Saturday, July 25, 2009

The following is Part 2 of a Five Part interview with Laura Conde, Mexican Artist.

Kofi Fosu Forson: Given the virtual promotion of pornography where do you draw the line between making art and fueling a cause for sexuality and art? Does your work promote pornography and if not what are the philosophical and artistic reasoning behind images of rape? Can you equate the themes of torture with mathematics and philosophy, if so how?

Laura Conde: I am interested in the social limits of art, as well as to enhance systems of thought different from the formalized rational systems.Constantly I doubt about the language, I doubt about science. I believe that there is a hidden malignity behind this desire of objectifying everything, naming and defining everything.

The media mass spreading of pornography is a cultural phenomenon and I am not interested in promoting it or to participate in it because to end of accounts it is the pornographic glance the one that more labels and reduces desire and sexual experience to very poor classifications, the sexuality is not this, this would come to be a very distorted projection of the libido in the real world of million people that live in the Web like a being of his own life, is like an image that has been traced a million times and in the end it finishes being a monstrosity. It is hyper-explicit and overloaded, almost baroque because it thusly must be able to adjust to so many and so varied profiles, but is not real nevertheless it is in the limits that could be a denominated culture.

There will always be doubts about it if these manifestations are an important part or not about what we are as societies. Because no matter how hard it is reprobate, it does not stop calling the attention of millions of people who visit pornographic Web sites, for example. In my work I retake images of pornographic origin sometimes but always as a critic or a parody. For me every practice that leaves the common sense and resists to take part of the collective is interesting, the pornography consumption is an anonymous, intimate activity and generally that the consumer realizes in secret form. I am interested more in this quality of the activity that in the explicit or sexual content on it.

My work does not have to do with the pornography but with the desire and the politics of genre. I am interested in the playful sense that can reside in the sexual activity. And it is in this sense that sometimes I stare at masochistic images or self inflicted tortures. I do not approve rape or that a human being is damaged or that something is done against his will. What I do find very valuable however and they do not have anything to do with rape, the sense of humor and parody in means of sexuality.

It is in this way that the feminine masochism according to how I see it, is not more than a critic to the dominant structure socially,activity in which indirectly, via parody, it exaggerates the category of femininity established by this structure through the recognition and taking illicit pleasure of this relation of apparent disadvantage.

What my work speaks about is of the authority, not only the authority in society but in art, that during centuries has guaranteed representations of women where they only appeared as an object of desire, in images done by men, for other men, they never show them as subjects capable of having their own desires. The images that I have been working with the last years are directed both to men as to women. And talk about female desire, women conceptions and beliefs I grew reading and listening and what I do is to make this conceptions of my own and interpret them according to what I live as a woman, as a mother and as an artist.

I see fashion magazines that portray feminine models so thin that almost disappear make me wonder if the masochism or the sadism is really something so far from our daily experience. I do not think so.I believe today that divisions of genre had stopped making sense.There is so much anxiety to define you as a hyper-man or a hyper-woman,more masculine than masculinity, more feminine than the femininity. And if the definition that history keeps from women is one of submission and vulnerability, the woman of nowadays seems more submissive and vulnerable than ever.

Extreme diets, rigorous exercises to have a perfect figure, excessive sexual disposition and an urge to please the other… Let’s not forget the importance in questioning sexual power and the physical that is sex.

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