Marina Abramovic: Balkan Erotic Epic, © 2005, Marina Abramovic
HOIST © 2004 Matthew Barney, Photo: Chris Winget
Essentially, DESTRICTED is a series of seven shorts with a more or less explicitly pornographic content, directed by quite famous names in the contemporary artistic scene, and not indeed lacking in experience in the Art of the provocation (remember the controversy created by the photos of a naked preadolescent Brooke Shields taken by Richard Prince) as Marina Abramovic, Larry Clark or Gaspar Noé. The shorts were first exhibited in the last Sundance Film Festival, and they will be exhibited again -this time in Europe- in the beginning of September in the Tate Gallery of London, just before going onto DVD, although some copies can already be in a "not too legal" way.
As it's habitual in a group of works by so different directors, the final results are quite unequal. For example, Balkan Erotic Epic , by Marina Abramovic, is a suggestive trip to the Balkan folklore in an erotic way, without resigning the beauty of the local landscapes, giving the series a necessary dose of humour. On the other hand, Death Valley , by Sam Taylor-Wood, consists basically of a man who travels to the desertical, scorching Death Valley and masturbates for several minutes. At the end, the man is clearly exhausted- so is the spectator
It is quite clear that what DESTRICTED seek is the Art of provocation. A provocation that can be reached by multiple ways. The strange makeup of Hoist (Matthew Barney) in which a man maintains sexual relations (or something similar to it) with a strange industrial vehicle contrasts with the explicit images of Impaled or House Call . In an exhaustive challenge for the perception, Sync by Marco Brambilla reunites in only three minutes several hundreds of pornographic scenes lasting only half a second or so (something similar to the famous and controversial final pic in Fight Club ). The result clearly contrasts with We f-k alone , by Gaspar Noah, and its explicit and direct images.
As you can guess, a work as DESTRICTED will not be the right choice to many audiences, but, beyond his more or less debatable quality, it deserve to be taking in consideration for its brave attempt to break one of the taboos that still remain anchored to the apparently liberalized Art world.
In the Tate Gallery September 6th - 13th
In DVD, September 25th
For more information, www.revolvergroup.com or www.destrictedfilms.com