The Glory Hole – by Fabrizio Da Prato and Keane – The undoubtedly provocative title which we have used for our work “the glory hole” alludes to our interpretation of the nebulous confines between art, eroticism and pornography.
A glory hole is a hole in a wall, or other partition, often between public lavatory stalls or adult video arcade booths for people to engage in sexual activity or observe the person in the next cubicle while one or both parties masturbate. The partition maintains anonymity.
Every single human being at some point has erotic fantasies, it is after all a part of our sexuality. Eroticism is an elaborated form of that sexuality
This exhibition, Shameless, focuses on shame as a negative emotion and one which has a direct discrediting impact on the individual and their position in society.
We are using that concept and the glory hole as a starting point for our work and as it is effectively a “diaphragm” between public and private shame and shamelessness, censorship and approval.
SHAMELESS – 4 mostre collettive di arte contemporanea sul tema dell’Eros a cura di Giorgia Madiai Quattro mostre collettive con artisti del panorama nazionale ed internazionale approdano nel borgo toscano di Lorenzana. – SUMMER (16 giugno – 14 luglio): Anna Ka, Peepin Tallulah, Patrick Coleman, Wonderfur Luka, Keane e Fabrizio da Prato , Lewin Ct Cyar.
Artist statement about the work by Keane
We were both invited to participate in the SHAMELESS series of exhibitions which have eroticism as a central theme. We decided both independently to concentrate on what could probably be defined as the lower range of erotic. We thought it would be more interesting to see if we could make work that was not pretty in any sense – we wanted to look at the more gritty and grubby side of erotic images.
For me this was a continuation of a theme that has been running through my work for the last 10 to 15 years exploring the concept of privacy and public domain and just how our conception of privacy has been changing rapidly in the digital revolution.
The exhibition – CUSEEMESEX – which was completed in 1997 was the first time that I had actually started producing work about anonymous sex across the Internet, with the obvious privacy questions coming to the fore with men masturbating on the net using web cams.
The Mutande of Barga in 1996 which then caused such a scandal in the city had more or less nothing to do with eroticism at all but everything to do with public and private domain.
and the last series: The Nuns of Barga featured the small group of surviving nuns here in the city – all walking away from us, not one showing us her face. Again privacy in the public domain was the main theme behind these paintings.
And so for the shameless exhibition I decided to focus my attention on people meeting via the Internet for anonymous sex. Contact groups flourish on the net where people post naked images of themselves but covering up the eyes or using photoshop or one of the simpler digital digital software to hide their identity.
In many cases in these images the room that they were photographed in is completely visible and no longer anonymous.
It is that somewhat disjointed dichotomy between the almost banal and mundane view of of an open door leading into the bathroom or the bedroom with family photographs plainly visible on the walls in the background whilst they are standing there completely naked and showing us all, apart from the eyes.
For the exhibition a series of these images were blown up to large poster size without any additional ” artistic” intervention – (no hand of the artist to be seen here)
The second part of the exhibition was the creation of a pseudo-porno magazine featuring these found images from the Internet and digitally altered images from Fabrizio Da Prato.
We wanted to see if we could touch a nerve, a memory, which apparently many men have experienced of at some point in their lives of finding a discarded pornographic magazine somewhere out in the streets or hidden in hedgerows.
There was something in the colour of these magazines or the shapes which could be instantly recognised as possibly being pornographic even if they were seen from a moving bicycle or slow-moving car.
Our pseudo-porn magazine very nearly was not published in time for the exhibition as Apple who we were using to print the work refused on the grounds that the images were of questionable content.
It is our belief that this recognition and then refusal to print questionable content was in fact software and not a human decision as it is unlikely considering the huge amount of images running through that service that they could be checked by humans.
It is much more likely that software flagged the images, which are then probably checked by operator and then refused.
The e-mail refusing to print magazine then became part of the work.
Thank you Apple
You can download your own copy of the magazine here: shameless
Artists at Work Keane, Fabrizio Da Prato – Shameless – Senza Vergogna – 16 Giugno – 14 luglio 2012 Lorenzana (PI)
“The Glory Hole”
Il titolo, che abbiamo usato per il nostro lavoro, “THE GLORY HOLE” (il foro della gloria) deriva come provocazione benevola del mutevole confine tra arte, erotismo e pornografia.
(L’espressione The Glory Hole si riferisce a un buco praticato in una parete o in un qualsiasi divisorio, ad es. in bagni pubblici oppure sono presenti in altri luoghi particolari come sex club, dark rum, club prive, attraverso il quale è possibile svolgere determinate attività sessuali od osservare altri impegnati in esse, mantenendo tuttavia l’anonimato).
Ogni essere umano ha normalmente delle fantasie erotiche, l’erotismo è una forma elaborata che la sessualità raggiunge.
Shameless, e cioè senza vergogna, pone al centro della nostra attenzione il tema della vergogna come emozione negativa, sfavorevole o di discredito che coinvolge l’individuo anche nei confronti degli altri.
Abbiamo lavorato su questo concetto e deciso di utilizzare The Glory Hole a simbolo del nostro lavoro artistico, un “diaframma” tra pubblico e privato, vergogna e svergognatezza, censura e approvazione.