[-empyre-] Starting the First Week / Valente and Ziyalan

Peter Valente p.valente.film at gmail.com
Wed Nov 2 22:11:47 AEDT 2016

Murat, I was just trying to designate a space outside politics where
sexual pleasure is not codified or politicized or reduced to fit some
contemporary theory. Perhaps this remains an ideal, especially in
anglophone countries. In the case of photographers like Gatewood or
Mapplethorpe, whose work can be extreme i.e. potentially obscene to
certain groups, it seems like political factions struggle to confine
it, find a language for it, and failing that, instead reject it
completely. That was the case with Mapplethorpe. I think, with regard
to my own photos, the image of a woman who makes herself sexually
available, i.e. a woman comfortable with her sexuality, is still a
very provocative image in the U.S.

On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 2:03 AM, Murat Nemet-Nejat <muratnn at gmail.com> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Alan, are you not assuming the photos are all of women though many are? There is at least one among these where the figure is a man. Also, I understand these are pictures from a much longer series. The photos reminded me of selfies also, I think because they are not voyeuristic. They are intimate. The photographer seems somehow to be in front of the lens also sharing the experience.
> Peter, could you elaborate more why in an extreme world pleasure needs no defence?
> Ciao,
> Murat
> On Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 8:20 PM, Peter Valente <p.valente.film at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Hi Alan,
>> I have no problem with 'selfies.' Of course, my own photos are not
>> 'selfties' since no one in the photos took pictures of themselves. I
>> photographed all of them. But I can imagine ways in which 'selfies'
>> can be used to make interesting images. And I can't remember his name,
>> but a filmmaker shot an entire film on a smartphone and it won some
>> award in Berlin. I shot an entire film with the camera focused on
>> myself.
>> I don't think my images are 'pornographic.' And there's an interesting
>> writer I'm translating, Guillaume Dustan, whose extreme depictions of
>> sex acts and drug use are without explanation, or defense, or
>> rationalization. Edmund White's blurb on one of Dustan's books:
>> "...the book features a narrator whose wants are to fuck, listen to
>> house music and visit London. 'Let the Good Times Roll' is the motto
>> of this ecstatic celebration of a way of life unaffected by the
>> demands of safe sex and queer politics."
>> Why only women? I found the images interesting. The nudes happen to be
>> of women. But admittedly my photos exist in a kind of extreme world,
>> you might even call it an ideal space, where pleasure is never
>> political and needs no defense.
>> Thanks for the questions, Alan.
>> Peter
>> On Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 6:11 PM, Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com> wrote:
>> > ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> >
>> >
>> > Hi Peter, I have a couple of questions. What do you 'think about' selfies?
>> > And do you see the pornographic images as a doubling in a sense, and why
>> > women only? This isn't a critical query; I'm really curious.
>> >
>> > Thanks for the description and images, Alan
>> >
>> > On Tue, 1 Nov 2016, Peter Valente wrote:
>> >
>> >> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> >
>> >
>> > ==
>> > email archive http://sondheim.rupamsunyata.org/
>> > web http://www.alansondheim.org / cell 718-813-3285
>> > music: http://www.espdisk.com/alansondheim/
>> > current text http://www.alansondheim.org/ug.txt
>> > ==
>> >
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