The erotic has often been misnamed by men and used against women. It has been made into the confused, the trivial, the psychotic, the plasticized sensation. For this reason, we have often turned away from the exploration and consideration of the erotic as a source of power and information, confusing it with its opposite, the pornographic. But pornography is a direct denial of the power of the erotic, for it represents the suppression of true feeling. Pornography emphasizes sensation without feeling. The erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings. It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire.

Audre Lorde
Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power

Dysrhythmia

January 18, 2019

Old people spit with absolutely no finesse
and bicycles bully traffic on the sidewalk.
The unknown poet waits for criticism
and reads his verses three times a day
like a monk with his book of hours.
The brush got old and no longer brushes.
Right now what’s important
is to untangle the hair.
We give birth to life between our legs
and go on talking about it till the end,
few of us understanding:
it’s the soul that’s erotic.

Adelia Prado
Trans. Ellen Watson

an erotic place

January 17, 2019

I have always felt that the world is an erotic place. As I walk through it my senses are reaching out. And I am drawn to all sorts of things. For me cities are enormous bodies of people’s desires. And as I search for my own desires within them, I slice into time, seeing the moment. That’s the kind of camera work I like.

Daido Moriyama
Interview with Tate gallery

The night, the sex, the wandering…and the need to photograph it all, not so much the perceived act but more like a simple exposure to common and even extreme experiences…It is an inseparable part of photographic practice, in a certain sense, to grasp at existence or risk, desire, the unconsciousness and chance, all of which continue to be essential elements. No moral posturing, no judgement, simply the principle of affirmation, necessary to explore certain universes, to go deep inside, without any care. A ride into photography to the vanishing point of orgasm and death.

I try to establish a state of nomadic worlds, partial and personal, systematic and instinctual, of physical spaces and emotions where I am fully an actor. I avoid defining beforehand, what I am about to photograph. The shots are taken randomly, according to chance meetings and circumstances. The choices made, considering all the possibilities, are subconscious. But the obsessions remain constant: the streets, fear, obscurity, and the sexual act…Not to mention perhaps, in the end, the simple desire to exist.

Beyond the subject, the lost souls and the nocturnal drifting, the scenes of fellatio and of bodies in utter abandon, I seek to reveal some kind of break up through the mixture of bodies and feelings, to reveal fragments of society that escape from any analysis and instant visualization of the event, but nonetheless, are its principal elements.

The brutality of the form, the intensity of the vision obligates us, still more than images that pretend to document, to involve ourselves with the reality of what we are seeing. The spectator can exist then, no longer finding himself in the position of voyeur or consumer but as sharing an extreme experience, wondering about the state of the world and of himself.

The sense of losing sight of the subject may seem like a paradox in a documentary genre where I try to impose my subjective point of view, in an autobiography born from travels and from wandering. But the emotional strip tease, which lets me enter into the pages of this intimate, photographic diary seems to carry me inevitably towards this vanishing point.

A photograph is nothing but a lie. The space is cut off, the time, manipulated. They are two uncontrollably false appearances of an image condemned to choose between hypocrisy – and good conscience – and being fake. The language used is often one of class: dominator but alienated, unaware of the actual matter at hand: appearance, ambiguity, the imaginary. In my photographs, in my every day practice of the lie, I cannot pretend to describe anything but my situation itself – my normal states of being, my kinky intimacies…I can only comment on the mere insignificance of the photographic moment.

Assigned to the anthology of a reduced knowledge, of castrated experiences, the photographer appropriates himself the gestures, diverts the acts and regurgitates signals that “indicate” our relationship with the images and determine our perception of a reality that has become hypothetical. And so, the world limits itself to icons, an altar in direct opposition to the rituals the photographer practices. But if the liturgy, the prayer and the sermon are still instruments of a vigorous cult, then for photographers, truth and freedom are found only in the realm of confession.

I try to distance myself from a certain type of documentary photography that often avails itself of symbols that are too easy to read and assimilate in order to present a complex reality in a balance that is endlessly discussed over and over between photography as an instrument of documentation and photography as being completely subjective. It isn’t the eye that photography poses on the world that interests me but its most intimate rapport with that world.

The only photographs that truly exist are the “innocent” images. We find them in the family photo albums or in the police archives. Beyond serving as a simple documentation of reality or of a certain aesthetic sense, they attest to the role of the photographer, of his implication, of the authenticity of his position in that moment. The compositions of light, narrative, are no longer, for me, fundamental problems but superfluous lies. What interests me today in an image? The perspective that has justified the act of photography, the interference of the experience, of the ongoing scene, the texture, the material, the meaning of the self-portrait, of the individual, the incoherence of the unfolding sequence, the maniacal reconstruction of the random experience – the photographs, like words, are meaningless when isolated…

To criticize in a coherent manner, the dominant image actually demands from a photo that it is lucid in the midst of its messy situation, from the experience between a glance and a good, hard look, the camera and the unconscious, in its fundamentally tainted rapport with reality and fiction. This approach cannot conceive that within multiplicity, associating technique and practice, sometimes opposite each other in their use of the photographic language, I seek to reveal the inherent contradictions to the “use” of documentary photography, that should supposedly transcribe tangible reality while at the same time, do nothing more than report a myriad of experiences.

I can then make use of the world for my own ends and in a basically solitary experience, remodel it, and transform it at will, almost as if without images, the world no longer exists.

Antoine D’Agata
Until the World No Longer Exists

where the garment gapes

November 18, 2018

Is not the most erotic portion of a body where the garment gapes? In perversion (which is the realm of textual pleasure) there are no “erogenous zones” (a foolish expression, besides); it is intermittence, as psychoanalysis has so rightly stated, which is erotic: the intermittence of skin flashing between two articles of clothing (trousers and sweater), between two edges (the open-necked shirt, the glove and the sleeve); it is this flash itself which seduces, or rather: the staging of an appearance-as-disappearance.

Roland Barthes
The Pleasure of the Text

erotic device

August 6, 2017

Writing is an erotic device. The imaginary gaze of the gentle reader has no function other than to give the word a new and strange consistency. The reader is not an end; he is a means, an instrument that doubles the pleasure, in short a voyeur despite himself.

Jean Paul Sartre
Introduction to Jean Genet’s Our Lady of the Flowers

Erotic part

July 1, 2017

Erotic acts

November 20, 2016

orgasm

Her legs open and
he slides his unshaven cheeks
in between them,
each thigh raked all the way down
until his mouth covers her,
and he moves there, her view
hidden by his hair, his face
hidden by his hair, his mouth
hot on her, spreading her open,
his stubble, a thousand fingers.

Peregrine

Sweet Torture

October 2, 2016

coffeetime

My sweetness remains in your mouth,
burning your soul, torturing your mind,
craving for more as you close your eyes
to see those refined pleasures of my skin,
feeling again my amorous fire within.

Karla Bardanza

To a Dark Moses

October 1, 2016

window-candles-woman

you are the one
i am lit for.
Come with your rod
that twists
and is a serpent.
i am the bush.
i am burning
i am not consumed.

Lucille Clifton