STRANGLED

 

Barion, Landscape with Object

Pen and chalk on hard-board, 1980

 

When I bought this drawing, perhaps in the year it was finished, I was a little  puzzled by its title: Landscape with Object. However, I had seen quite of few of Barion’s paintings before, so I knew that he was in love with the notion of landscape, always giving it a weird, almost Jules Verne twist. It is an image in my study which inspires prose, not a poem.

 

Those paintings: Strange machinery, metamorphosing into other things than what they first seemed to be; the staffage  ‘populating’ these ‘landscapes’, though not in a humane way. You never know where you are on these canvasses; likewise, one is sort of lost in this drawing. Machinery, almost like organisms; waste lands.

 

Now, one of my little partis pris – a prejudice if you like, perhaps even an obsession – has been the female body, to be occupied like a landscape, been walked through by my fingers, undulating endlessly. The right kind of woman’s body is like a Möbius band on which you may continue forever, now being on top, then again being deep down under, yet always on the same surface; as it were wrongfooting yourself; being your own antipode. Surely, never getting anywhere.

 

 

Looking at Barion’s object for quite a few weeks, I thought I was observing an obscene, over-large abstract image, a Modernist version of a female nipple being strangled by what seemed to be both a fragile, yet all too cruel torture instrument, perhaps designed by the late off spring of a bureaucrat of the Inquisition; or by a child of the great Kafka, who – in his Penal Colony – wrote about a device that carves the sentence of the condemned prisoner in his skin, before letting him die.

 

 

As I wrote: my parti pris. In my case, a literary one as well as a historical one; I do not have the slightest affinity with sadomasochism as an ‘erotic practice.’

 

Observing a little more closely, why not: a bit more objectively at this object, Barion’s machine turned out to be an oversized version of something indeed very female, but by now more or less out of fashion: A jarretele which, with its grip and button, is strangling both the upper rim of  the nylon stocking, and seemingly its own little teat.

Feminism has surely killed this kind of erotic machinery. The jarretelle girdle is now  considered to be ‘for a certain type of woman’…

 

 

Of course, it was partly your author’s prejudice, and partly Barion’s  ingenious manoeuvring of this fetish, which made him see something like the strangling of a delicate bit of woman. Mind you: merely my fetish of a female’s rounder parts. What Barion has done, is transforming the jarretelle clip into an industrial design, which probably evoked the above associations. As it where, a large tube like a science fiction monster, ready to devour.

 

Sierksma, march 2018

Study Art No. 10

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SOUL SISTERS

The normal citizen may only mask himself in his hypocrisy. Unless, of course, he would be living in the 18th century, which nowadays he doesn’t.

 

 

In those days, a masked ball afforded someone a leeway to be naughty, this without being recognized and thus known to do so. However, this was more a thing for aristocrats than for a bourgeois; even then, the new bourgeoisie was quick to chastise the nobles for their loose manners, including this kind of masked immorality.

 

Artists have always been able to mask themselves, this without the necessary intervention of hypocrisy – in the open, and on purpose to be found out by the knowing public. Take for example Caravaggio, who did his self-portrait a few times, however not as a living man, but as the portrayal of one already slaughtered.

 

 

On this canvas – a detail – he is impersonating dead Goliath, whose life and now his head was in the hands of David. Caravaggio has become Goliath; or for that matter: Holofernes, this time in the painting on which the ambiguous artist has found an alibi in the man who has been beheaded by Judith.

 

 

Looking at the grand painting of Goliath’s head, a famous story told about the artist becomes even funnier than it was originally intended. In a Neapolitan paper – so it is said – there appeared an item announcing ‘the death by murder of the famous painter Caravaggio’. The artist sent a little note to be published under ‘Letters to the Editor’, stating: Gentlemen, you are exaggerating the news of my death.

 

His note was indeed published, however without retracting the original news item. He had obviously killed himself just too often in paint, for the Editor to be sure about anything ever after.

 

Then again, painters use their art to mask others, or at least parts of them. After his first wife Isabella died in 1626, Rubens remarried. In a letter to Pierre Dupuy he wrote, that he “had lost an excellent partner whom he had to love, because she had not one of the female vices. Only time can heal the wound.” Then, after his return from England, in 1630, he remarried.

 

Perhaps, his second wife, Helene Fourment, did have some of these female vices which one seems to detect in what, after all, have become known as the Master’s famous as well as infamous Rubenesque women. And I do not mean the well-dressed Queen in the top half of this picture:

 

 

Rubens created Helene’s portrait, and called it Het Pelsken – ‘The Skin’. A fur coat is covering quite a bit of her body, certainly not all of it. A mask, then – of sorts; both the fur, and the painting as a whole.

 

 

Helene Fourment – nude, but for a fur. This was certainly his favourite among the many paintings exhibiting her undeniable charms. At all events, he refused to part with Het Pelsken; he never sold it; it remained his private property.

 

I am quite sure that the Dutch artist Pyke Koch did have this Pelsken in mind, when he created his own, rather curious nude, again using a piece of garment to cover bits of his lady. Not a fur coat, mind you, rather some kind of silk peignoir.

 

 

Taking the colour of Rubens’ Helene’s hair into account, very similar to that on the mons pubis of Pyke’s girl, what was still covered of Rubens’ wife is certainly well depicted in this image, a woman more or less ‘presenting herself’, as was normal in a whore house.

 

For his ‘portrait’, Koch used photographs of what may be considered the first Grand Lady of The Screen, that new mode of the arts at the start of the 20th century: The Moving Pictures. She was called Asta Nielsen, a Dane. Perhaps, what intrigued Koch more than her body, was the queer shape and position of the woman’s eyes, which he subsequently overexpressed a bit. Any way: Helene and Asta were soul sisters.

 

 

Koch used her face again, this time for his famous prostitute, called ‘Bertha van Antwerpen’. Having aged her face, this came out:

 


Pijke Koch
Bertha van Antwerpen

 

However, the love for female vices was not the only motive for creating these beautiful mask-like paintings. With Koch, one could not be all that sure as to where his sexual arrows were aimed at… Perhaps, even in Bertha/Asta Pyke was already masking himself, having seen a similarity between his own face and that of the woman.

 

 

In his famous painting of this set of street whores, the face of the middle one is Koch’s own. In the woman on the right, it is not all too difficult to recognize Asta again. What is more: it is rather difficult to keep all three apart… This is not merely the result of the classical whore’s make up, which aims at the effect of When you’ve seen one, you’ve seen the all; these faces are similar, and they are very much like Pyke’s own facade. Travesty in paint.

 

So much is both clear and unclear. All is ambiguous here, everything masked, leaving the observer ambivalent. One thing, though, is quite clear:  In the ‘30s, Pyke Koch did have political sympathies for fascism, portraying himself with the well-known black band.

 

 

Then again, this face might be that of a fascist Amazon, who – in his case – would have had no need to cut off a breast.

 

Sierksma March 2018

A THIEF, I WAS

Sure, I know: Once a thief, always a thief. Even if you stole only one thing in your life. If this were true, my use of verb is off. It should have been: I am a thief. However…

 

After deciding to finally write a little piece on my theft, I visited my second-hand bookstore owner and asked where I could find the section on psychology. For years, I had browsed his shelves all over the place, however, psychology for me is a sort of non-field, a no-go area as far as knowledge is concerned. I had never looked for these books.

 

Psychology is not like ‘social psychology’: a science without an object, to use Althusser’s fine phrase. Yet, what its subject is, I have never been really sure.

 

Anyway, after a fruitless search for what I was looking for, I went back to the front of the shop and spoke, almost in a severe manner, to the owner:

 

  • My good man (or something of the sort), I could not find even one volume on kleptomania.
  • Well, Sir, as you will surely understand, those are the ones first missing…

 

With a bookseller like that, I should survive any moral crisis.

 

The point of all this is even sillier. I wanted to buy a book on that subject, in order to prove that, whatever else I me be called, I am not a kleptomaniac. So, I went back home to discover on the world wide web, this to my great pleasure, that kleptomania is not the same as ‘ordinary theft’.

 

True thievery is “motivated by the usefulness of the object or its monetary worth”, whereas with kleptomania, there “is the recurrent failure to resist impulses to steal items, even though these are not needed for personal use or for their monetary value.” [American Psychiatric Association, 2000] In most cases, the kleptomaniac is concerned with trumpery, trivial things, baubles; in short, things considered as nothingness.

 

So, my criminal case – yes, My Precious Reader: patience, patience! – does not point to mental disease; I do no need a ‘white taxi’ to convey me to ‘the loony bin’. Though my misdeed did aim for an object that I would personally use – agreed – yet, I stole the thing not for its monetary value and I stole only once. Perhaps, the diagnosis is still in the balance.

 

And to be sure: I am very much against all thieving. I was completely shocked when a one-time anarchist lover, whom I bedded in Paris during her transit from Amsterdam to Barcelona, months after the deed sent me a pile off books, amongst whom many volumes written by Hesse. In great excitement she had already confessed to be in sympathy with the notion of so-called proletarian shopping… I was certain that not one of these presents had been paid for.

 

When living in Berkeley Cal., I have been teaching, of all languages, Dutch to, of all peoples, a Hong Kong Chinese. He borrowed a book on one of the Nazi Camps, Treblinka, with a fine introduction by Beauvoir. The boy left the States without ever handing it back. I was shocked.

 

Much later, also on a day long ago, I walked the caverns of a huge second-hand bookstore in Amsterdam, still innocent, browsing as it were, not knowing that within seconds I would become a felon for whom perhaps Madame la Guillotine’s torture would be too gentle, even if her subject would be a sadomasochist, which I am not.

 

From one of the shelves in the Arts Section, a book seemed to be whispering to me, an insistent whisper for sure, almost a subdued cry. It implored me, to take her from the shelf and put her inside my coat, in the warm pocket that – so she suggested – was made for her, and mind you, for her alone.

What does a gentleman do in such circumstances? He will help the Lady out. Which is what I did; I helped her out of her shelf and her shell. Suddenly, the small paperback was burning inside her cosy niche, sweat beginning to flood my brow, my eyesight starting to bother me.

 

And, indeed, this little book was destined to end in my overcoat; its contents were meant to be read by me in particular. So, to cover up my hideous crime, I picked up another title, this time from the habitué Philosophy Section, methinks something on Ethics, and I went safely through customs, or thus the cashiers desk then felt to me.

 

The Dutch author of little pieces, Simon Carmiggelt described a similar scene of book store robbery. He is a great, melancholic writer and creates very funny and deep stuff. He has, together with that other Dutch writer, Nescio, and the German Brit Sebald, inspired my own scribbling. Carmiggelt’s wife once raised her eyebrows, when he claimed “never to have stolen anything at all!” “How about this entartete book?”, she cried triumphantly, taking a volume from its shelf.

 

Then Carmiggelt gives us his alibi. In 1942, he had been visiting the bookshop of a Nazi collaborator in Amsterdam. The man had piled up a load of books in his store,  which at that time in Germany were considered entartet – in short: books written by communists or Jews, or by people who were committing both crimes against the Superior White German Race at the same time.

 

With obvious glee, Carmiggelt tells his reader that in this pile there were many books to be found which he had already read, and many others which he would dearly like to read. So, he stole Kurt Tucholsky’s Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, indeed a magnificent satire on Hitler Germany, illustrated by another master, the creator of collages, John Heartfield.

 

A grand alibi indeed, actually a good reason not to call Carmiggelt’s theft thieving…

 

So, how about my taking out Bellmer’s Puppe from the bookshop illegally? Can I put forward the fact, that it has been one of the most intriguing readings in my life? If that book had not actually seduced me with its loud whispering, I would never have found it that day and surely could not have bought it. Or, should I refer the one crying ‘Theft!’ to the Surrealism of Bellmer’s art, transforming my shoplifting into something unreal, or rather something hyperreal – a thing not having actually happened at all?

 

I cannot claim I am still a child. Selma Fraiberg – in her book The Magic Years, an essay on the often-weird goings on in the mind of children – writes that “quite a few children do have a somewhat complicated system of bookkeeping, where they may let the ‘black side’ run rather high for a while, if only they can pay this off by now and then receiving serious corporal punishment.” Then they begin all over again.

 

No such balancing of sins and good deeds for me! I had to find another solution, as now and then, year in year out, the little book was still calling out from its shelf: “Got you – fucked your morals, my little thief!”

 

So, I decided to pay her back in kind, by writing a novella in the great tradition of Zweig; the novella not just being a short novel, as many may think, but a story in which, close to its end, something ‘novel’ happens which suddenly changes everything that has happened before. The story took me years to complete and it is about the life of that erotomaniac Hans Bellmer and his schizophrenic wife Unika Zürn. Sad Detective: an inquisitive novella. It is nothing less than my confession, written as a confessional novella.

 

Sadly enough, I still seem to be punished for my theft of Die Puppe. My little book has not yet been published; I do not manage to find a literary agent who will represent me at a good publisher. So, in the end, the fast cut of the razorblade by Madame Guillotine might have been a gentler kind of punishment. Now it feels as if I have been given a life sentence, being imprisoned in my own unpublished writings.

 

Sierksma, February 2018

NAKED

 

 

Seductive, but untouchable,

a tantalizing entity of half-truth,

hanging on my wall, where

flesh induces me to want you,

and after my own flesh is gone,

you’ll still be hanging there.

An epitaph on Sehnsucht.

Out of your way you went,

being a model, posing as a still,

and yet, this drawing’s plot:

The juice inside you seems so hot,

excited and awaiting its decanting.

The Venus you were meant to be,

she is no goddess, but a feline panther.

Sensual you are – surely divine,

exuding far more lust than what you must.

The student’s yearning, horny in his art-class,

shines through in this, your splendid arse.

What should have been a neutral nude,

is fully naked in the eye of your beholder.

The body keeps on dancing,

escapes the draughtsman’s plot.

Indeed, Natura is the mistress of all art.

Yet, here she has become an empress –

 a ruler, who belies all eyes.

Is this, then, why your face is gone,

was it not altogether shy,

while – in it – life so lecherous shone?

 

 

Sierksma, february 2018

No. 6 of Study Art [see No. 5: ‘Nude’]

J.H. Plokker, pencil drawing,

exam Art Academy, no title

PROFOUND INNOCENCE

We both did not want to marry. Yet, it was a romance: courtship, desire, fear and awe.

Philip Kerr, Field Grey

As long as you are doing something, you are innocent. You are only becoming a sinner, the moment you step out of the circle.

Sándor Márai, The Disaffected

_________________

Have I always been an old man, even when I was a youngster? The older a man gets, the more he sublimates Woman into splendour and clarity, at the same making her into an exciting whore, a body tout court, an object whose exterior becomes less important to him, though more vital. The old man – a being of extremes.

 

However, from my first youthful virile days on, I have always wanted to copulate only with beautiful women or with beautiful verse or with a fine canvas or with a splendid string quartet – all of them always somewhat aged and ripe. Second best, no good. Oh, how many I have disdained… [Do read the hubris into this, dear Reader, please!]

 

Could it be the privilege of a pensioned émigré, to abandon all worldly matters? It is not that this world has become of less importance, after all she remains important to others, continues to be relevant for younger people who still think they can meddle and make something of it. The older person is certainly running the risk of continuous disenchantment. After all, he has already messed up, time and again.

 

In a flush of speechless amorousness, here in my sweet La Roche, living in Nowhereland, I submerge into world-renouncing matters’.

The grandeur of a young little toad on leaf of grass:

 

 

The éclat of a mauve splash of lilac thistles:

 

 

A budding fern, so full of hope.

 

 

Just negate the supposedly important. I just know that there are things more significant, at least for me more important. Things ineffable. On the edge of time, all is surface, nothing is a question; all is wonder, nothing an answer.

Three lilac flowers in a wine carafe on the kitchen ledge, bringing spring into the house. Even the small succulent in the background. It was given to me as a present last year, while visiting one of France’s Secret Gardens, by a gorgeous woman I was not allowed to taste.

 

 

After my winter-long absence, it is now flourishing, only a few hours since my generous gift of a few drops of water. No flowers, for sure, but generous round little leaves that are, unanticipated by themselves, gently swelling and raising their pretty faces.

 

No word is innocent, or so the French Marxist told us. Even though, in a fit of bewilderment, he killed his own spouse, Althusser was surely right.

 

In the movie Il Postino, the anxious mother of Beatrice [pronounced the Italian way; no word is innocent, certainly not the spoken one], is fearing for her daughter’s virginity. She educates the local priest, who is trying to comfort the woman. She tells him: When a man touches you with his words, his hands are never far off. Words are the worst…

 

In his rather oppressive novel, The Bad Girl, Vargas Llosa erects a monument to this profound consideration.

 

A man is completely crazy about a woman, so to say: ‘until death do us part’, which is this case is hers. Time and again, she tries to escape from him. Whether by coincidence or otherwise, he always finds her again, each time however in a new shape, adorned with a new name, speaking a different language, with yet another intonation.

 

And again, she vanishes, unannounced. She cheats the man, she is both a beauty and she is not, in whatever way irresistible for that man. Nevertheless or, for that matter: consequently, their relationship is one of a vitriolic sadomasochism.

 

And yet, she is not really deceiving him. After all, each time she has become an altogether different human being…

 

My book marker in Bad Girl,

cut from the cover of a cheap American novelette

 

A case study in pseudologia phantastica this is, that intriguing affliction which makes people pretend to be someone, however without actually lying. Lying and reality are out of it; the one suffering from pseudologia is – for the time being – the person [s]he thinks and tells [s]he is. It is not about impersonating; that person is someone else and does not even know it.

 

Once in her ideal setting, the context of Japan, the land where masks cannot be distinguished any longer from those who wear them, Llosa’s new Kuzoko – quite different than us other mortals – seems to find it difficult to distinguish between the world in which she lives and that other world in which she claims to live.

 

Yet, is she all that different from us ‘normal mortals’? The Bad Girl is also the one whom her lover presumes to be what she seems to be, an illusion so powerful that authenticity is not at stake. The truth was, that there was something in her which made it impossible not to love her, for the same reasons that we value a great work of art, however perverse this may turn out to be.

 

Is this, then, not the intense pseudological illusion of all passionate love, even the love of simple mortals; that wide-spread misapprehension that one is living something and that one could not live it in any other way? This would imply that everything in life is at the same time reality and misunderstanding; in short: phantasy’s gorgeous Paradise.

 

Only a Positivist believes in the illusion that we may coincide with our facts; he thinks that we may observe the world as if it consists of pure, autonomous and aloof objects – as if we are not just part and parcel of that world.

 

 

Instead, now and then I sink away into the surfaces of the world surrounding me, for instance fading into the mildewed plating of a roof, once more repaired – then, of a sudden, surprised to find myself being also in and of this world – then taking its picture, suddenly become a surface myself, perhaps even an interface.

 

When my good friend Lois pays me a visit – without her husband with whom I am embroiled – Butterfly’s miserably beautiful final aria is filling up the space of my courtyard. ‘O, yes’, Lois cries while still on the other side of the fence: ‘Pinkerton!’ I myself would never have first thought about that bastard Pinkerton, the one who indeed set Butterfly’s tears aflame.

 

Perhaps, women and men listen to operas differently. Loved ones are more relevant to me, than the ones I have come to hate, even if those last ones sometimes came first. Puccini’s ever so sad final aria about loss weeps for everything all of us have lost.

 

After Lois has left me that evening, Dido may finish the day. But ah, forget my fate! While the song is gripping the soul, my body is absorbing the last wine of that day. Once again, in the background of this incredible music, another shitass of a man lingers, this time Aeneas.

 

Always, these opera-men who find out, often far too late, that they have fucked up and turn out to be nothing but an appendix of the women who are shining so melancholically beautiful on stage – thanks to them: La Traviata, Donna Elvira, Dido, Butterfly…

 

No word is innocent, certainly not when chanted. We are living our language. We are living inside it. We live off that tongue – trying to escape, yet only in the end do we really succeed.

 

Sierksma, La Roche, 7 June 2011

EROS/THANATOS

 

 

 

 

Emaciated countenance, bleach white,

with coffee and a cognac on the side,

to find her courage, yet seem stable,

sampling me straight from the reading table,

in a grand hotel in my hometown.

 

She interrupts my coitus with Proust, no less,

and lures me straight into her hotel bed.

While being ploughed, I hear her crying,

she whispers “I am dying, I am dying”.

Post coitum and feeling sad,

I know, it was not just her Little Death.

Sierksma February 2018

 

FETISHISM

 

And his mother had not even made love

Before she conceived him.

Thia was not a woman, she was merely a vessel

In which from heaven he had descended.

Caeiro/Pessoa, The Shepherd of the Flocks.

_____________________

 

In his rather curious novel The Fermata (1994) Nicholson Baker has reconstructed a personage with strange aptitudes, even more so with an extraordinary hang-up. This Arno will never be a person, this does not seem be the aim of his author. Perhaps balancing between person and personage might be the theme of the book.

Arno has discovered that he may stop the flow of time by merely making small manoeuvres with an object: “My skill at jamming time”. To be more precise: Stopping the flow of time for others; Arno is just living on, active while during other men’s time failure capable of doing with the world and with those others what he wants. Caprice.

 

 

Hans Bellmer’s obsession

 

During these time locks his idée fixe is to partly or even fully undress the women. He wants to observe their cheeks, tits and sex. Voyeurism seems to be his specialty. His main motive is that immense variety of the feminine, something never exhausting. To let his book remain acceptable, perhaps also suitable to female readers, to let it remain a novel and not drop it into the decadence of pornography, Baker takes care that his protagonist with his victims never ‘does it’.

All the more he becomes a voyeur in the clinical sense of the word, one who in this time deferred leaves something behind, little things that may surprise or even excite the women once they have become his partners again in actual, functioning time. For instance, little porn stories that Arno writes himself and which his author Bakers inserts in The Fermata, then found by a woman who will read them.

While reading this novel, irresistibly picnolepsy came to mind, that curious phenomenon of someone’s non-experience of his own intense absenteeism. In the majority of younger children this is quite normal. For a little while they may drop out of their existence, loose a morsel of time, suddenly popping up again, without a trace in their minds of what ‘happened’ in the meantime. In grown-ups, however, this is very unusual and considered to be a mental defect. Something may happen in that lost time, with for instance serious consequences while driving a car. The picnoleptic person may also miss a quarter of an hour of an important lecture.

One who suffers from this disease may be said to be non-existent for a while. Our condition humaine condemns man never to be fully identical with himself, and always self-conscious. Zen training claims to bring you in such a condition, though only actively so: a man being one with his sword. In a fit of picnolepsy, however, someone loses consciousness, yet without fainting.

Perhaps the picnoleptic has other mental duties at the time, perhaps none at all, he may also be in nirvana before his time, who knows? He is not dreaming, he simply is, albeit not consciously so. Dreaming awake – presens in absentia. Presumably, Baker may have taken this as his psychological starting point and give it a literary turn, elevating the condition of picnolepsy into Arno’s morally malleable reality.

In what is supposed to be his autobiography, Arno claims that “I really have no ongoing fetishes, I don’t think, because each woman is different, and you never know what particular feature or transition between features is going to grab you and say, ‘Look at this – you’ve never thought about exactly this before’.” Of course, this is very sympathetic and praiseworthy of Arno, and implicitly directed by him and his auctor intellectualis Baker against that evil specimen of The Male who will tell you ‘that when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all’. Once more making the novel acceptable for women readers.

This theoretically good man Arno is, methinks, beside the practical truth of man, or at least partly so. In true love each person is indeed unique, even if to realize this fact some fantasy is needed and in latter-day times it seems more difficult to realize that condition of unique reciprocity. In bed, however, other laws rule. Everyone has his or her own fetish, that special part of a body, that special sound and tone of voice, that one little movement which is the key to excitement, opening the road to carnal delight. The crux of our lust.

 

 

Catherine M, a shot taken by husband Jacques Henric

 

Once our sexual labour has gone into the groove of its vigorous rhythm, each lover will disappear into the act, more specifically so into the image of his fetish as it accompanies the activity. The Little Death is, like picnolepsy, deadly for all nuance and difference, pernicious for all tenderness. For just a while the dominance of our fetish is garrotting Time, jamming it. As if it were for an eternity. The zero degree of the flesh.

 

 

 

 

In this respect porn-time is even more confusing. When looking at a mere picture of a naked woman, one would say that it is not even necessary to bring time to its standstill. It has already happened, after all that is the miracle of photography. However, the real voyeur, in his roundabout way, is actually still doing this: he makes time stop. He has been looking at a journal or at a pile of photo’s, going through a time-consuming process which he then suddenly breaks off, all at once fixing his gaze – fixating it. This then is the moment when the eye hits upon the ‘right’ kind of nakedness, one that contains a version of his particular fetish, the very trigger which will put him to work and keeps him going at it for a short while.

Of course, porn video is the sexual soloist’s ideal terrain. Here the act itself is going through its moves, while he or she is waiting for that moment when, lo and behold, the person’s fetish appears. Then the film is stopped and spooled backwards till the very shot which may then be stopped again – to observe it, perhaps again and again

This effect is almost perfect when a little surprise is involved, when such a movie is watched for the first time, which is also the real reason behind the accumulation of ever more DVD’s by the porno lover. They may be all the same, ‘when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all’ – yet, waiting for that very moment in which in a new scene a new version of one’s fetish appears forms the plot. As with the sublime, it diminishes after the first confrontation, because we are mere creatures of routine and habituation.

 

 

 

It always remains an embarrassing situation, touching oneself while the porn cineaste is bothering you with his erotic artistry and gimmicks. After all, this is what you want to see and what you put the dam disc for into the video player, certainly not for all that goes on before or comes after, even though those scenes may involve other people’s fetishes. Porn watching is all about that self-selected still, that summum bonum of inactive activity, that pinnacle of unmoved moving. Perhaps like being one’s own Aristotelian God.

A magnificent arse is always unique, with its own variety of rust-red taints, it’s never ending nuances of shape and curvature, the furrows each time like the unique finger print of its female owner. Each breast is always the only one of its kind, with its special spheres and nipples. The porn market thrives on this unembarrassed desire to contemplate and gaze over and over again at yet another version of the same.

 

Nonetheless, those subtle differences between the diverse specimens become irrelevant at the moment supreme, that carnal zero degree in which the person drowns for a while. The very first skin flick bought might have done for life.

 

Sierksma January 2018