Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Scatological Skewers

Speaking of bodies as battlegrounds, I happened upon both of these recently.  The first is the new track from electroclash icon Peaches, who proclaims that she has "so much beauty coming out of my ass" and there's "light in places you didn't know could shine", a sentiment the track literalizes by showing an acrobatic dancer with something the end credits are calling a "laser buttplug". Reminds one a bit of the famous Kurt Schwitters sentiment on his Merzbaus creation that "everything the artist shits is art" (which Manzoni then took literally).

Simple and direct, not miles away from other teaches of Peaches.  The 2nd video is from Naomi Elizabeth, an artist who came up in the noise scene and now seems to be working in the viral video realm, making video that skirt that Lana Del Rey line between commentary on and reinforcement of sexist tropes.  "The Topic is Ass" immediately strikes you on first listen as pure novelty, but there's something to the phrasing that makes it sound like an intervention.  "We're here to talk about...again, again. Don't change the subject, my friend".  "If...were here, what would you say?" "If you think I'm joking, fix your priorities".  The melancholy loops in the backdrop also add a slight bit of extra gravity to it, as if the intervention may indeed on patriarchal assumptions or objectification itself- after all "Ass" is often a synedoche of "women"- but then purposefully undercuts itself by being highly silly.

And while Elizabeth is no doubt sexualized in the video, there's little actual "ass".  Her jerky movements belie hesitation more than horniness.  In fact, there's a voyeuristic way she's lit, her half-arched porn star grimace coming across forced and functional, not like someone in the thralls of desire.  Elswhere, she stands in front of an island vista, but totally surrogate from out.  She's a cut-out, literally a two-dimensional tool for some unseen (re:male) designer clicking away and creating this fantasy.  It's likely him that the intervention is for, but by song's end he continues to be in control.  The world is still his.

Man Ray, Monument to D.A.F. de Sade

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