorte qu'on ne peut pas savoir précisément qui désire, qui est le sujet créateur de l'objet porno­ graphique. Les conséquences du désir du des spectateurs peuvent être innombrables, surtout pour ceux qui incarnent les objets du désir, les acteurs. On connaît bien l'exploitation des femmes et des hommes pour la prostitution, mais on parle peu de l'exploitation dans la pornographie. Les émissions qui montrent la vie et le travail des actrices porno, sont soit des reality­shows mensongères, soit comme les reportages sur la vie de Ronaldo ou Adriano : à des années lumières des footballeurs de deuxième division. Chaque pays a sa spécialité dans ce domaine. Au Brésil, le carnaval n’est qu’un produit très artificiel où cinq femmes sont mises à disposition dans un salon rempli d’hommes. Les États­Unis,

© Deep Throat by Gerard DAMIANO, 1972

où les films hardcore sont très en vogue, ont une obsession pour montrer le côté très réel du sexe avec des productions presque surréalistes. Les films pornographiques français donnent eux l'impression que les femmes participent de façon délibérée mais sans aucun attachement. Certainement, le masochisme et le plaisir de l'exhibition ont toujours existé. Mais l’intérêt des films pornographique repose aussi sur un plaisir à pouvoir s’identifier avec les personnages de l’autre côté de l’écran. Le désir du spectateur est pervers, et la pornographie vise à réaliser ce que l'homme ordinaire –par des raisons morales ou logistiques– est incapable de faire. La subtilité de la pornographie est qu'elle donne l’impression de ne porter préjudice à personne

alors qu’elle encourage l’exploitation géné­ ralisée. D'une part, elle offre la possibilité de jouir d’un désir d’humiliation ou même d’une destruction factice. D'autre part, elle cache une vérité fondamentale : l’obligation d’avoir du sexe jusqu’à l’épuisement.

La pornographie est un dispositif civilisateur qui tourne la manifestation réelle des désirs pervers en auto­érotisme. Cependant, il s'agit d'un dispositif médiocre et inefficace dans l’éthique de confrontation de nos désirs. Mais, y­a­t­il d’autres alternatives à ce plaisir ? Une issue possible serait de faire de la pornographie tout un art. Car, la différence essentielle entre pornographie et art n'est pas si obscure : la pornographie incite plutôt un plaisir mécanique, l'art incite plutôt un plaisir émotionnel ou

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© Serbis by Brillante MENDOZA, 2008

cathartique, stimulant ainsi la pensée et parfois la réflexion. Autrement dit, la pornographie suit le chemin du plaisir déjà connue ou formulée vers la satisfaction immédiate et grossière ; alors que l'art relève sans doute une satisfaction, qui peut être parfois éjaculatrice, mais qui ne se réalise pas sans une élaboration critique autour des objets du désir. Et c’est précisément au­delà de ces restrictions rationalistes qui ont, quant à elles, le pouvoir de changer de façon plus profonde, le désir du spectateur. Mais, on peut se demander, que se passe­t­il dans le cas où on ne peut avoir une élaboration critique si raffinée? Si la culture de masse a absorbé l'esthétique et les contenus pornographiques, on ne peut pas faire de cet acte un attentat contre la pureté de notre culture. Au contraire, c'est justement la grande opportunité de remplacer l’exploitation de la pornographie par la mimétique sensuelle du pop érotisme. Faire de chaque film pornographique une œuvre

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d'art est la tâche éthique des pornographes, qui, malheureusement, ont abandonné la libertinart pour le commerce et l'exploitation. Les résultats de ce changement toucheront au cœur du désir du public, qui désirera, alors, plus d’art et moins de pornographie, plus d’excitation et moins d’exploitation.

BIBLIOGRAPHIE DINES, Gail ; JENSEN, Robert ; RUSSO, Ann. Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality. London, Routledge, 1997. JENSEN, Robert. Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity. New York: South End Press, 2007.

Désir : de la pornographie à l'art João Gabriel Lima da Silva

est psychologue, Maître cum laude au programme « Études de la subjectivité » à l’Université Fédérale Fluminense (UFF, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro). Il a récemment publié des articles dans Human Rights, Literature, the Arts and Social Sciences à Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant, MI) et lors de la conférence du tricentenaire de Rousseau, organisée par Colorado College (Colorado Springs, CO). Il fait son Doctorat en « Théorie psychanalytique » à l’Université Fédérale de Rio de Janeiro, UFRJ (Rio de Janeiro, RJ).

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How many lives do we live? How many times do we die? They say we all lose 21 grams... at the exact moment of our death. Everyone. And how much fits into 21 grams? How much is lost? When do we lose 21 grams? How much goes with them? How much is gained? How much is gained? Twenty­one grams. The weight of a stack of five nickels. The weight of a hummingbird. A chocolate bar. How much did 21 grams weigh?

© 21 Grams by Alejandro GONZÁLEZ IÑÁRRITU, 2003

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Un regard sur les Tribeca Films À l'occasion du 10ème anniversaire du Tribeca Film Festival voici une sélection filmique qui vous permettra de rentrer dans l'univers cinématographique indépendant de la Big Apple.

Mis en scène par Natalia Almada, All Water Has A Perfect Memory est un documentaire poignant qui explore la tragédie et les souvenirs d’une famille. Cette pièce émouvante est le résultat de la réflexion sur les différences culturelles entre le père, un Américain, de la réalisatrice et de sa mère, une Mexicaine, pendant qu’ils évoquent la perte de leur enfant. All Water Has A Perfect Memory. 19 min. Distribué par Women Make Movies. (Altamura Films - Traduction

Artéfact)

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ALL WATER HAS A PERFECT MEMORY By Natalia Almada, 2001

Tribeca Film Festival 2002 An experimental documentary about a family's loss of a child and the struggle between remembranc and fogetting. The film explores the cultural differences between a North American mother and a Mexican father in the face of death.

(Tribeca)

BROTHER TO BROTHER By Rodney Evans, 2004

Tribeca Film Festival 2003

Perry Williams est un jeune artiste talentueux qui travaille à New York. Le succès frappe à sa porte mais Perry craint de vendre son talent au plus offrant. En même temps, l'appui de sa famille est évasif tout en supportant les bavures homophobics de ses colocataires noirs, le rejet par son père, et le rapport décevant avec son amoureux. C'est alors que Perry rencontre Bruce Nugent, une légende vivante, qui fut poète et peintre de la Renaissance de Harlem, avec Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, et Wallace Thurman. Perry apprend donc que sa lutte n'est pas nouvelle... (CineMovies.fr)

An engaging drama that moves between time, race, art and self­identity, Rodney Evans' distinct voice transcends categorization with his debut narrative feature Brother to Brother. Perry is a gay black artist and college student who is rejected by his father after being caught with another man. Perry shields his scars by seemingly moving on. He meets an elderly man at a poetry reading and sees him again at the homeless shelter where he works ­­ learning that he is Bruce Nugent, one of the poets of the Harlem Renaissance. The two forge a friendship, and Perry begins to see parallels between his life and such legends of the Renaissance as Langston Hughes, Wallace Thurman, Zora Neale Hurston, and Aaron Douglas. In Brother to Brother, Evans has fashioned an adroit portrait of being caught between sexual and racial identity, merging social and political issues in a manner that reflects the artistry and storytelling of those to whom he is paying homage. The complex narrative is visualized with the gritty color of the contemporary scenes and the lavish black and white Renaissance scenes, which effectively splits the time of the stories with acute detail while connecting space, art, and history. (Tribeca)

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SEARCHING FOR THE WRONG-E YED JESUS

By Andrew Douglas, 2003

Tribeca Film Festival 2004

Voici un road trip qui nous met à réfléchir à travers du Sud de l'Amérique ­un monde remplit d’Églises, des prisons, des Truckstops et des mines de charbon. En chemin, de nombreux musiciens feront apparition : de la Handsome Family et Johnny Dowd, à 16 Horsepower et David Johansen, en passant par Lee Sexton, ou encore par le romancier Harry Crews. Le film est un collage d'histoires et de témoignages qui tournent presque toujours autour de la mort, du péché ou de rachat: Enfer ou Ciel, sans moyen. Searching for the Wrong­eyed Jesus, un film qui s'intéresse à cet endroit déroutant qui inspire les musiciens et les écrivains.

(Tribeca, traduit par Artéfact)

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In director Andrew Douglas' haunting travelogue of the most misunderstood and mythologized region of the USA, the South as a place is important, but the South as an idea is sacred. Musician Jim White will be the first to tell you that he is not a true Southerner. But he'll also tell you now that he's spent some time away and returned that he wants more than anything to "become a Southerner." His resulting journey from the Louisiana bayous to Virginia coalmining towns ­­ in a beat­up sedan with a Jesus statue sticking out of the trunk ­­ is a succession of eerie vignettes inhabited by junk dealers, fire­and­brimstone ministers, and hard­luck barflies. It's a journey saturated with religious symbolism, where true life merges with legend. "Stories was everything and everything was stories," says one man as The Handsome Family offers a plaintive soundtrack of new­old folk stylings. The brooding and philosophical narrative owes more to Jim Jarmusch and David Lynch than to most nonfiction filmmakers, and the fusion of macabre music and sublime cinematography immerses you in a slice of Americana that's as much myth as reality. Therein lies the beautiful paradox of Douglas' creation: The South is certainly not what it used to be, but while the folk traditions may have changed, the song of heartache and redemption that Southerners sing remains the same. (Tribeca)

ALL WE ARE SAYING By Jordan Hawley, 2004

Tribeca Film Festival 2004

All We Are Saying c'est un regard personnel, convaincant, sur ce qui inspire les musiciens. Rosanna Arquette suit son début comme réalisatrice de documentaires (Searching for Debra Winger, 2002), avec l’intrusion dans le psychisme de certains des meilleurs artistes musicaux de l'époque. Grâce à une série de conversations intimes et plus de cinquante légendes musicales, des icônes et des initiés dans l'industrie musicale, Arquette dévoile leurs luttes personnelles et ce qui les inspire. Voici un document indispensable sur l'état de l'industrie de la musique au 21e siècle et surtout, de ses principaux acteurs. Présenté comme un processus continu, une conversation détendue, le film offre un aperçu unique des artistes les plus sincères et les pensées personnelles.

(Rotten Tomatoes, traduit par Artéfact)

The overwhelming bevy of underwhelming pop tarts, trite boy bands, toy rockers, and overhyped rappers that have held the music charts hostage over the past few years has inspired actress­turned­filmmaker Rosanna Arquette to confiscate pop music's microphone and return it to some of its greatest songwriters, singers, and musicians so they can wax poetic about the state of music today, how they balance life and art, and their muses in rock 'n' roll. Important artists in nearly every genre, from the 1960s to present day, are represented, including Willie Nelson, Patti Smith, Burt Bacharach, Iggy Pop, Boy George, Annie Lennox, Flea and André 3000. Through a series of interviews set in the warm, intimate confines of these rockers' homes, backstage dressing rooms, and recording studios, Arquette's two­camera chat­fest allows audiences to become a fly on the wall to refreshingly honest, sometimes funny, and mostly thought­provoking conversations. Unlike most celebrity­driven, puff­piece documentaries, this film is an enjoyably lean tête­à­ tête­even the few tangents are engrossing. A must­ see for all music lovers. (Tribeca)

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SITA SINGS THE BLUES By Nina Paley, 2008

Sita, déesse indienne et épouse dévouée, est répudiée par son mari, Rama. Nina (la réalisatrice elle­même) dresse un parallèle entre sa vie et celle de Sita quand son propre mari, installé en Inde, met fin à leur mariage par e­mail...

Adaptation musicale du Râmâyana, célèbre épopée de la mythologie indienne, Sita chante le blues mêle tragédie ancienne et comédie contemporaine. Singes volants, monstres et dragons, dieux et déesses, bulbes oculaires ailés sont chorégraphiés avec la musique d'Annette Hanshaw, chanteuse jazz des années 20. (AlloCine)

Two women having troubles with their men, separated by several centuries, find their stories coming together in this animated comedy­drama from artist and animator Nina Paley. A female cartoonist moves from the United States when her husband gets a new job in India. While acclimating to her new life in India, the cartoonist becomes fascinated with the Hindu folk tale "the Ramayana," in which a beautiful woman named Sita, who was created spontaneously from the Earth, is adopted by King Janaka, pledged to a brave warrior named Rama, and is kidnapped by the demonic leader Ravana. Sita's story is given two visual interpretations at once ­­ a visually striking abstract version and another which employs a whimsical, cartoony approach and uses vintage recordings of jazz singer Annette Hanshaw for Sita's voice. As the film jumps back and forth between two adaptations of the Ramayana, the cartoonist discovers that her sojourn in India has taken a turn for the worse when her husband falls in love with another woman. (Rotten Tomatoes)

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NICE GUY JOHNNY By Edward Burns, 201 0

A man determined to right suddenly isn't sure what the right thing should be in this independent comedy­drama. One of the few things Johnny Rizzo (Matt Bush) loves as much as his job as a host on a sports­talk radio station is his longtime fiancée Claire (Anna Wood), who is gently but firmly persuading him to find a more responsible career. Johnny's show is currently airing at 2 a.m. and doesn't pay very well, and as much as he enjoys it, he decides to make good on a promise he made to Claire that if he wasn't making at least $50,000 a year by the time he turned 25, he'd take a job with her wealthy father's box making company. As Johnny heads to the Hamptons to meet with Claire's dad, he ends up staying with his Uncle Terry (Edward Burns), a chronic womanizer determined to show Johnny a good time whether he likes it or not. Loyal Johnny isn't interested in any of the gals Terry throws his way, but when he meets Brooke (Kerry Bishe), a beautiful woman who is giving tennis lessons to Terry's (married) girlfriend, for the first time in years he finds himself infatuated with someone else. Johnny is thrown for a loop when Brooke tells him the last thing he should do is give up his job for Claire. (IMDb)

Johnny Rizzo, est sur le point d’échanger son emploi de rêve à la radio pour un job médiocre juste pour faire plaisir à sa fiancée. Lors d’un week­end chez son Oncle Terry, un coureur de jupons de première, Johnny vivra une aventure révélatrice qui bouleversera sa vie...

(IMDb traduit par Artéfact)

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Un film d'Elfriede Jelinek

Compatriote de Micha ce qui s' agit de pl qu' il recèle, ses d qu' elle s' illustre douloureuse au fil d

Il faut croire que l'Autriche est pays qui engendre des artistes à la fois d'une impitoyable lucidité et d'un talent inouï. Alors qu'Amour, film très dur mais sublime, est sur nos écrans en ce moment même et qu'on examine la filmographie de Haneke à la loupe à l'occasion de sa double palme d'or, retour sur un roman prodigieux qui lui a inspiré son film, La pianiste, dont celle du titre est jouée par Isabelle Huppert dont l'auteure a elle­même reçu le prix Nobel de littérature en 2004. Lire ce roman c'est une expérience à vif. Pas forcément toujours joyeuse et même souvent d'un pessimisme profond, douloureuse et brutale jusque dans les mots et le langage du texte et qu'on ressent aussi jusque dans sa chair. Il n'en demeure pas moins que c'est une expérience esthétique et une belle leçon d'écriture car personne n'écrit comme Elfriede Jelinek. En effet il n'y a personne d'autre qu'elle pour décrire les affects de cette manière si détaillée, de toucher à la fois à l'intériorité et l’extériorité d'une existence singulière et d'en faire ressentir pleinement le malaise et la souffrance quasiment en provoquant avec une sensation physique désagréable au lecteur uniquement par la description, faussement naïve. Erika Kohut a trente­

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six ans, professeure de piano, qui partage encore le lit de sa mère et se livre à des mutilations sordides en cachette et fréquente les peep­show de Vienne. Le résultat d'une jeunesse volée une existence remplie de frustrations et de privations infligées par sa mère ou qu'elle s'auto­ inflige, lesquelles sont également de nature sexuelle, bien entendu. Erika survit tant bien que mal dans cette atmosphère détestable avec une haine grandissant dangereusement de jour en jour à la fois pour elle­même et pour le monde

ael Haneke, Elfriede Jelinek est tout comme lui, une pointure pour onger au cœur de l' être humain avec la complexité et les affects démons effrayants aussi. Même si c' est dans le domaine littéraire et lire la pianiste c' est d' abord affronter une destinée des mots qui blessent comme des scalpels. Jules Le Franc L'écriture de Jelinek est d'une violence extrême : brutale, parfois crue mais loin d'être vulgaire et même raffinée, foisonnante, enrichie de détails infinitésimaux et empreint d'un lyrisme décapant à la fois glauque et cruel. L'impact des mots est si brutal qu'il se communique au corps. « La douleur de Mozart, la douleur de Schumann, la douleur de Bruckner, la douleur de Wagner. » En effet, entre les mains d’Erika Kohut, la musique se fait névrose sans transcendance possible. Un concerto des plus tragiques qui raisonne longtemps dans l'esprit après la lecture. « L'acier est entré et Erika s'en va ».

© La Pianiste by Michel HANEKE, 2008

qui l'entoure « elle veut apprendre aux gens la crainte et le tremblement », sur le fil de l'existence avec pour seul exutoire la musique. Entre le conservatoire, sa mère envahissante et tyrannique, malgré le décalage entre la façade stricte qu'elle montre, impénétrable (dans tout les sens du terme) de professeure de piano du conservatoire de Vienne et ses fantasmes sexuelles d'une violence extrême. Alors quand un de ses étudiants du conservatoire lui témoigne de l'intérêt, les fragiles repères d'Erika et son surmoi volent brusquement en éclats.

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Books & reviews More Dirty Looks: Gender,

Pornography and Power by Pamela CHURCH G IBSON 2nd Edition

B RITISH F ILM I NSTITUTE E DITIONS

A Review by Iain Robert SMITH University of Nottingham, UK

This revised edition of 1993's seminal Dirty Looks collection signals a shift in the study of pornography. Taking note of the "increasingly sexualised atmos­ phere of Western society" and the manner in which the "relevant debates, within feminism and else­ where, have certainly not been resolved" (vii), Pamela Church Gibson offers a collection which builds upon the key texts from the original selection with eleven new accounts which attempt to come to terms with the shifting boundaries of pornography and its politics. Hence, this review will not only address the book's value as an academic text in itself, but also attempt to show how the academic context has moved on since 1993, and how the book addresses these changes. Feminism has had a highly complex and conflicted relationship with pornography. From the controversial anti­pornography movement of the 1980s ­­ headed by Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin ­­ to the 'feminist' pornography produced by Candida Royalle and Annie Sprinkle, there has been little consensus as to what a feminist approach to pornography might be.

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When Dirty Looks was first published, it was a decisive intervention in the debates, showing that feminism could engage with the complexities of pornography without losing its feminist credentials. Hailed for being feminist and anti­censorship, the book offered a contextual approach to studying pornography which moved away from previous attempts to fix meaning solely on the pornographic text itself. Highlighting the significance of pornography within debates on gender and power, Dirty Looks was a breakthrough in porn studies. Here, with More Dirty Looks, Gibson is addressing the changes since the original edition was published such as the rise of the internet, the popular success of pornography throughout the media, and the widespread 'pornographisation of popular culture'. Through a series of insightful and provocative articles, leading academics such as Richard Dyer, Linda Williams, Paul Willeman and Laura Kipnis deal with the symbolic and social significance of pornography, with much of their work drawing on contemporary issues and debates. In the opening chapter, Pamela Church Gibson addresses feminism and its varied engagements with pornography. While maintaining an avowedly anti­censorship line, Gibson asks us to address the problematic representations of women, and the suffering it can impose on its workers. Quoting Drucilla Cornell, she contemplates, in a question which sums up quite concisely one of the key issues this book deals with: "How can we both recognise the reality of the industry and the suffering it can impose on its workers at the same time that we affirm the need for women to freely explore their own sexuality?"(x) One of the most significant changes from the 1st edition has been the inclusion of male contributions to these debates. While some may be surprised that men were

excluded from much of the previous academic debates on porn (they are, of course, the primary audience for the material), there have been concerns in the past about men engaging in what many have seen as a debate about feminism and its ideals. Nevertheless, in a step towards a more open and inclusive porn studies, More Dirty Looks allows men the space to explore and research their own position on pornography and its politics.

Porn studies

In Henry Jenkins' foreword, he discusses the various pitfalls and dangers that belie studying pornography in the academy, even in this supposedly more enlightened era. Like a compa­ nion piece to Linda Williams' introduction to her recent collection Porn Studies, he addresses the difficulties that academics who wish to teach pornography may face, drawing on his own experience having taught porn at MIT for a decade before a controversial media circus erupted around his work. Following these opening gambits, More Dirty Looks takes a multi­perspectival approach to the field, drawing on a range of disciplines and methodologies. This takes us from the discursive work of Jane Juffer on the 'normalisation' and domestication of pornography to the more textual work of Edward Buscombe who deals with pornography's parasitic relationship with other genres, taking as his case study the 'Dirty Western'.

Sadly, this latter piece highlights one of the problems with studying pornography in the aca­ demy. While his analysis offers some fascinating insights, the focus on one film text ­­ he apologises for not having access to similar films ­­ leads Buscombe to offer an untenable conclusion that could have been avoided had more contextual infor­ mation been available. This is not really a criticism of the piece per se, but an example of the difficulty that pornography poses as a research field,

especially with the relative scarcity of academic resources and little cross­pollination with the work of fan­historians such as Laurence O'Toole and David Flint. Many chapters, however, offer a more thorough engagement with the material, with later chapters on cybersex and internet exhibitionism dealing with the encroachment of new media into pornography, while Chuck Kleinhans work on virtual child pornography raises very difficult questions on the efficacy of recent government crackdowns. Reflecting current debates within cultural studies, some of the standout chapters also deal with the transnational nature of much pornography, opening out the discussion from the purely sexual onto discourses of nationhood and identity.

A woman's right

Throughout much of More Dirty Looks, there is as an assertion of a woman's right to utilise ­­ and perhaps appropriate ­­ pornography to explore her own sexuality. Anne McClintock's work on the politics of S&M and Liz Kotz's chapter on women artists exploring masculinity deal with complexities of gender identity far removed from the essen­ tialised gender lines drawn in much literature on pornography. It is these gradualist moves towards a more inclusive and nuanced study of pornography that mark out More Dirty Looks as a book worthy of high praise. In a world which is still reluctant to acknowledge the significance of the pornography industry, More Dirty Looks offers a much needed corrective. Moving away from the dogmatic anti/pro pornography debates, this book takes steps towards addressing the complexities of gender, power and identity in pornography. It is to be hoped that in the future we will see books which continue this fine work and take pornography studies well into the new millennium.

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Books & reviews New Punk Cinema by Nicholas ROMBES

E DINBURGH U NIVERSITY P RESS A Review by Iain Robert SMITH University of Nottingham, UK

Part of the 'Traditions in World Cinema' series, New Punk Cinema offers analysis of the global phenomenon of 'post足punk' cinema. Drawing on a wide range of texts and contexts, Nicholas Rombes's collection examines the myriad ways in which the 'punk' aesthetic has influenced cinematic production, distribution and exhibition.

Building on work in Underground USA: Filmmaking Beyond the Hollywood Canon (Alterimage, 2002) and Deathtripping: The Cinema of Transgression (Creation Books, 1999), New Punk Cinema reflects the recent fashion for academic analysis to delve into the worlds of marginal and alternative cinema. In keeping with the tendencies of this trend, there is an attempt to blur the line between academia and fandom, with some contributors offering anecdotes alongside their theoretical musings. While this approach can sometimes run the danger of losing critical distance, New Punk Cinema deftly sidesteps such criticisms by offering an engaging and provocative collection of articles that show the often invaluable insight that can be gleaned from personal investment.

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In his introduction, Rombes offers an overview of the 1970s punk movement, looking at how its aesthetics and politics came to influence subsequent filmmakers. With a celebratory fervour, he argues that 'punk' attacked the authenticity of supergroups, offered a more intimate aesthetic through smaller shows and minimalist style, while, in a rejection of technique and embrace of amateurism, also pushing the idea that 'anyone could do it'. It is this rejection of hierarchies and democratisation of film production which, Rombes feels, defines new punk cinema: What links new punk films and directors together is a do足it足yourself sensibility, an almost romantic notion that anyone can create something that matters, a troubled desire for and yet a suspicion of authenticity and the Real, an approach to filmmaking that foregrounds the medium of film itself, and an interest in simplicity which, ironically, allows for great freedom and experimentation (12). As this suggests, the 'movement' is not confined to one city or one nation. In fact, as Rombes argues, it is not really a formal movement at all. Unlike the Cinema of Transgression (based mainly in downtown New York) or the New American Cinema, New Punk Cinema is simply an "approach to filmmaking that shares certain gestures and approaches with punk" (11). Stacy Thompson's following chapter builds on this work to offer a contextual background to 'punk' itself. Using a materialist critique, Thompson makes an attempt at the unenviable task of defining what punk is. While she discusses the manner in which films can seem 'punk' (through degraded aesthetics and amateurish style) she argues that it is ultimately an economic judgement. The deciding question, for Thompson, is, "who benefits materially from this

film?" (36) Her argument is that a film such as Jean Luc Godard's Eloge de l'Amour (2001) could be misconstrued as punk if aesthetics were the basis for judgement (the film features formal experimen­ tation and a style which has been described as anti­ Hollywood). Yet, with funding from the Canal+ Group, a subsidiary of Vivendi­Universal, the argument runs that Godard is ultimately helping Universal accrue capital and expand its corporate reach. In Thompson's words, "It is impossible to rage against the machine when you are part of it, you only make it stronger." (37) For Thompson, therefore, new punk cinema is defined by its opposition to the Hollywood production system. A film which received funding from the studio system, even through an 'indie' subsidiary, is automatically exempt, no matter how 'punk' it may appear. In a book which spends so much time discussing the influence of the 'punk aesthetic', with very little mention of economic matters, this is a controversial point. One wonders whether Thompson would accept many of the films under­discussion in the rest of the book (Elephant [Gus Van Sant, 2003], Memento [Christopher Nolan, 2000], Fight Club [David Fincher, 1999] etc.) as genuinely part of new 'punk' cinema. Other contributors take a more formal approach to the idea of punk with both Jay McRoy and Timothy Dugdale attempting to offer through lines from earlier cinematic movements (Italian NeoRealism and the French New Wave respectively). McRoy takes his new punk case studies ­­ Gummo (Harmony Corine, 1997), Ken Park (Larry Clark, Edward Lachman, 2002) and Elephant ­­ and discusses how they blur fact and fiction, in a manner reminiscent of Italian NeoRealist aesthetics, while Dugdale focuses his analysis on Y Tu Mama Tambien (Alfonso Cuaron, 2001), a film he believes exemplifies the legacy of the French New Wave at

its best. While both writers offer some fascinating parallels, the analysis is often too disparate, drawing links between very tangentially related films. Too little is done to properly focus their analysis on what new punk cinema might entail, leaving their discussion as a series of mini­reviews of their selected films. Dugdale's work especially falls down in his close reading of Y Tu Mama Tambien, which is little more than a recounting of the film's narrative, and makes no attempt to relate itself to the wider concerns of the book.

Ironic and self-aware

Nicholas Rombes's article on the blurring of boundaries between sincerity, irony and camp offers a much more successful analysis of this 'new punk aesthetic' tracing it through music, literature and cinema. Arguing that the enduring legacy of punk is the tendency to both acknowledge and deconstruct pop­culture narratives, Rombes offers a sense of punk that can be read as both ironic and sincere (eg. Blondie and the Ramones using the more 'innocent' sounds of the 1950s and 60s in their songs). Finding this pattern reflected in the work of Charlie Kaufman and Lars Con Trier, Rombes offers an analysis of new punk cinema which is historically grounded in a media climate that is increasingly ironic and self­aware. This provocative tract is followed by Graeme Harper's piece on DVD and the demise of 'film'. This paper offers some fascinating and important analysis on the implications of new media convergence and the phenomenon of DVD supplements, but ultimately feels a strange fit in this collection, with some brief mentions of 'new punk' seeming like attempts to reassure the reader that all this has something to do with punk. Bruno Lessand continues this engagement with digital technology, looking in his contribution at the Dogme 95 movement and Mike Figgis' Time Code (2000),

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Books & reviews while the subsequent chapters from Silvio Gaggi and Bruce Isaacs consider the uses of non­linear narratives in new punk cinema. Each of these chapters offer some valuable insights into the films discussed, although it would certainly be difficult to justify the extensive focus on Amelie (Jean Pierre Jeunet, 2001) in Gaggi's contribution. Non­linear… perhaps. But punk?

No such worries with Steven Rubio's contribution which looks directly at how the punk movement has impacted on cinema. Seeking films which connect to 'the spirit of punk', he discusses but then discards Dogme 95 (too judgemental), Elephant (too artificial), Memento (too tricksy), Run Lola Run (Tom Tykwer, 1998) (too unreal), finally settling on the relatively conventional Sid and Nancy (Alex Cox, 1986) as the film which he feels best connected to the spirit of punk. The final four chapters offer case studies on Dogma 95, Timecode, Harmony Korine and Alex Cox respectively. This last chapter ­­ actually an interview Xavier Mendik conducted with Alex Cox ­­ engages with the difficulties and challenges Cox faced as a new punk filmmaker. Described as the "last punk auteur in town" (195), Cox discusses his punk politics and commitment and argues that the value of punk is ultimately that it "encouraged the political" (197), a sentiment which this reader feels could have been more thoroughly addressed in this collection.

While New Punk Cinema is certainly a unique and ambitious collection, drawing together a range of formally and aesthetically diverse texts, there is a real problem in definition. Although many chapters are discussing the same core selection of 'new punk films', there is little sense of agreement as to what

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'new punk cinema' might entail. Furthermore, despite an introduction which promised an engagement with punk's influence on cinema, too often the chapters rely on simply describing the manner in which these films are formally experimental, with cursory mentions of 'punk' dotting the pages. There is little attempt to analyse just how this relates to punk, and almost no engagement with the cultural politics of the "defiant relationship with the mainstream." (back page) Consequently, although the book offered some moments of genuine insight, this reader was left unsatisfied and hoping for a more thorough and coherent analysis of punk's legacy in the future. Nevertheless, the fact remains that this collection is bringing some much­needed attention to a part of cinema history which is consistently underplayed ­­ namely the relationship between popular music and cinema. This type of inter­disciplinary work should be commended and the most valuable contribution that New Punk Cinema may make to cinema scholarship is that it should open the door to further work in this fascinating area.

Books & reviews

Quand l' Autre c'est le Mal Une analyse de Moravagine de Blaise CENDRARS

De nos jours, il pourrait paraître prétentieux de par­ler d’un livre comme Moravagine. À pre­ mière vue, il serait insensé d’associer cette œuvre de Blaise Cendrars à l’essai de Virginie Despentes, King Kong Théorie, surtout si c’est pour parler de l’Autre, de sa condamnation et de sa déconstruction. La problématique de l’Autre énoncée comme une condamnation de la différence semble n’avoir jamais disparu de nos têtes, ou du moins c’est à cela que se réfèrent ces deux auteurs. Moravagine ­ La Force destructrice

« Et le peuple avait raison ! Nous avions toujours été des parias, des bannis, des condamnés à mort, il y avait longtemps que nous n’avions plus aucun lien avec la société, ni avec aucune famille humaine ; mais aujourd’hui nous descendions volontairement faire un stage en enfer ».

Dans Moravagine, son roman épique (publié pour la première fois en 1928), Blaise Cendrars évoque l’Autre comme la force destructrice. Cet Autre qui est souvent méprisé, anéanti, jusqu’à

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ce qu’il se transforme dans l’essence pure du mal. Voici l’histoire du dernier descendant d’une famille royale et de Raymond La Science, son acolyte. Moravagine est aussi cet aristocrate privé d’amour, rejeté par les fous et par les sains d’esprit qui, après avoir passé des années reclus dans un asile, est libéré par La Science, son psychiatre (et le narrateur du roman). Ensemble, ils vont parcourir le monde durant des années pour tenter de le détruire (explosions, complots, meurtres, viols…), le déconstruire –le reconstruire ?– (Révolution, créations), jusqu’à l’éclatement de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Autour de ce voyage, clarificateur pour Moravagine et initiatique pour Raymond La Science, sera dépeint le paysage d’une société en déchéance : mères absentes ou dominatrices, des amis qui trahissent, des institutions arbitrairement normatives (l’asile ou le Gouvernement), la perte des repères et une cruauté absolue. « Vous me faites rire avec votre angoisse métaphysique, c’est la frousse qui vous étreint, la peur de la vie, la peur des hommes d’action, de l’action, du désordre. […] La vie. La vie c’est le crime, le vol, la jalousie, la faim, le mensonge, le foutre, la bêtise, les maladies, les éruptions volcaniques, les tremblements de terre, des monceaux de cadavres ». Le Jeu du schizophrène

Ce livre, dans la pure lignée des romans d’aventure, avait a envahit la pensée de Cendrars durant près de vingt ans. Tout a commencé en 1907 quand il faisait des ses études en psychiatrie à Berne. Une époque qui

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Books & reviews lui a permis d’observer de plus près les tragé­ dies personnelles et les souffrances de la collectivité, de l’humanité : quand on ne joue pas le rôle qui nous a été attribué, on est rapidement rejeté, enfermé, condamné. Stigmatisé, cet Autre est le fou, il est le damné. Si on ne peut pas le combattre, il faut l’enfermer ou le retourner contre soi. Pourtant, chez Blaise Cendrars, il semble que ce soit souvent le rejet qui amène au damné, à explorer de nouvelles formes de création. Peut­être en guise de rédemption ? Dans Moravagine, Cendrars, tout comme Raymond La Science, se dédouble pour enfin se libérer de l’Autre. Ainsi, l’auteur tente d’étudier, les possibilités entre l’Autre et le Je, un jeu où l’Autre c’est le Mal. Un jeu complexe qui peut facilement s’insérer dans la psyché d’un schizophrène. Moravagine est un violeur, un tueur, un éventreur, un monstre. Pourtant, le monstre ne cherche pas à détruire ces êtres là ni le monde chaotique qui l’héberge mais l’archétype d’une société extrêmement violente, seule responsable de ce qu’Il est.

« Et plus que jamais je m’émerveille de voir combien tout est facile, aisé, inutile et absolument pas nécessaire ou fatal. On commet les âneries les plus gigantesques et le monde de braire de joie comme, par exemple, à la guerre, avec ses fanfares, ses Te Deum, ses célébrations de victoire, ses cloches, ses drapeaux, ses monuments, ses croix de bois… » King Kong Théorie, l’étendard du nouveau féminisme

Plus de quatre­vingt ans après la publication de Blaise Cendrars, c’est au tour de Virginie Despentes de publier un manifeste de l’Altérité

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avec son livre King Kong Théorie (2006). Dès le début le ton est donné: « J’écris chez les moches, pour les moches, les frigides, les mal baisées, les imbaisables, toutes les exclues du grand marché à la bonne meuf, aussi bien que pour les hommes qui n’ont pas envie d’être protecteurs, ceux qui voudraient l’être mais ne savent pas s’y prendre, ceux qui ne sont pas ambitieux, ni compétitifs, ni bien membrés. Parce que l’idéal de la femme blanche, séduisante qu’on nous brandit tout le temps sous le nez, je crois bien qu’elle n’existe pas ». Dans King Kong Théorie l’auteure se dévoile et en guise d’exorcisme elle raconte comment la société, celle de l’homme blanc réactionnaire, l’a convertie en ce qu’elle est : une femme tout terrain, victime condamnée, bourreau contestataire. C’est ainsi qu’elle désavoue le discours traditionnel autour de la femme. Livre, au travers d’un récit très violent, sa critique contre les idées reçues sur le viol, la pornographie et la prostitution. Mais il ne suffit pas seulement du vécu pour être la Porte­parole des exclus, des marginaux, de ces Autres qui n’ont jamais été une minorité.

« Nous manquons d’assurance quant à notre légitimité à investir le politique –c’est la moindre des choses, au vu de la terreur physique et morale à laquelle notre catégorie sexuelle est confrontée ». Ce manifeste, adressé avec ironie aussi bien aux femmes et aux rejetés, qu’aux hommes et aux puissants, mène une bataille saine mais sans aucune concession contre un système qui, d’après elle « nous aime en guerre les uns contre les autres ». Un système qui découle plutôt d’une volonté politique que de la fausse idée d’un processus de sélection naturelle. Pourtant, elle ne culpabilise pas seulement le

Books & reviews le sexe masculin mais bien cet ensemble d’hommes et de femmes (ces dernières complices) qui considère que la femme est différente et c’est cela que l’homme doit maîtriser, dominer, formater, modeler et aliéner. Une histoire des victimes, une histoire de catins

L’été 1986, Virginie Despentes, adolescente à l’esprit punk, fait de l’auto­stop avec une amie près de Paris. Une voiture arrive avec trois jeunes hommes qui se présentent comme leurs sauveurs, mais sur le trajet elles sont violentées avec un fusil puis violées. Sans savoir que faire ou comment réagir, elles culpabilisent alors, la société les ayant déjà condamnées : Si elles avaient tenu à leur dignité elles auraient préféré avoir une balle dans la tête que de se faire violer. Pour l'auteure la sanction se prolonge sur l’image de la femme violée qui est reléguée à la place de victime, mais toujours sans faire de bruit ni être en colère. Cette condamnation s’étale aussi sur l’espace qui leur est interdit de franchir : « ne t’aventures pas à l’extérieur car tu risques de te faire violer, résigne­toi à vivre à l’intérieur car ta faiblesse t’empêche de te défendre ». Mais, pour reprendre le dessus, pour subvertir son histoire, Despentes raconte comment ce passage initiatique lui a permis de s’introduire dans la prostitution occasionnelle. King Kong Théorie explique, en dépit de l’exploi­ tation sexuelle des proxénètes, la prostitution comme une forme de libération et de révolte. Despentes souligne aussi que la prostitution est semblable à la séduction féminine, à la pornographie et au sexe intéressé : « Je ne fais toujours pas la différence nette, entre la prostitution et le travail salarié légal, entre la

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prostitution et la séduction féminine, entre le sexe tarifié et le sexe intéressé […] Ce que les femmes font de leurs corps, du moment qu’autour d’elle il y a des hommes qui ont du pouvoir et de l’argent, m’a semblé très proche, au final. […] En tout cas, le pouvoir et l’argent sont dévalorisés pour les femmes. Ils ne doivent s’obtenir et s’exercer qu’à travers la cooptions masculine : sois choisie comme conjointe et tu profiteras des avantages de ton partenaire ».

Voici donc une dénonciation qui n’est pas récente : la victimisation des femmes violées, la punition et le rejet des femmes qui se vantent de leur libération ­financière, politique et sexuelle­. Dans un style cru Virginie Despentes livre un récit militant qui analyse la mise en scène et l’institutionnalisation d’une conscience condam­ nant les différences. Celles qui construisent, en fin de comptes, les identités de l’Autre. C’est pourquoi Despentes expose les éléments qui lui ont violemment construit. Sauf que, damnée, elle n’a pas voulu vivre avec l’étiquette qu’on lui a collée sur la peau, celle d’une folle, celle du Mal. Et c’est au travers de l’écriture qu’elle s’est libérée. Déchargeant sa rage sur le papier, elle a rapidement appris que ce qui l’a rendu différente, ce qui l’a fait devenir cet Autre et qui est en nous tous, et s’est affranchit dans une issue de création.

« La Fin du Monde a été écrite en une seule nuit et ne comporte qu’une seule rature ! Ma plus belle nuit d’écriture. Ma plus belle nuit d’amour ».

Moravagine

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Photo

56 000 kilomètres

un continent et des hommes

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Kares Le Roy

Photo

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Kares Le Roy

Kares Le Roy retranscrit avec ses images l’authenticité des inconnus. Avec son livre 56 000 kilomètres, un continent et des hommes, le photographe français s’intéresse à ceux dont on ne parle pas, ou pas assez, que l’on stigmatise ou que l’on oublie. Voici un dialogue honnête entre l’Art, le reportage et l’humanité. Un beau parcours à (re)découvrir.

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Kares Le Roy IdentitĂŠ(s) Les Hommes comme sujet

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Maxime Dufour photographe

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Actuellement exposé aux Beaux Arts, Maxime Dufour n’y était pourtant pas prédestiné. Il y sept ans il quitte la publicité et décide de devenir photographe. Entre architecture et nu, cet hyper urbain nous amène dans son univers, un monde de paradoxe, à l’image de l’Homme. Propos recueillis par Justine WERBROUCK

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Tout d’abord, ça fait quoi d’être exposé dans un musée comme les Beaux Arts de Lille ? Maxime Dufour : C’est amusant car ce n’est que pas du tout une vocation. Je n’ai pas un ego surdimensionné. J’aime aller dans des villes, trouver des bâtiments qui me font plaisir à voir, un beau building et le rendre encore plus beau, avoir la belle lumière, le coucher de soleil, le contre jour tout ce qui va le magnifier. Chez l’homme c’est choisir la bonne lumière, celle qui va embellir les pectoraux, les abdos, la figure, le sexe, les cuisses. Ensuite on arrive à avoir de belles photos. Il y a des gens qui les remarquent et puis on commence à exposer en galerie, d’abord dans sa ville puis dans une capitale en l’occurrence Paris. Et après c’est dans d’autres villes du monde, New York, Shanghai etc. La troisième étape est la reconnaissance ultime, c’est d’exposer dans des musées. C’est la vraie reconnaissance car ce sont des experts qui estiment que ton travail mérite d’être exposé au plus grand nombre. Et dans une exposition comme Babel, quand le commissaire de l’exposition, Régis Cotentin, me dit qu’il aime beaucoup la série « Superlatives Cities », et qu’il me propose d’exposer autour des grands noms, je ne pouvais que dire oui ! Donc, j’étais super content, super fier, super honoré et je vais pas faire la fine bouche. C’est le réponse d’Eric Deville, lorsque je lui ai exprimé mon honneur, qui résume le mieux le fait d’être exposé, « ah ben tu sais quand t’es exposé dans un musée c’est que tu le mérites ! ». A regarder de plus près ce qui ressort de ton travail, c’est le nu et l’architecture, pourquoi ces deux thèmes ? MD : Il y a deux travaux complètement différents. En général dans les photos d’architecture, je déteste mettre les gens il n’ y a donc jamais un seul humain sur mes photos. Pour celles d’art il y a une partie où il y a du nu, et notamment le nu masculin, car pour moi c’est un des derniers tabous de notre société. On l’a franchi une

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une fois il y a dix ans quand St Laurent avait sorti M7, son dernier parfum, on voyait un sexe d’homme apparent dans les magazines. Les grecs ont pourtant déjà exploité le nu masculin ? MD : Oui, mais le nu n’était pas tabou, la pédérastie n’était pas tabou, l’homosexualité ne l’étais pas. Je pense que c’est une question de mentalité. Pour le commun des mortels la nudité masculine est plus dérangeante que la nudité féminine car on y est moins habitué, moins préparé. Je présume que c’est aussi une question d’environnement, la France est clairement un

© Maxime Dufour. Super héro1.

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pays latin avec un carcan judéo­chrétiens, c’est comme les italiens, les espagnols qui sont très olé­olé dans les paroles mais très pudiques et prudes dans leur façon d’être. A l’inverse si on va dans les pays nordiques, le tabou de la nudité, y compris masculine, n’en est plus un, c’est un vrai non­événement. C’est amusant parce que ça se lit dans la législation, jusqu’en Belgique la nudité est interdite partout sauf là où elle est autorisée, alors que dès la Hollande, la nudité est autorisée partout sauf là où elle est interdite. C’est l’illustration d’une différence de mentalités, la norme n’est pas la même.

Tu dis aimer le nu pour trouver sa place dans la société, mais aussi pour heurter la sensibilité. Est­ce toujours vrai ? MD : Par rapport au nu masculin, j’ai deux axes de travail. Il y a des photos naturistes, où là c’est vraiment une confrontation de l’insolence de la beauté d’un corps de 20 ans qui entre en com­ munication avec une nature vierge luxuriante. C’est une sorte de témoignage iconographique sur ce qu’est le naturisme, une façon de désa­ craliser la chose. L’autre axe est un peu plus provocateur et vise plus à heurter la sensibilité. L’idée c’est de mettre des nus masculins avec des thématiques un peu plus abouties notamment dans des parkings pour questionner sur la société de consommation, la responsabilité de l’homme dans l’environnement de la planète d’aujourd’hui. Quand on voit un nu devant un mur de béton,

© Maxime Dufour. Naked­rabbit2.

qu’est ce qui est plus indécent, un sexe apparent ou est­ce le mur de béton miroir de l’environ­ nement dans lequel l’Homme vit ? Et je trouve que l’indécence elle est plutôt là, et pas dans la nudité parce qu’elle n’a rien de pornographique, la vrai pornographie c’est l’urbanité délirante. Justement, en parlant de pornographie, toi qui travaille le déshabillé, où s’arrête l’Art et où commence la pornographie ? MD : Tout d’abord la [notion de] pornographie varie en fonction des pays, en Inde par exemple une femme préfèrera remonter sa robe et montrer son vagin pour se cacher les dents. Au Japon il y a tout un tabou autour des poils pubiens… La pornographie masculine, selon moi, commence là où il y a un sexe en érection, à cet instant on sous­entend alors l’excitation, avec une analyse du corps plus sexuelle, visuellement parlant. Elle est donc multiple. Ce n’est pas une question de nu ou de pas nu. Si on revient sur l’architecture, peut­on dire que pour toi, elle permet de « décoder les nouveaux codes urbains » comme je l'avais lu ? MD : Il n’y a pas une réelle volonté de décoder mais plus de comprendre pourquoi. L’architecture contemporaine, et je pense que pour cela elle se rapproche du monde de la communication, cherche à faire passer des messages à travers un immeuble. L’Emir saoudien ou les Emirats, qui sont ultra mégalos, veulent par exemple, la tour la plus haute du monde ou la plus penchée. À l’image de la Burj Khalifa, qui se trouve à Abu Dhabi, et à 5 ou 7 degrés de plus que la tour de Pise. Et je pense qu’il y a aussi un vrai symbole phallique derrière tout ça. Un grand Building qui monte en l’air bien tendu c’est une façon de montrer sa virilité, sa toute

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puissance et d’asseoir son autorité sur les autres, sur le monde. Pourquoi tant de tours, de béton ? MD : J’adore le béton, quand je vois quelque chose même en piteux état mais qui est en béton je vibre. C’est pour ça que j’aime tant Niemeyer qui a construit tout Brasilia. J’apprécie tout autant Le Corbusier ou encore Kenzo Tange, à l’origine de la cathédrale Sainte Marie, à Tokyo. C’est magnifique, même si certains pourront avoir l’impression de se trouver dans un bunker, moi j’adore ! Même si pourtant tu dénonces l’abondance de béton dans l’environnement ? MD : C’est l’Homme, et tout le paradoxe qui le fait. D’un côté j’adore me retrouver dans des mégapoles comme Shanghai, Tokyo, New York,

Hong Kong où je vais souvent et où je fais des photos. Mais en parallèle j’ai besoin tous les ans de me retrouver 15 jours dans un centre de vacances naturiste, tout petit perdu sans télé­ phone portable, sans machine pour avoir un « reset » du cerveau. C’est là tout le paradoxe, on est toujours dans une espèce de confrontation interne. J’aime la ville mais je la dénonce. Oui j’y suis bien, je suis un vrai urbain mais c’est vrai que des fois je me dis voir les saisons passer parce qu’il y a des arbres dans la rue c’est quand même sympa. Et que là on a un peu tendance à oublier la verdure...

© Maxime Dufour. « Superlative Cities », quand la photo se confond avec l’aquarelle.

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Maxime Dufour

sera jusqu’au 1 4 Janvier aux Beaux Arts de Lille, dans le cadre de l’exposition Babel. Prélude d’un photographe à la fois fasciné et bouleversé par l’humanité, sans pour autant la mépriser. Notes : 1 .- « Les supers héros ont raccroché leur costume au vestiaire, d’où la nudité, et ils se sont rendu compte qu’ils se battaient pour de mauvaises causes, et se joignent alors aux industries, entreprises. Ils ne sont la que pour faire du profit et ils leur importent peu de polluer la planète, faire travailler des enfants en bas âges b ». 2. - « Naked rabbit l’homme a tellement sucé la planète jusqu'à sa moelle qu’il la détruite, se retrouvant nu au sens propre comme au sens figuré, il est alors obligé de se terrer dans un terrier en exhibant certains produits de la société de consommation qui l’ont conduit à sa perte ».

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Translated from the Spanish by Marcelo CABARCAS ORTEGA

Laboratoire de création littéraire 106

The Poet’s review Jorge Artel is considered one of the most important writers in Colombian literature, his most important book, Tambores en la noche (Nightly drums), whose poems are shown below, is part of

the afro­antillean movement of the Hispanic Caribbean. That is why his poetry is very similar to Nicolas Guillen’s work from the 30’s and 40’s.

In that sense, what we can find in Artel’s poetry is the recurrence of ancestral musical elements and the emergence of the body as a valid way of placing identity, which is constructed of the recognition of the African heritage and the diasporic thinking as the two pillars of a black transatlantic conscience.

The original versions are taken from Artel, Jorge. (2009) Tambores en la noche. Cartagena: Editorial Universitaria Cartagena de Indias.

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Black am I

A Poet of my race, I inherited its pain, So the emotion I utter will be pure

Within the hoarse sound of a shout

And the singsong accent of the drums. The deep, shuddering voice

In which my ancestors muddled Is my own.

The anguished cry I praise Is no costume jewelry for tourists.

All the grief in my song is not in there for exhibition!

Negro soy

Negro soy desde hace muchos siglos. Poeta de mi raza, heredé su dolor.

Y la emoción que digo ha de ser pura

En el bronco son del grito

Y el monorrítmico tambor.

El hondo, estremecido acento

En que trisca la voz de los ancestros, Es mi voz.

La angustia humana que exalto No es decorativa joya

Para turistas.

¡Yo no canto un dolor de exportación!

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Nightly drums Nightly drums,

As if they were following in our footsteps… Weary drums

In the harbor’s dreary corners, In shadowy bars, like covens Where frowning sea wolves Melt time away,

Their pupils drawing

The forgotten paths of a blurred design of flags, masts and bows. Nightly drums

Like human screams.

Groaning in pain and trembling they come, As the men carrying handfuls of emotion Whip out a dark and wistful song enraptured of nostalgia,

and the sweet and savage soul of my vibrant race watches over the centuries,

soaked in the moan of the fipple flutes. Nightly drums

As if they were following in our footsteps. Mysterious drums resounding through The rough blow of the tanners’ feast,

Keeping in step to the chants of the balladeers, the uproar, the blasphemy and

the oath of the sailors…while the hunchbacked shapes of the hills announce the dawn, silhouetted against the horizon. Nightly drums, clear and deep, calling for our souls,

So deep, that it seems their echoes will last forever!

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Tambores en la noche Tambores en la noche,

Parece que siguieran nuestros pasos… Tambores que suenan como fatigados

En los sombríos rincones portuarios, En los bares oscuros, aquelárricos,

Donde ceñudos lobos

Se fuman las horas,

Plasmando en sus pupilas

Un confuso motivo de rutas perdidas, De banderas y mástiles y proas.

Los tambores en la noche

Son como un grito humano.

Trémulos de música les he oído gemir, Cuando esos hombres que llevan

La emoción en las manos

Les arrancan la angustia de una oscura saudade, De una intima añoranza,

Sonde vigila el alma dulcemente salvaje

De mi vibrante raza,

Con sus siglos mojados en quejumbres de gaitas. Los tambores en la noche

Parece que siguieran nuestros pasos.

Tambores misteriosos que resuenan

En las enramadas de los rudos boteros,

Acompasando el golpe con los cantos

De los decimeros, con el grito blasfemo Y la algaraza, con los juramentos

de los marineros…en tanto que se anuncia

tras los jibosos montes

un caprichoso recorte de mañana.

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Los tambores monótonos repiten: ­­¡Dum…dum…dum…!

¡La noche conduce el tremolo

Entre archipiélagos de árboles, Sobre océanos de silencio! Harlem

A breeze of vibrant sex Pushes us

towards the Harlem’s night. From the basement,

the jazz band shakes the streets.

Shadowy roses show their musical Corollas.

Harlem

Una brisa de sexo palpitante Empuja nuestros pasos

en la noche de Harlem.

El Jazz –band, desde el sótano, Estremece las calles.

Sombrías rosas nos enseñan

Corolas musicales.

All poems are translated by Marcelo Cabarcas Ortega, Graduate student of Caribbean and Latin­American Literature From The University of Atlántico in Barranquilla, Colombia.

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par Teklal NEGUIB

Laboratoire de création littéraire 112

Le Verbe Je suis !

Je suis un verbe conjugué, Le verbe être.

Qu’est­ce « être » ?

Une évanescence ? Un mot ?

Une construction ? Une idée ? Il se tait.

Le verbe s’est tu ! Mais pourquoi ?

L’être n’est plus ;

Il est mort au loin, Paix à son âme !

Et celui­là commence. Il naît, Rit,

Gambade et vit. Il est !

Et cet autre ?

Ainsi le cycle de la vie,

Et la conjugaison du verbe.

Métisse née en 1978, Teklal Neguib est une écrivaine post­coloniale et

queer, proche du Mouvement de la Créolité. Intervieweuse d'artistes, elle est membre de French Writers Worldwide, communauté internationale d'écrivains francophones défenseurs de la langue française. Contributrice de la revue Minorités.org, son travail porte sur les questions d'identité et de poétique des paysages.

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