Fotograf Magazine

I love 69 popgejů

In the late 1970s, Jean Baudrillard included several interesting passages on obscenity in his book Seduction: “Traditional obscenity still contains an element of transgression, provocation, or perversion. It plays on repression, with fantasies of violence. With sexual liberation this obscenity disappears /…/ The new obscenity, like the new philosophy, arises on the burying grounds of the old, and has another meaning. It does not play with violent sex, sex with real stakes, but with sex neutralized by tolerance. Sex here is outrageously ‘rendered,’ but it is the rendering of something that has been removed.”

Everything which I love 69 popgejů does appears obscene, whether the “pop gays” are onstage as half-naked, sweating musicians or creating photographs and video. Their stage is the tolerant atmosphere of clubs, galleries and art openings. Baudrillard’s skeptical comments on the “rendering” of a removed, alienated sexuality fully apply here. Provocative obscenity laden with meanings is supplanted by images which we comprehend and (neutrally) measure against pop culture – as if this would solve everything – and call it art. After all, we have already allowed art to have its way with everything and so there is nothing with which it can offend us. The “popgays” intuitively understand this fact and so they intensify the aggressiveness, narcissism, decadence, filth, banality. They test, with full force, whether there exist any boundaries the transgression of which would cause them to be cast out of the art world. I would be surprised if they manage to succeed under the current circumstances[ref]After all, the project for Fotograf magazine also goes against its serious spirit without preventing its publishing.[/ref]  – at the very least because the Ostrava scene has already adopted them as its own and considers them to be the latest step in the development of its cultural identity, which in was born in the 1990s from the scathing work of Petr Lysáček, Jiří Surůvka and Kamera Skura.

I love 69 popgejů is trapped in a vicious circle; at best, they will achieve a “refreshing enrichment of the art scene” (František Kowolowski, Ex magazine). Still, I cannot deny how immensely entertaining I find them and that I admire their total engagement. They don’t care if they make it into the textbooks, even through the back door, but they do create the script for their own de(con)struction.

Jiří Ptáček