nedjelja, 9. rujna 2012.

Clayton Cubitt - Histerična književnost (orgazam kao umjetnost?)

Turning orgasm into art

Žene sjede za stolom i čitaju iz knjige a onda se počinje događati nešto nepredvidljivo - ispod stola se nešto događa... nešto dolazi... hmm...
Nevidljivi izvor užitka. 
(Iako uskoro otkrivamo što je "izvor" užitka, zapravo je bolje ne otkriti ga.)

Bibliophile Porn Star Stoya Reads from a Book About Necrophilia While Being Pleasured by an Unseen Vibrator

You’ll want to be on headphones for this one.
Hysterical Literature: Session One: Stoya
Stoya visits the studio and reads from Necrophilia Variations by Supervert.

Hysterical Literature: Session Two: Alicia
Alicia visits the studio and reads from “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman.

Turning orgasm into art

Photographer Clayton Cubitt's series "Hysterical Literature" takes a high-concept approach to female pleasure

The black-and-white video begins with a woman sitting at a table with a book in front of her. She looks into the camera and states her name, the name of the book, and begins to read. It seems she’s overwhelmed by the words — there’s a slight twitch, a smirk, a straightening of the back, a desperate breath in — and she struggles to continue reading.
Eventually you realize there is more to this scene than it at first seems — maybe when you notice the ever-so-slight buzzing sound in the background, or maybe not until the moans begin. Either way, before the end of the video there is the unmistakable appearance of an orgasm. But you never see just what has produced it: Is there someone or something under that table? Was it just the words that produced those paroxysms of pleasure?
This is the setup of art photographer Clayton Cubitt’s new video series, “Hysterical Literature.” So far, there have been two installments: one starring porn performer Stoya reading “Necrophilia Variations” by Supervert, the other featuring a woman identified simply as Alicia reading Walt Whitman’s sensual “Leaves of Grass.” But frankly, they could read their grocery lists and I’d still hang on their every word, every breath, every squirming movement during their vulnerable, resistant build to orgasm.
I talked to Cubitt, also known as Siege, by email about his fascinating new project, the line between high and low art, and authentic portraiture in the age of self-branding.
OK, what exactly is going on under that table?
I won’t divulge explicit technique, but the assistant is equipped with a back massager and instructed to distract the reader.
What instructions did you give the readers?
Readers are told to state their name and the name of what they’ll be reading, and then to read it out loud for as long as they can. When they have to stop, they’re asked to again state their name and what they’ve just read. Some of them aren’t able to do the last part.

"Photographer Clayton Cubitt has begun a video series called "Hysterical Literature" in which he films women reading from a book while something happens out of sight beneath the table at which they're seated. For the first installment, the divine Stoya chose to read an excerpt from Necrophilia Variations while she was being masturbated by a conspicuously effective Hitachi vibrator. (Watch)
The concept is pure genius, a demented equivalent of the experiments sex researchers undertake in MRI laboratories as they scan the brain at the moment of orgasm. It sets up a conflict — mind vs body, more or less — and dramatizes it in Stoya's physiognomy. She attends to the book, her mind presumably filled with the words, and then her body slowly takes over, emptying her mind and forcing her face to broadcast the rest of the body's sensations. How long can she hold out? The text becomes a timer. You wonder if she can make it to the end. She doesn't — she climaxes about a paragraph short — and her studied expression gives way to a riveting combination of ecstasy and glee.
In filming this experiment, Cubitt makes an important aesthetic choice. He shows neither the vibrator nor the accomplice operating it, though a slight buzzing sound is audible underneath Stoya's voice. This positions the video in opposition to pornography, where the sex act always occupies center stage, and aligns it with an artistic tradition which recognizes that withholding can be a powerful way of conveying information. You see this in Andy Warhol's film Blow Job, in which the camera registers the transient emotions on a young man's face as he is fellated by an off-screen partner. Similarly, by withholding the Hitachi and the female using it to destroy Stoya's composure, Cubitt channels that there-but-not-there sexuality into the things which he does permit you to perceive: the crescendo of sensation building on Stoya's face; the movement of her hands, which are imbued with an eroticism they would be denied if the frame included the diverting sight of genitalia; the transformation of her voice, which begins in narration and ends in gasping.
Watching the video for the first time, I feel like I am also an off-screen element. On one hand, as the creator of Necrophilia Variations, I am a silent partner drawn into this ménage with Stoya and Cubitt. On the other hand, I am also a combatant engaged in an out-of-frame contest for control of Stoya's expression. The book is my weapon, just as the vibrator is the weapon of an unseen female. Ultimately the dildo wins and I am left making jokes to myself like, "I wish my work could produce this same effect without aid of electric stimulation." Of course, I don't really expect anyone to climax while reading one of my texts. I don't see a face in orgasm when I imagine an "ideal reader," yet Stoya's performance visualizes a deep truth about writing: it is fundamentally a desire to give pleasure.
In a post providing some background on Cubitt's experiment, Stoya indicates that the pleasure she expects from Necrophilia Variations is one not of orgasm but of understanding. She was motivated to choose the book, she writes, by an "oddly non-morbid obsession" about the way "orgasm affects brain chemistry," the appropriateness of the French slang la petite mort, and "why my mind goes completely blank when I'm at the height of a sexual experience." The book can't answer these questions the way a researcher in an MRI lab might. However, when I think of Necrophilia Variations, I do see it as a sort of brain scan. If you write with sufficient intensity, you attain a state that is the exact opposite of a blank mind: it is a plenitude or even overgrowth of mind that blanks out the body and the world. You become the cogito of Descartes or a brain suspended in a lukewarm liquid like in a sci-fi film. It can be deranging, like a delusion. If the blank mind of orgasm is a "little death," this is more along the lines of a "little life," an act of creating something from nothing. Fiat ars.
This pathology of the creative state is experienced by readers in a lesser way — curled up in bed with a good novel, the world dropping away as a compelling narrative unfurls. The experiment to which Cubitt subjects Stoya is designed to foil this, to prevent the reader from getting lost in the text by using her physical pleasure to undermine her concentration. Something complex and ironic occurs. Wanting to understand what happens when orgasm causes her mind to go blank, Stoya turns to a book whose creation required the writer to blank out his body. Meantime what is happening to her body deprives the book of its ability to deliver whatever answers it may have. The words are reduced to emotive groans and, when Stoya's face lights up, it is an indication that her mind has gone dark. Cubitt films all this and the smile that persists on Stoya's face through orgasm suggests that she never quite achieves enough blankness of mind to lose awareness of the camera. Fittingly the text she reads, "Confessions of a Skull Mask," describes an event playing out in front of a video camera. (Update: Stoya says "I totally smile like that when I'm with one person at home with no cameras, too.")
Death and consciousness — these are at the heart of Necrophilia Variations. Cubitt's aesthetic and Stoya's performance are what make "Hysterical Literature" stand on its own as video art, but what thrills the silent partner in the ménage is to see how their experiment extends the spirit of the book. They take an impulse from the text, translate it into another medium, and beam it into the world anew. Bravo." - Supervert

Hysterical Literature
There’s a video involved. I leave it up to you whether you read or watch first.
I’ve never understood vibrators. I’ve gone on record numerous times saying various versions of “I dislike them all except for Lelo’s Nea which I really only appreciate aesthetically.” I think it’s the buzzing that bothers me. I’ve posed for plenty of photospreads with toys, but I’ve always seen them as a poor substitute for a person and I’ve never had an orgasm from one. Less than a month ago I was on a panel at Exxxotica   with some of the adult industry’s most successful female performers. Someone in the audience asked what our favorite vibrator was, and every single one of the other women shouted “Hitachi” in unison. That night I received an email from Clayton asking if I’d be interested in his new project.
He’s filming women sitting at a table reading literature. The twist is the things going on below the table. I like these sorts of things… This Empty Love was the first video work I enjoyed doing, making hardcore work with Digital Playground an interesting option later. I think the interesting parts of sex are in the hints of what can’t be seen. Penetrative sex, after all, is an exploration of something dark, moist, and cavelike.  
I’ve chosen a section of Supervert’s “Necrophilia Variations.” I’m fascinated by Supervert and their (his?) body of work. I went with the Necrophilia themed volume because I’m currently in an oddly non-morbid obsession with something triangulated by the way an orgasm affects brain chemistry, the reasons behind the french nickname of la petite mort, and why my mind goes completely blank when I’m at the height of a sexual experience. There’s something in there, death and sex, maybe change or growth, and I’ve been focused on it since shortly before I posted “Touch.” Sometimes I can brush this concept with my fingertips, but I can’t grab hold and inspect it yet. The only way to understand is to wallow in anything that might hold a clue until it all clicks together (or am distracted by something shiny… but it would have to be *really* shiny.) Tl;dr: That’s the book that felt right.
I’ve been told to dress as I would for a date with a man, not a boy. I’m wearing a dress from Vivienne Westwood’s Anglomania collection last year. The cut limits the range of motion of my arms, but ideally I wouldn’t need to open my own doors or feel the desire to talk on my phone while on a date with a man. My makeup is simple, my heels very high but relatively practical, and my panties are both sophisticated and expensive. Also, damp in the gusset. Sexually speaking I really enjoy things that I can’t predict and things that are new to me. This attempting-to-read-aloud-and-maintain-composure while being sexually stimulated game is new. The video camera adds a dash of exhibitionism which I always appreciate. Most interesting, though, is the Hitachi that my vagina is about to be making very good friends with for the first time.
When I tell Clayton’s lovely assistant for the evening that I’ve never experienced the Hitachi, her eyes light up. I’ve obviously gotten myself into the most fun kind of trouble. Lights get set and everyone assumes their positions. My underwear lays on the floor out of frame. As I start reading, my disbelief is suspended. I forget what is about to happen. The first touch on my thigh sends all available blood to my vulva. I continue to enunciate properly, focusing on the text. I’ve broken a sweat. If this goes on for much longer my hair will be plastered to my head with perspiration as though I’ve been working out or engaging in acrobatic man/woman penetrative fucking. I stumble over a word, my concentration breaks as I go back to pronounce it correctly. Neither the Hitachi or the woman wielding it will be denied, but in the interests of art (and because this feels so beautifully filthy I don’t want it to stop yet) I hold out as long as I can. This section of the world that I’m inhabiting slows down, zooms in. Like a stretched rubber band it suddenly contracts, and I am lovingly punched with an orgasm. 
I giggle-pant, hands on the table. Once enough pieces of my mind have come back I deliver the closing line. -


"Echoes, ripples, buzz'd whispers, love-root, silk thread, crotch and vine..."
Alicia shifts. Her voice catches. You’ve never heard Walt Whitman read like this before.
If you happened to miss the opening installment of photographer Clayton Cubitt’s new series, Hysterical Literature, you’re in for a unique, mesmerizing convergence of visual and literary erotica.
Famed alt-porn actress Stoya reads aloud from Necrophilia Variations while gradually working herself up to orgasm via the help of an unseen hand and an unseen vibrator. The tastefulness of the setup—black-and-white camera work, spare set, and lack of adornment—only serves to enhance the illicit thrill as you realize what’s happening under the table. As the story gets more erotic, so does what we see, until we reach the inevitable climax, both narrative and physical.

If the first installment was about the thrill of discovery inherent in the sight of watching a woman have an onscreen orgasm from reading porn, the second, featuring a woman, Alicia, reading “Song of Myself,” is about relaxing into the experience. Whitman’s rambling, uniquely erotic language comes alive as never before, in a breathy recitation punctuated by soft gasps and sighs.
Cubitt says these first offerings are only the beginning of an open-ended project exploring the connection between erotica and female sexuality. The Daily Dot tracked him down in the wilds of Northern Minnesota on vacation; he drove 20 miles to the nearest coffee shop to tell us all about the project, and what’s next.
Daily Dot: What was the inspiration for this project?
It's an evolution from a couple of earlier projects. One involved large format still portraits, formal style, of women's faces at the moment of orgasm, as they attempted to maintain eye contact with the lens. Another involved interviewing subjects while off-camera they were similarly distracted. Yet another I called "Long Portraits" was a series of video portraits of sitters maintaining eye contact with the camera for five minutes of stillness.

I'm quite fascinated with the concepts of control and release when it comes to portraiture, especially in this modern of era of social networking profile self-portraits and Instagram, when everyone has a well-practiced notion of personal branding. What's left for the portraitist to capture? One can shock the sitter out of that plastic smile.

I'm attempting to lead them back to something real.

Alicia Reads Walt Whitman’s
LeaEEH!!!ves of GraAAAH!!!ss

“I celebrate myself, And what I assume you shall assume…” Ah, Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself from Leaves of Grass is a poem that must be enjoyed, nay, celebrated, with care, and in this case, a naughty little secret to help punctuate its lovely turns of imagery, assonance, rhythm and Transcendentalist themes.
“…For every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you…” Watch the breaths. Listen to the sighs. Most importantly, pay attention to the words because they’re beautiful.
Welcome to part two of photographer Clayton Cubitt’s film project Hysterical Literature with Alicia. You may remember seeing the first one with Stoya reading Supervert’s “Necrophilia Variations” before it got flagged as NC17 for a little while there. YouTube is a tempestuous mistress. Clayton tells ANIMAL:
I’m really testing the limits with it, since it literally shows nothing but pleasure expressed on a face. Kind of hard to censor reasonably, when the women look Victorian.
The emphasis is really about the art and literature and the dichotomy between mind/body and high/low, between what is celebrated and what is considered dirty.
He’s got plenty more in the can and scheduled, both “known” and “unknown” from porn-stars like Stoya, to fashion models, journalist/columnists, and regular gals. It’s not a “porn” thing, that’s why he picked “the least porny porn star around” to kick things off, he says. The Pavlovian element of it is pretty explicit, but only if you overthink it. Just enjoy the reading. Always… enjoying… reading… Read about Stoya’s experience ”…and because this feels so beautifully filthy I don’t want it to stop yet…” and watch her ”lovingly punched with an orgasm” below. I really hope we don’t have to explain what’s going on here. Bzzz.


  Cubitt je fotograf. Još njegovih radova:

 Clayton Cubitt Every Day
  • Divya loves Chanel and taxidermy  (3613)
    Divya loves Chanel and taxidermy  (3613)
  • Yolandi slurping champagne (video still) 
    Yolandi slurping champagne (video still) 
  • Yolandi smoking (video still)
    Yolandi smoking (video still)
  • Yolandi and her muscle car, Brooklyn  (2513)
    Yolandi and her muscle car, Brooklyn  (2513)
  • Silence Please  (2544)
    Silence Please  (2544)
  • Ms Wily’s shoes and ankle cuffs   (3486)
    Ms Wily’s shoes and ankle cuffs   (3486)
  • Ms Wily in front of the firehouse doors, NYC   (3419)
    Ms Wily in front of the firehouse doors, NYC   (3419)
  • Hanging with my friend Colombia and her bird, Riis Beach, Queens   (3402)
    Hanging with my friend Colombia and her bird, Riis Beach, Queens   (3402)
  • KT next to her elementary school sign in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. She was a Prairie View “Thumper.” In Minnesota kids don’t play Duck Duck Goose. They play Duck Duck Grey Duck.
Ponder that.   (3248)
    KT next to her elementary school sign in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. She was a Prairie View “Thumper.” In Minnesota kids don’t play Duck Duck Goose. They play Duck Duck Grey
  • KT in the lake, Minnesota   (2994)
    KT in the lake, Minnesota   (2994)
  • King Me: Yolandi   (2533)
    King Me: Yolandi   (2533)
  • Yolandi and a Paul Richard skull, Brooklyn
    Yolandi and a Paul Richard skull, Brooklyn
  • KT’s epic photo of me jumping over Yumna’s ass and into the ocean off the houseboat.
    KT’s epic photo of me jumping over Yumna’s ass and into the ocean off the houseboat.
  • Satin bow   (0961)
    Satin bow   (0961)
  • Night vision   (0877)
    Night vision   (0877)
  • Milly saving me from cold water at the beach   (1391)
    Milly saving me from cold water at the beach   (1391)
  • Teresa air-sleeping   (7388)
    Teresa air-sleeping   (7388)
  • Mona Eltahawy’s hands.
The scar on her wrist is a result from police beating her during the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes in November in Egypt. She has metal pins in it holding it together. The large round ring is bent from a blow from a police nightstick. It saved her finger from being broken. Her left arm was broken. Her right hand was broken. She was sexually assaulted.
She’s stronger now than ever.
    Mona Eltahawy’s hands.
    The scar on her wrist is a result from police beating her during the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes in November in Egypt. She has metal pins in it holding it together. The large round ring is bent from a blow from a police nightstick. It saved her finger from being broken. Her left arm was broken. Her right hand was broken. She was sexually assaulted.
    She’s stronger now than ever.
  • Astra in the surf.    (6664)
    Astra in the surf.    (6664)
  • Black bunny with a bat. Brooklyn.   (5725)
    Black bunny with a bat. Brooklyn.   (5725)
  • Come and play with us. Yumna and KT in the dunes.   (2145)
    Come and play with us. Yumna and KT in the dunes.   (2145)
  • Monique Instagramming from the beach   (1001)
    Monique Instagramming from the beach   (1001)
  • The girls having a smoke and a chat. Brooklyn.   (2377)
    The girls having a smoke and a chat. Brooklyn.   (2377)
  • Karl Lagerfeld Chanel tattoo, NYC   (2284)
    Karl Lagerfeld Chanel tattoo, NYC   (2284)
  • Zef Side Brooklyn 2012   (7357)
    Zef Side Brooklyn 2012   (7357)
  • $O$ Zef Side Brooklyn 2012   (7463)
    $O$ Zef Side Brooklyn 2012   (7463)
  • Zef Side, Brooklyn 2012   (7323)
    Zef Side, Brooklyn 2012   (7323)
 Flatbush Av   (1039)Rain and sun on road trip    (2797)Heels over power line at sunset   (1153)Thunderstorms over Minneapolis   (2691)Clouds over farmland and trees, northern Minnesota   (2706)The view from our cabin, northern Minnesota   (2722)Charlie jumping, Minnesota   (2854)Rain clouds passing the lake, Minnesota   (2990)Sunset through the pines, Minnesota   (3168)Floating in Aunt Betty’s backyard pool, Minneapolis   (3205)Full moon over Lake Minnetonka, Minneapolis   (3296)Lower Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn at sunset   (3354)Vintage chocolate Cadillac, Brooklyn   (3371)
I’ve burnt the archives away. To set the stage for what’s to come next. Stay tuned for updates. Coming soon.

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