ART PICKS: “OBSCENITY” by Bruce LaBruce.

February 16th – April 4th 2012 at La Fresh Gallery, Madrid, Spain.

OBSCENITY is a photographic exhibition in anticipation of a new film project to be called “Santo the Obscene” and to be directed by Bruce LaBruce, starring Luizo Vega. The show will feature portraits of a variety of people – performers, personalities, proletarians – illustrating various fetishes, fantasies and obscenities that may be featured in this feature film.

As an artist whose work has been routinely confiscated by customs since the 1980’s and stamped with the judgment OBSCENITY, LaBruce knows a thing or two about the territory of the taboo, the representation of the unrepresentable, the love that dare not speak its name. As recently as this summer, suddenly a shipment of 400 Polaroids that were displayed at Gallery Wrong Weather in Porto, Portugal for the exhibition “Polaroid Rage: Survey 2000 – 2010” were confiscated by Canadian customs and summarily deemed to be OBSCENITY and denied entry into the Canadian LaBruce’s own country. Last year, LaBruce’s movie L.A. Zombie was judged to be obscene and banned from the entire continent of Australia. Undaunted, LaBruce continues to produce work that ignores boundaries and defies censorship. Santo the Obscene, his new movie to be shot next year in Spain, will prove no exception.

But the photographs in the OBSCENITY show – some from the past, but most to be shot in Spain specifically for this exhibition – will not necessarily be traditionally pornographic. Obscenity need not be sexually explicit to be obscene, nor does it need to be vulgar, harsh or extreme. OBSCENITY will offer a variety of images – some gentle, some romantic, some spiritual, some grotesque – that attempt to refine and redefine the nature of the fetish and the taboo, to sanctify this imagery and position it more closely to godliness. The lives of the saints are full of ecstatic acts of sublimated sexuality that are expressed in the most startlingly sexual and perverse ways. OBSCENITY presents a series of portraits that illustrate this most holy convergence of the sacred and the profane.

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