Hatari

Article by guestblogger Verina Romagna

The 2019 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is open, the audience waves their flags in the stalls or collapses on the couch at home to watch the live event on TV: everyone is dazzled by the glittering, ever-smiling singers, by catchy songs obsessively repeating “love, love, love”.
It is now Iceland’s turn, a small competitor which never turned out to be very successful or surprising, and suddenly the stage turns blood red. With a harsh metallic beat, the scene is revealed: there’s a cage, and a group of androgynous creatures dressed in leather and latex; one of the singers lies like a dying man on a staircase; the other does not sing, he screams from the top of his lungs. With a growl that is not wild or liberating, but rather cold and hallucinated, the lyrics deliver a terrible message: HATRIÐ MUN SIGRA, “hatred will prevail”.

“What’s this? How could this happen?”, the shocked audience ask themselves.
Let’s take a step back.


Four years ago, on a bright summer evening, as the midnight sun was shining, two boys strolled through Reykjavík contemplating the rise of populism, the ruin of capitalism and the crimes of growing individualism in Europe. To them, the only possible answer was: Hatari.

Meet the band

Hatari translates as “haters”. The band defines itself as an “award-winning performative, anti-capitalist, anti-systemic, industrial, techno-dystopic, BDSM” band, modifying and adding adjectives at their will. Hatari is a multimedia project, chaired by a nebulous company going by the suspicious name of Svikamylla ehf. (“Relentless Scam/Web of Lies Inc. “).

The project is based on the musical band founded by the two boys of the story, singers Klemens Hannigan and Matthías Tryggvi Haraldsson, together with their “drummer gimp” Einar Hrafn Stefánsson. Joining the trio is a variable team of performers, dancers, choreographers, visual artists and independent stylists responsible for a keenly designed fetish wardrobe, as well as a series of branded gym wear for the band’s moments of relax.

The legend of Hatari’s foundation is a brazen ironic hoax, regularly administered to the press by Klemens and Matthías, but there are some irrefutable facts: Hatari has indeed won several awards, and most of its members actually graduated from the Art Academy of Reykjavík. Matthías, aged twenty-five, already gained some recognition as a playwright and his writing is at the heart of Hatari’s nihilistic lyrics. Klemens is a carpenter and set designer, Einar also plays in the indie-pop band Vök.

Defining Hatari’s musical genre is a tricky task, because the band is eager to reinvent its style whenever it gets too close to being apprehended. Asking Klemens or Matthías will result in the usual long list of adjectives created on the spot: it might start off with almost fitting terms such as “techno-punk”, but will soon turn to “pop”, “bondage” and “doomsday”, and eventually end up being defined as “cabaret” and “bonanza”. Among their musical influences are Rammstein, Die Antwoord, Rage Against The Machine, Abba (“if only they were more Marxist“), the Spice Girls, Naomi Kline, Noam Chomsky, Donald Trump and Theresa May.

Hatari’s songs feature an electronic rhythmic base, enhanced by Einar’s live drumming, and two contrasting voices: Matthías’ growl delivers the main part, while Klemens will usually sing the melodic line in a soft, imploring and plaintive tone which can rise to a shrill falsetto, as in the song Hatrið mun sigra performed at Eurovision.

Music, however, is just one specific feature in Hatari’s wider concept, which is carried out through different performances: their act consists in staging a fascist dystopia set at the end of humanity, in the unmasking of the relentless scam we are subjected to in everyday life, in dismantling capitalism… and maybe, in the meantime, sell some CDs and T-shirts. After all, as the band put it, “it’s not cheap to bring down capitalism“.

Hatari’s key feature is precisely this love of contradiction, paradox, opposition. The BDSM clothing aesthetic is deemed necessary, because BDSM “liberates you, but it constrains you at the same time […], just like capitalism“.
But their use of contrast is also evident in the relationship between the singers Klemens and Matthías, a dualism ceaselessly exhibited on and off stage, which, as we shall see, might be the true focus of the entire project.

Hatari’s characters

Matthías, the leader of the group, plays the role of the absolute ruler and dictator in Hatari’s dystopia. He is brown-haired, cold and imposing, and his voice has a solemn and cavernous tone. The tyrant Matthías is characterized by rigidity, repressed movements, and a blank expression. He barely moves when he’s onstage, and he addresses the audience with a few controlled gestures, dry and theatrical, a Nazi-inspired reference. Angry screams rise from his granite, absent face, lost in a hateful frenzy of self-assertion. Even when he is not singing, Matthías maintains his apathetic composure; if he utters ironic and paradoxical sentences, he does so avoiding any hint of hilarity.

Klemens is Matthías’ right-hand man, an innocent martyr that the dictator subdues and persecutes. He’s a victim whose torment becomes obscene ecstasy: Klemens represents the compassionate undertaker of a dying humanity. He is small, with blond or sometimes bright-red hair, sparkling and ephebic. Like Matthías, he exhibits Hatari’s odd rhetoric with the utmost seriousness, but does not follow the same self-discipline. The inspiration for his body language and expressive range comes from a variety of traditionally feminine incarnations: the tender and fragile angel, the cheeky lolita sporting a blatant look, the bored prostitute, the sleepy men-eating vamp.

Beside a frozen Matthías, Klemens staggers without peace along the stage and dances to the rhythm. His arms are raised, hips swaying, his body is softly disjointed, keeping the pelvis as a center of gravity. With his skimpy costumes and orgasmic moans, Klemens becomes the spokesperson for the erotic element in Hatari’s performance: he symbolizes light, life, sex, against the darkness and dryness of Matthías.

Einar, the drummer gimp, is a silent character. But then again, he always wears a studded leather mask which hides the lower half of his face, limiting his communication possibilities. Contact lenses blacken his sclera, or narrow the pupil, so that his features are unrecognizable and the only noticeable trait is his gigantic stature.

During performances Einar beats on the drums with a metronome’s stolidity, or he spins around a spiked mace. Sometimes he just stands motionless behind the band and stares at the audience, like a fearsome Golem disguised as a sex toy. The only sentence he has spoken so far, the one time Klemens generously opened the zipper over his mouth, is the prophetic title of the song Hatrið mun sigra.

Some dancers who collaborate in Hatari’s performances complete the whole picture: the elegant and lanky slave Sigurður Andrean Sigurgeirsson and the pale, robotic dominatrices Sólbjört Sigurðardóttir and Ástrós Guðjónsdóttir. Female dancers are no less dressed than men, and even if they happen to interact with male performers, they never do so in an allusive way: in Hatari’s choreography the sensuality remains exclusively homoerotic and masculine.

Rise and scandal at the Eurovision

So how could this freakshow ever get to arrive at Eurovision?
The first step was to win the Söngvakeppnin, the Icelandic musical competition where every year the national representative at Eurovision is chosen.
The band’s participation in a television pop competition made a sensation, not only because so far the band only played the underground scene, but also because Hatari in theory just split up – with a farewell concert and a press statement on Iceland Music News (the “most honest information channel in Iceland“, actually another fictitious company of theirs). The motivation behind the split up is the aknwledgemtn that their pojects has failed: “We could not bring an end to capitalism, in the two years we gave ourselves“. But this farewell lasted just ten days.
Their taking part in Söngvakeppnin was announced with a promotional video designed to reassure the event’s pop audience: in the video, the smiling group is dressed in middle-class clothes (Einar’s without his trademark mask, for the first time ) and gets together to eat a cake. In order to make this family picture more intimate, Klemens’ daughter also participates, along with the daughter of Einar and Sólbjört, who are engaged in private life.
Did Hatari become a family-friendly and bourgeois band? Not exactly: the script of the video is a copycat of the electoral campaign of Bjarni Benediktsson, a controversial politician who devotes himself to cake design.

When, during the award ceremony, Hatari was proclaimed the winner, taking everyone by surprise, Matthías nodded condescendingly and repeated Hatari’s leitmotiv: “Everything’s according to the plan“. Capitalism shall be dismantled starting from the Eurovision contest, he reasoned, since having Hatari as national representative will at least cause the collapse of the Icelandic economy. Hatari already prepared an apology letter to the government, in case of victory.

So let’s get back to the Eurovision, a festival that supports peace and friendship among peoples. The 2019 edition took place in Israel, in Tel Aviv, in the scenario of an occupation that is not at all peaceful and inclusive.
It was clear that Hatari was the ideal candidate to exploit this paradox, and the band was seen as an inconvenient competitor since their first public statements. The group clamied to be backed by an imaginary sponsor, a carbonated water called SodaDream – which echoes the name of the Israeli brand SodaStream but which unlike the latter “has never operated in any kind of occupied territory“, as Hatari was eager to specify.
A video appeared in which the band challenged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a match of glíma (Icelandic wrestling), raffling Icelandic or Israeli territories to be colonized at will by the winner.

In the European Broadcasting Union headquarters, anxiety was growing about Hatari’s stunts and interviews: what is this “plan” they were constantly talking about? Were they planning to disregard the competition guidelines?
Warned by the EBU, Hatari agreed to change their attitude: they switched to a more glittering look, and shunned any question that could can be seen as political, including the ones about their favorite foods. They made it clear that their song Hatrið mun sigra wasn’t really meant to incite hatred, but rather to inspire the same spirit of union at the base of Eurovision: an invitation to love, before Hatari’s dystopia might come true.

Everyone began to relax. All in all, maybe Hatari were just a clique of funny jokers, and any Eurovision edition must have their “freak” contestants. As the final evening approached, it seemed clear enough that no such thing as “the plan” really existed. The very idea of bringing capitalism to an end was nothing but a joke.

But then, just as the final score was being announced, the unthinkable happened. While the band was to appear live from the Eurovision’s “green room”, a second before going on air, Matthias exchanged a quick nod with Klemens.
He then extracted from one of his kinky boots some scarves decorated with the Palestinian flag, which the band secretly managed to smuggle past the Israeli military checkpoints.

As soon as it was announced that Iceland had gained tenth place, and as the crowd booed, security broke in to seize the scarves. Meanwhile, on Hatari’s Instagram profile, a giant Palestine flag appeared, while on YouTube a new videoclip was published: a collaboration with Palestinian gay artist Bashar Murad, shot in the desert of Jericho.

Male intimacy, the ultimate provocation

Besides their transparent political alignment, and having the nerve to remind the Eurovision audience that we do not live in the best possible world, Hatari also offered one final provocation – a perhaps more subtle but insidious provocation, destined to polarize and upset even their fans: the emotional and physical harmony between Klemens and Matthías.

In public appearances Klemens and Matthías coordinate perfectly their gestures and words, finishing each other’s sentences and sometimes even talking in sync. Yet sometimes the dynamics of domination and submission they exhibit during their musical performances seem to reverse: one of their running gags during the interviews is Klemens whispering some words in the ear of his “master” Matthías, who then just reports them impassively.

Still, what’s really confusing to the public is not even this inversion of dom/sub roles, but rather the peculiar intimacy between the two characters.
Klemens often leans against Matthías and reclines his head on his partner’s shoulder; Matthías, on the other hand, holds his friend to his chest, wraps him in his arms with a protective attitude.


The two singers claim to have a special, intense and long-standing relationship: Klemens supports and encourages the stoic Matthías to express himself completely, while Matthías acts like a shield and safe haven for that “very unconstrained emotional being”. They are two opposites completing each other, the feminine and the masculine, the Yin and the Yang.
Yet – and here is where gender prejudice arise – the two singers are cousins, childhood friends and above all heterosexuals.

The reactions are of dismay. “Impossible! Are they bisexual? Is it just a hoax? They must be lovers! ”
It seems that the public prefers to imagine a homosexual incest, rather than admitting that two heterosexual males can share such a mutual trust and fondness for physical contact; the affection and tenderness Klemens and Matthias show during their effusions is an even stronger taboo than homosexuality, as it seems to question the traditional and all too fragile concept of masculinity.

In spite of all their paraphernalia, their trickster attitude, their parodistic smoke screens and raw, gloomy aesthetics, Hatari’s real message lies in the group dynamics, which stand out as a true antidote. They give each other strength and courage, they trust in one another, they consciously abandon their bodies in the hands of their fellow members. They know how to nurture each other’s most unruly and dark sides, and how to mix them as if they were ingredients of a cake “full of love, but a bit sticky“.

Hatari’s quixotic struggle against capitalism is perhaps just another one of their jokes; yet if we want to avoid living in the toxic and deadly world they foreshadow, our only tools are empathy, trust, respect, bonding.
We just need someone to accept us, support us and – why not – cuddle us, without fear of ridicule, without it making us feel less masculine; here lies the strength we need to express ourselves.
And when self-expression, creativity and vitality are allowed to shine, then hatred cannot prevail.

Aristotle’s Perversion

The ladies and gentlemen you see above are practicing the sexual roleplay called pony play, in which one of the two participants takes on the role of the horse and the other of the jockey. This is a quirky niche within the wider field of dom/sub relationships, yet according to the alternative sexuality expert Ayzad

aficionados can reach impressive levels of specialization: there are those who prefer working on posture and those who organize real races on the track, some live it as a sexual variant while others tend to focus on the psychological experience. Ponygirls often report loving this game because it allows them to regress to a primordial perception of the world, in which every feeling is experienced with greater intensity: many describe reverting to their usual “human condition” as harsh and unpleasant. Although there are no precise figures, it is believed that pony play is actively practiced by no more than 2,000 people worldwide, yet this fantasy is appreciated by a far greater number of sympathizers.

Ayzad, XXX. Il dizionario del sesso insolito, Castelvecchi. Edizione Kindle.

But few people know that this erotic mis-en-scene has an illustrious forerunner: the first unwilling ponyboy in history was none other than the greatest philosopher of ancient times1, Aristotle!

(Well, not really. But what is reality, dear Aristotle?)

At the beginning of the 1200s, in fact, a curious legend began to circulate: the story featured Aristotle secretly falling in love with Phyllis, wife of Alexander the Macedonian (who was a pupil of the great philosopher) .
Phyllis, a beautiful and shrewd woman, decided to exploit Aristotle’s infatuation to teach a lesson to her husband, who was neglecting her by spending whole days with his mentor. So she told Aristotle that she would grant him her favors if he agreed to let her ride on his back. Blinded by passion, the philosopher accepted and Phyllis arranged for Alexander the Great to witness, unseen, this comic and humiliating scene.

The story, mentioned for the first time in a sermon by Jacques de Vitry, became immediately widespread in popular iconography, so much so that it was represented in etchings, sculptures, furnishing objects, etc. To understand its fortune we must focus for a moment on its two main protagonists.

First of all, Aristotle: why is he the victim of the satire? Why targeting a philosopher, and not for instance a king or a Pope?
The joke worked on different levels: the most educated could read it as a roast of the Aristotelian doctrine of enkráteia, i.e. temperance, or knowing how to judge the pros and cons of pleasures, knowing how to hold back and dominate, the ability to maintain full control over oneself and one’s own ethical values.
But even the less educated understood that this story was meant to poke fun at the hypocrisy of all philosophers — always preaching about morality, quibbling about virtue, advocating detachment from pleasures and instincts. In short, the story mocked those who love to put theirselves on a pedestal and teach about right and wrong.

On the other hand, there was Phyllis. What was her function within the story?
At first glance the anecdote may seem a classic medieval exemplum designed to warn against the dangerous, treacherous nature of women. A cautionary tale showing how manipulative a woman could be, clever enough to subdue and seduce even the most excellent minds.
But perhaps things are not that simple, as we will see.

And finally there’s the act of riding, which implies a further ambiguity of a sexual nature: did this particular type of humiliation hide an erotic allusion? Was it a domination fantasy, or did it instead symbolize a gallant disposition to serve and submit to the beloved maiden fair?

To better understand the context of the story of Phyllis and Aristotle, we must inscribe it in the broader medieval topos of the “Power of Women” (Weibermacht in German).
For example, a very similar anecdote saw Virgil in love with a woman, sometimes called Lucretia, who one night gave him a rendez-vous and lowered a wicker basket from a window so he coulf be lifted up to her room; but she then hoisted the basket just halfway up the wall, leaving Virgil trapped and exposed to public mockery the following morning.

Judith beheading Holofernes, Jael driving the nail through Sisara’s temple, Salome with the head of the Baptist or Delilah defeating Samson are all instances of very popular female figures who are victorious over their male counterparts, endlessly represented in medieval iconography and literature. Another example of the Power of Women trope are funny scenes of wives bossing their husbands around — a recurring  theme called the “battle of the trousers”.
These women, whether lascivious or perfidious, are depicted as having a dangerous power over men, yet at the same time they exercise a strong erotic fascination.

The most amusing scenes — such as Aristotle turned into a horse or Virgil in the basket — were designed to arouse laughter in both men and women, and were probably also staged by comic actors: in fact the role reversal (the “Woman on Top”) has a carnivalesque flavor. In presenting a paradoxical situation, maybe these stories had the ultimate effect of reinforcing the hierarchical structure in a society dominated by males.
And yet Susan L. Smith, a major expert on the issue, is convinced that their message was not so clearcut:

the Woman on Top is best understood not as a straightforward manifestation of medieval antifeminism but as a site of contest through which conflicting ideas about gender roles could be expressed.

Susan L. Smith, Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia (2006)

The fact that the story of Phyllis and Aristotle lent itself to a more complex reading is also confirmed by Amelia Soth:

It was an era in which the belief that women were inherently inferior collided with the reality of female rulers, such as Queen Elizabeth, Mary Tudor, Mary, Queen of Scots, Queen Catherine of Portugal, and the archduchesses of the Netherlands, dominating the European scene. […] Yet the image remains ambiguous. Its popularity cannot be explained simply by misogyny and distrust of female power, because in its inclusion on love-tokens and in bawdy songs there is an element of delight in the unexpected reversal, the transformation of sage into beast of burden.

Perhaps even in the Middle Ages, and at the beginning of the modern period, the dynamics between genres were not so monolithic. The story of Phyllis and Aristotle had such a huge success precisely because it was susceptible to diametrically opposed interpretations: from time to time it could be used to warn against lust or, on the contrary, as a spicy and erotic anecdote (so much so that the couple was often represented in the nude).

For all these reasons, the topos never really disappeared but was subjected to many variations in the following centuries, of which historian Darin Hayton reports some tasty examples.

In 1810 the parlor games manual Le Petit Savant de Société described the “Cheval d’Aristote”, a vaguely cuckold penalty: the gentleman who had to endure it was obliged to get down on all fours and carry a lady on his back, as she received a kiss from all the other men in a circle.

The odd “Aristotle ride” also makes its appearance in advertising posters for hypnotists, a perfect example of the extravagances hypnotized spectators were allegedly forced to perform. (Speaking of the inversion of society’s rules, those two men on the left poster, who are compelled to kiss each other, are worth noting.)

In 1882 another great philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, brought to the stage his own version of Phyllis and Aristotle, himself taking on the role of the horse. In the photographs, he and his friend Paul Rée are at the mercy of the whip held by Lou von Salomé (the woman Nietzsche was madly in love with).

And finally let’s go back to the present day, and to those pony guys we saw at the beginning.
Today the “perversion of Aristotle”, far from being a warning about the loss of control, has come to mean the exact opposite: it has become a way to allow free rein (pun intended) to erotc imagination.

Ponies on the Delta, a ponly play festival, is held every year in Louisiana where a few hundred enthusiasts get together to engage in trot races, obstacle races and similar activities before a panel of experts. There are online stores that specialize in selling hooves and horse suits, dozens of dedicated social media accounts, and even an underground magazine called Equus Eroticus.

Who knows what the austere Stagirite would have thought, had he known that his name was going to be associated with such follies.
In a certain sense, the figure of Aristotle was really “perverted”: the philosopher had to submit not to the imaginary woman named Phyllis, but to the apocryphal legend of which he became the unwilling protagonist.

Heaven is full of perverts

Ayzad is one of the biggest Italian experts in alternative sexuality and BDSM, author of several books on the subject. My respect for his work is unconditional: even if you are not into whips or bondage, my advice is to follow him anyway, because his explorations of the galaxies of extreme sex often entail innovative viewpoints and intuitions on all sexuality, on the psychology of relationships, on the semantics of eroticism and on the narratives we tell ourselves while we think we are simply making love. Addressing these issues in a meticulous yet ironic way, his cartography of the weirdest sexual practices offers lots of fun, awe and many surprises.
I met him the night before the opening of Rome BDSM Conference, where he was lecturing, and he kindly agreed to pen a report for Bizzarro Bazar on this unusual event.

_____

The Rome BDSM Conference report

by Ayzad

I spent the last few days surrounded by people in tears. Which was to be expected, since the setting was the largest BDSM convention in Europe. The surprising part, in fact, was the reason of their crying – but we’ll get to it later.

The third edition of the Rome BDSM Conference was held in a nice suburban hotel set in the farthest possible environment from the romantic imagery one usually associates with the Eternal City. The area is so existentially dreadful to be the subject of an actual gag in a rather famous Italian movie, where not even the overly optimistic protagonist can find anything good to it. Although I had been there the for the previous edition already, the mismatch with common expectations was no less bizarre – and would prove to be but the first of many during the kinky weekend.

What could be shocking for most people, who generally identify erotic deviations with crass porn or with the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon, is that a sadomasochists’ convention doesn’t look that different from any corporate event or professional gathering. The lobby placards that point the attendees to the conference halls sit side by side with the indications for boring accountancy quarterly meetings, people wear nametags on a lanyard not unlike at an orthodontics exhibition, and exhausted-looking participants sneak out to the lobby bar to catch their breath – and the occasional nap in a corner armchair.
Ties and power suits are a rare sight among the casual outfits preferred by most, yet fetish clothing is equally uncommon. You don’t really see more naughty high heels or suggestive details in the common areas than you would on any given working day: the few discreet slave collars and corsets are largely offset by regular t-shirts and jeans.

The people themselves, on the other hand, are striking in their diversity. Besides their geographical provenience (foreigners outnumber Italians, puzzling the organization), it is apparent that this bunch is happily unburdened by the anxiety of conforming to social standards. Same sex couples mingle with a lack of care so refreshingly alien from the unending controversy fabricated by the local media and politicians around equal rights; several unapologetically oversized persons who’d be frowned upon in another milieu are accepted just as much as the coolest fetish models here, and the same goes for the random disabled ones. Twentysomethings mix with seniors on polite yet equal terms. The situation closely reminded me of naturist resorts, where nakedness is quickly forgotten as you instinctively see people for their human essence and value, not their appearance.

As a matter of fact, this aspect of the Conference has a tendency to pull the rug from under your feet whenever you stop and consider the situation from an outsider’s perspective. «Wait, am I actually discussing anal fisting with a Slovakian asexual surgeon and a girl who’s barely one third of my own age and identifies as a bratty pony?» It took the better part of one day, for example, for me to realize that I had been talking with a trans person, even if this was pretty apparent: I simply hadn’t given this aspect the littlest thought. On a similar note, once you are immersed in such environment it takes a little while to notice that sitting in a workshop dedicated to the various techniques to safely penetrate a woman with a bayonet, or watching a lesson about biting people, isn’t exactly normal – even for me. Because yes: of course the BDSM Conference is a pretty hands-on affair too.

The event itself takes place in the convention area of the hotel, consisting of several lecture rooms set along a hallway where kinky artisans sell whips, collars, floggers, leather locking cuffs and other wicked toys. This year they shared the space with an exhibition featuring the photos from an art contest organized by the largest Italian leather association, whose winner was announced during the gala dinner held on the second day of the Conference.
The program offered over eighty workshops, each of them one hour and a half long. Presenters come from all over Europe, Israel and the USA (and Japan, in the previous editions), and this is where the similarities with other conventions end.

In the attendees-only area of the hotel participants remained indeed cheerful and civil, but the sounds coming from behind the classes doors often left no doubt on the nature of the lessons. Whip cracks and loud moans mixed with laughter and the occasional yelp, as the workshops continued with a barrage of bizarre titles. Violet wands, what to do with electricity ran side to side with The culture of consent; you could jump from Negotiating a scene to Artistic cutting or the rather technical Progressions for freestyle suspension bondage; high concept classes such as The reality of total power exchange relationships, Destructuring a BDSM scene or my own Polyamory and BDSM coexisted with the definitely down-to-earth The ups and downs of anal play and Needleplay for sadists. Other topics included fetishes, psychology, kinbaku, safety, communication, instruments and subjects as exotic as erotic tickling and the semantics of sex. The one thing you couldn’t find anywhere were the chudwahs.

Chudwah’ stands for Clueless Heterosexual Dominant Wannabe, a portmanteau indicating the sort of troglodytes who plague kinky communities both on- and offline thinking that a loud voice and a snarl are all it takes to bring home hot partners willing to provide oral sex and housekeeping in exchange for a few face slaps. They cannot conceive that BDSM is an art that in order to be safe and pleasurable requires dedication, much less actual study.
All the Conference participants were definitely committed to bring their game to a higher level instead, so they behaved like proper scholars. This made the workshops an especially surreal experience, with people keenly taking notes as desperate interpreters struggled to find the appropriate words to translate speeches about topics as improbable as erotic ageplay, extreme mindfuck, traditional Japanese bondage or the historical origin of a flogger flourish in Reinassance Italy. Trust me when I say that few things in life are weirder than finding yourself at the end of a class compiling a feedback form and wondering with a fellow student whether the genital suturing demonstration should get four or five stars.

No matter how apparently absurd the situation, everyone was seriously committed to learning and sharing, because this sort of knowledge immediately translates into pleasure and safety once you hit the bedroom – or the dungeon. Extreme erotic literacy took absolute priority throughout the event, keeping the discussion going all the time. Even on the third day, when everybody was positively exhausted, the bilingual conversation during lunch focused for example on the comparative merits of the lecturing style of two presenters who had both tackled erotic humiliation in their lessons. Everyone agreed that the shock of feeling seriously humiliated does help to shed your everyday persona and give yourself permission to leave inhibitions behind. One teacher however had carefully built a safe mindspace to explore embarrassment, while the other had subjected his partner to an extremely degrading session which many attendees found plainly abusive. A heated yet educated debate ensued, and it would have continued if it wasn’t for yet another set of classes coming up and demanding our attention. But it wasn’t just work and no play, of course.

You cannot expect to corral hundreds of kinksters in a secluded locations without them getting to have fun in their own unique ways. The retreat program thus included two parties: one for the attendees only and a larger one the night after, open to outsiders as well. They were both held in the large, warehouse-like rooms where the bondage and singletail workshops had taken place during the day, due to their major space requirements. The same carpeted floors that normally accomodated sleep-inducing corporate presentations were cleared of conference chairs and outfitted with an impressive array of St. Andrew’s crosses, whipping benches, cages, fisting slings, pillories and other unsettling furniture. An immense structure built with the kind of tubes used for construction scaffoldings looked like the biggest jungle gym ever, but it was meant as a support for multiple suspension bondages.

I won’t delve in any depth on the parties. What really set them apart from many analogous play nights was simply being surrounded by the very same people you had met red-eyed at breakfast, then as diligent students during the day, then slacking off at the bar or making their moves in the lobby, then elegantly (or outrageously) dressed for the gala dinner, and now flaunting their latex and leather outfits as they writhed in pain and delight in the dimly-lit halls. As I queued with them again at the pancake and juice stations the morning after, I felt sort of voyeuristically privileged for the chance I was given to see these strangers so thoroughly naked in all their daily masks and without, candidly exposing sides of their character that only spouses would witness otherwise – and not even all of them at that.
If 24/7 intimacy begets deep bonding already, the awareness that everyone was there for their passion for extreme eroticism took things one step further. With our psychosexual phantasms exposed from the start, the need to conceal and sublimate our libido simply disappeared, with three curious effects.

The former was the utter absence of the sort of neurotic behavior that’s so common throughout our daily lives; repressed sexual urges and thoughts are the overwhelming cause of personal issues, after all. I venture to say that the rare uneasy persons I stumbled into all appeared to harbor problems of a different nature.
Another peculiarity was that lechery and creepiness were nowhere to be seen. People eyed each other, sure, but erotic proposals were offered and received with a characteristic lack of drama, just like refusals got gallantly accepted. Why wrapping a normal, healthy part of life in the shroud of anxiety, indeed? The contrast with the intensely sexualized imagery spewing from the few television screens and the magazines in the hotel lobby highlighted how “normal” society twists the joy of sex into its evil twin – and how weird it is that we ended up believing this dreadful charade, often missing entirely the point of sexuality itself.

The latter and possibly most fascinating effect of the unusual cohabitation was to witness the subtle changes in the participants’ body language. The more the event got underway, the more people looked relaxed and accepting of their own bodies – including the bruises and marks that were gladly worn not unlike actual badges of honor. Far from the frigid Helmut Newton stereotypes that are still so prominent in BDSM imagery, smiles and hugs abounded; movements became softer and more deliberate; people literally had learned not to be afraid of each other and of themselves. The general attitude changed as well: instead of being always ready to criticize or get annoyed by every minor glitch as it often happens in our everyday lives, on this particular occasion everybody tended to be more inclined towards being on the lookout for whatever opportunity of pleasure – be it a new erotic practice or a simple bit of nice conversation – ignoring the rest. As a sexologist friend commented during the previous edition, anyone who had came in looking for perversion and depravity would feel disconcerted by the tenderness displayed by the attendees.

And this is why, come the end of that three-days extravaganza, so many participants were crying at the closing cerimony. For these outcasts who finally found their home and tribe, this final moment becomes so emotionally loaded that they even bet on how long will it take for the burly organizer himself to burst into tears during his thank you speech. He is not alone in that, though: just imagine how would you feel if you had finally spent a heavenly weekend, and you knew you had to wait another whole year to feel among kindred spirits again. Imagine what it is like to have experienced a perfect world – free of prejudices, ignorance, pettiness, fear, competition, hate – and having to leave it behind to step back into the mundane mess we all suffer. Imagine how strange it is to realize that life would be so much better if only more people grew less scared of their own sexuality, and how odd to discover this at a kinky convention.

Kegadoru, gli idoli feriti

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Il quartiere Harajuku di Tokyo è famoso in tutto il mondo per le sue Harajuku girls, ragazze dai vestiti stravaganti, multicolori e inevitabilmente kawaii, sempre pronte a capitalizzare qualsiasi cosa faccia tendenza al momento. In questa fucina di mode alternative potete vedere sfilare sui marciapiedi decine di gothic lolita, oppure adolescenti vestite con abiti tradizionali mischiati con capi di marca, o ancora giovani agghindati come se fossero ad un festival di cosplay.

Una moda degli ultimi anni è quella dei kegadoru, ossia gli “idoli feriti”, cioè giovani donne che mostrano segni di traumi fisici, bendaggi e garze oftalmiche o di primo soccorso.

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Forse stanno soltanto cercando di attirare l’attenzione dei maschi orientali. Ma in realtà ricoprirsi di bende o fasciarsi un arto come se si fosse appena usciti dall’ospedale è un modo di strizzare l’occhio ad uno dei feticismi sessuali più in voga in Giappone: il medical fetish ha infatti sempre occupato una nicchia piuttosto apprezzata nell’Olimpo delle fantasie nipponiche, e non soltanto.

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In effetti esistono riviste erotiche specializzate sul tema, in cui belle e procaci modelle sfoggiano fasciature mediche, tutori ed altri apparecchi terapeutici o protesici. Cosa affascina il pubblico maschile in queste fotografie?

A prima vista sembrerebbe controintuitivo: gli evoluzionisti ci hanno sempre insegnato (vedi ad esempio questo articolo) che, seppur inconsciamente, scegliamo i nostri partner per la loro prestanza e salute fisica – segnali di maggiori chance che la procreazione vada a buon fine.
Ma in questo particolare caso diversi fattori entrano in gioco.

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Innanzitutto, le bende. Le fasciature che costringono il corpo, nell’ambito feticistico, rimandano al bondage e alle sue corde, ma con tutta la portata simbolica del contesto clinico. E tutti conosciamo bene il potere di un camice bianco sulla fantasia erotica: il mondo della medicina, in virtù del suo focalizzarsi sul corpo, è entrato prepotentemente nel comune immaginario sessuale, dall’infantile “gioco del dottore”, all’icona pop dell’infermiera sexy, fino ai feticismi che trasformano alcuni strumenti medici in oggetti di desiderio (speculum, clisteri, ecc.).

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In secondo luogo, il concetto di kegadoru fa leva sull’istinto di protezione. In questo senso, è un tipo di roleplay simile a quello che esiste, in ambito BDSM, nel cosiddetto rapporto Daddy/Little, dove il maschio è figura paterna e premurosa (ma anche severa durante le necessarie “punizioni”) e la femmina diviene una bambina, viziosa e incorreggibile ma oltremodo bisognosa di cure e attenzioni. Qui invece, la ragazza occulta parte del suo viso e del suo corpo sotto le bende, e questa sua “imperfezione”, oltre ad esaltarne la bellezza (attraverso il classico effetto “vedo – non vedo”), domanda premura e tenerezza.

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Infine, i kegadoru hanno anche una chiara connotazione masochistica. La donna, in questo gioco, è molto più che indifesa – è addirittura ferita; non può quindi opporre alcuna resistenza. Eppure nel suo esibire le proprie fasciature in pose maliziose, come fossero un tipo particolare di intimo o una divisa fetish, sta evidentemente accettando e scegliendo il suo ruolo.

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Tutto questo contribuisce al complesso fascino degli injured idols, che ha ossessionato almeno due grandi artisti: Trevor Brown (di cui abbiamo parlato in questo articolo) e Romain Slocombe, fotografo, regista, pittore e scrittore parigino che ha fatto delle ragazze “ferite” le sue muse ispiratrici. Ecco alcune delle sue migliori foto.

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Intervista sul sesso estremo

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Come sapete, da settembre dello scorso anno Bizzarro Bazar ha l’onore di compilare ogni mese una rubrica fissa sulla splendida rivista Illustrati di Logos Edizioni.

Confessiamo che il tema del numero di febbraio, “l’arte della gioia e l’amore”, ci aveva posto qualche problema, visto che questo è un blog che si occupa principalmente del macabro e del meraviglioso. Alcune strane storie d’amore le abbiamo già affrontate (ad esempio qui), e non era il caso di ripetersi.

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Dunque, per celebrare San Valentino con il giusto gusto per il bizzarro, abbiamo pensato di intervistare Ayzad, una delle massime autorità italiane in campo di sesso estremo, BDSM e sessualità alternative, autore di BDSM – Guida per esploratori dell’erotismo estremo (2004-2009, Castelvecchi) e di XXX – Il dizionario del sesso insolito (2009 – Castelvecchi), entrambi testi consigliati dall’Associazione Italiana di Sessuologia e Psicologia Applicata e dall’Istituto di Evoluzione Sessuale.

L’intervista esclusiva affronta temi succulenti come la dipendenza da sesso, i rapporti di dominazione/sottomissione, passando per l’orgasmo dei ravanelli, i matrimoni gay e i danni provocati da Cinquanta sfumature di grigio. Il tutto condito con l’ironia e l’arguzia a cui Ayzad ha abituato i suoi lettori.

Illustrati è scaricabile in PDF e consultabile online sul sito ufficiale, e sarà disponibile gratuitamente nelle librerie dai primi di febbraio. Il sito ufficiale di Ayzad è invece un must per approfondire alcuni degli argomenti di cui abbiamo chiacchierato assieme.

Letto ad aspirazione

– Amanti sotto vuoto –

Parliamo oggi di un accessorio sessuale davvero particolare utilizzato nell’ambito del BDSM.

Il BDSM è un acronimo che comprende tutta una variegata e ampia gamma di pratiche sessuali: le quattro lettere rimandano infatti a Bondage e Disciplina, Dominazione e Sottomissione, Sadismo e Masochismo. L’elemento fondamentale è il rapporto fra il ruolo del dominatore e del sottomesso, rapporto che provoca piacere e soddisfazione ad entrambi; come poi questo rapporto si sviluppi, si consolidi o si trasformi nel tempo e in quali declinazioni si configuri sta soltanto alle personalità dei due soggetti.

Come è noto, il BDSM può esprimersi in giochi molto “leggeri”, ma può arrivare a pratiche estreme fino a vere e proprie torture. Sempre regolate, comunque, dall’utilizzo di safe words (parole concordate per indicare al partner che sta esagerando e per interrompere immediatamente il gioco), e dai principi fondamentali di sicurezza espressi dall’espressione inglese SSC – Safe, Sane, Consensual (Sicuro, Sano, Consensuale).

Una peculiarità del mondo BDSM è un’attenzione davvero marcata per l’estetica. L’utilizzo di abiti in latex (nero o colorato) esalta le curve del corpo, lo rende lucido e sinuoso, e l’associazione con il metallo brillante delle borchie, gli anelli, i collari e tutto l’armamentario sado-maso ha fatto entrare questo tipo di immaginario anche nel mondo della moda (fetish fashion) e della pubblicità.

Per gli amanti di questo tipo di pratiche, è un piacere indispensabile l’utilizzo di mezzi di contenimento del sottomesso, vale a dire degli accessori per immobilizzare il partner, prima di sottoporlo ai piccoli e grandi tormenti previsti dal copione della propria fantasia sessuale. Si può andare dalle classiche (e banali!) manette, alle complesse geometrie di corde ereditate dall’arte del bondage giapponese, alla pesantezza delle catene o al minimalismo del nastro adesivo in gomma.

Ma la forma di immobilizzazione più particolare e poco conosciuta è il cosiddetto vacuum bed, letteralmente “letto sotto vuoto”. Si tratta di una struttura (plastica o metallica) che tiene tesi due “fogli” di lattice abbastanza ampi da coprire interamente una persona. Il sottomesso si stende fra i due strati di lattice, e può respirare attraverso un tubo collegato con l’esterno. A questo punto, tramite un aspirapolvere o una macchina per il vuoto, l’aria contenuta fra i due lembi di latex viene aspirata, lasciando la vittima completamente bloccata nella gomma, incapace di reagire e istantaneamente immobilizzata.

Il vacuum bed ha alcuni svantaggi che hanno impedito un successo veramente ampio di questo attrezzo. Innanzitutto, è costoso (dai 600 € in su), ingombrante e molto delicato. Il lattice teso è continuamente a rischio di tagli e rotture, il rumore dell’aspirapolvere può essere una distrazione fastidiosa, le intelaiature in plastica sono talvolta troppo fragili e non reggono alla pressione. Inoltre vi sono alcuni pericoli per la salute di chi è “risucchiato” all’interno del letto: la respirazione è particolarmente difficile, il caldo e l’impossibilità di una normale sudorazione all’interno della gomma impediscono sessioni particolarmente lunghe, e la sensazione di claustrofobia può divenire più terrorizzante di quanto ci si aspettasse.

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Nonostante questi problemi, per molti appassionati il “letto” rimane uno dei metodi più perfezionati di immobilizzazione. Inoltre è innegabile che, fissato nel lattice nella posizione concordata, il corpo del partner divenga una sorta di opera d’arte, con tanto di cornice – e questo ancora una volta prova quanto l’estetica sia fondamentale per gli amanti del BDSM.

Il solletico

Cosa c’è di strano nel solletico? Lo proviamo fin da bambini, alle volte ci fa ridere, altre volte può darci francamente fastidio. Nulla di misterioso. E invece il solletico è uno degli aspetti più sorprendenti e meno compresi dell’esperienza umana.

Innanzitutto bisogna distinguere due tipi di solletico: la knismesi e la gargalesi. Dietro questi due termini esoterici si celano i due tipi di solletico che tutti noi conosciamo bene. La knismesi è quel tipo di solletico che avviene quando la pelle viene sfiorata appena; si avverte in qualsiasi parte del corpo, è un leggero senso di prurito e di attivazione nervosa, e può essere particolarmente eccitante dal punto di vista sessuale. La gargalesi, invece, è il solletico inflitto con una pressione maggiore, ed è localizzato solo in determinate aree del corpo – pianta dei piedi, ascelle, ventre, ecc. È quello, per intenderci, che ci fa ridere in modo incontrollato e ci fa contorcere nel tentativo di evitarlo.

Ora, la parte misteriosa è che non sappiamo a cosa serva, né come funzioni veramente il solletico. In parte sembra correlato alle vie nervose che si occupano del dolore, ma esistono alcuni casi di pazienti che pur non potendo avvertire dolore (a causa di danni alla spina dorsale) sentono benissimo il solletico. Attraverso quali vie si propaghi, quindi, e quale sia il suo effettivo valore evolutivo, è tutt’oggi materia di speculazione.

Ma le sorprese non finiscono qui. Anche in campo sessuale (e se seguite il nostro blog, ve lo potevate aspettare) il solletico è protagonista di un feticismo tutto suo. Il tickling, ovvero il provocare solletico al partner, spesso immobilizzato per impedirgli di sfuggire alla “tortura”, è una pratica piuttosto diffusa, tanto che in Giappone è considerata parte integrante ed essenziale dei preliminari.


Il tickling si pratica direttamente con le dita sul corpo del partner, legato con corde o cinture, oppure mediante l’uso di strumenti come piume, spazzole, forchette, penne a biro, spazzolini da denti, arnesi appuntiti, o altri oggetti adatti allo scopo. Viene considerato una forma lieve di tortura durante una seduta di bondage.

Quello che pochi sanno, però, è che il solletico nei secoli è stato usato effettivamente come una tortura vera e propria. In due momenti storici diversi fu legalizzato come una delle principali pene corporali. Nell’antica Cina veniva praticato mediante l’uso di aghi. Il famoso “supplizio cinese” consisteva nel punzecchiare la pianta del piede della vittima per ore ed ore. L’aguzzino era bravo nel provocare un misto di solletico e dolore, al quale la vittima stremata finiva per cedere. Questo tormento era riservato alle sole donne appartenenti alle “dinastie nobili”.

Nel Medioevo, in più stati europei venne istituita dall’Inquisizione la “tortura della capra”, riservata per lo più a donne accusate di stregoneria o di adulterio. Questo tormento consisteva nell’imprigionare alla gogna i piedi nudi della vittima, cospargerli “accuratamente” sotto le piante e tra le dita di un unto ricavato da una miscela di sale e lardo per poi lasciare libere due o più capre, tenute rigorosamente a digiuno da alcuni giorni, di leccarli voracemente nella parte sensibile. Anche qui i risultati erano scontati, la lingua ruvida lasciata agire per molto tempo seviziava atrocemente la vittima che quasi mai riusciva a resistere a tanto. Nei casi più gravi la capra veniva lasciata infierire fino a consumare lo strato della pelle, per far sì che dal solletico si passasse al dolore. Esistevano varianti coeve, che implicavano l’uso di cani e gatti e altri animali domestici, attratti dal miele cosparso sul corpo della vittima.

Il tickling ancora oggi viene praticato come forma di tortura in alcuni paesi. Anche se non palesemente dichiarato risulta presente nei metodi di tortura segnalati e portati a conoscenza da Amnesty International. Sono storicamente documentati due casi in cui il prolungato solletico ha portato alla morte le vittime, e almeno uno in cui la tortura ha causato la follia.

Un’ultima annotazione per i viaggiatori: nello stato della Virginia, negli USA, è illegale provocare solletico a una donna. Si rischiano denunce penali.

el periodo medievale, in più stati europei venne istituita dall’Inquisizione la “tortura della capra”, riservata per lo più a donne accusate di stregoneria o di adulterio. Questo tormento consisteva nell’imprigionare alla gogna i piedi nudi della vittima, cospargerli “accuratamente” sotto le piante e tra le dita di un unto ricavato da una miscela di sale e lardo per poi lasciare libere due o più capre, tenute rigorosamente a “digiuno” da alcuni giorni, di leccarli voracemente nella parte sensibile. Anche qui i risultati erano scontati, la lingua ruvida lasciata agire per molto tempo seviziava atrocemente la vittima che quasi mai riusciva a resistere a tanto, inoltre nei casi più gravi la capra veniva lasciata infierire fino a consumare lo strato della pelle, per far sì che dal solletico si passasse al dolore. Esistevano tuttavia, delle varianti coeve, meno conosciute ma più “redditizie” di questa tortura. La procedura consisteva nel denudare completamente la vittima e legarla in posizione di croce di Sant’Andrea su di una grande tavola in legno poggiata direttamente sul terreno. Qui gli “aguzzini” cospargevano i punti più sensibili (seni, ascelle, fianchi, genitali, addome, gambe, oltre ovviamente alle piante dei piedi) delle vittime con un nettare dolcissimo e del miele, poi liberavano e lasciavano che svariati “animali domestici” come pecore, capre, cani e gatti mordicchiassero e leccassero voracemente le parti evidenziate. I risultati si ottenevano dopo pochi minuti, le vittime sottoposte e straziate da un solletico “insopportabile”, perdevano totalmente l’autocontrollo e si arrendevano subito. Talvolta i torturatori eccedevano non ritirando gli animali che persistevano nella loro attività…. per punire maggiormente i malcapitati/e che, tendevano letteralmente ad “impazzire” esposti ad una tale sollecitazione.

The Torture Game

Un amico di Bizzarro Bazar ci suggeriva di inaugurare una rubrica dedicata alle diverse torture, e ai principali strumenti inventati dall’uomo a tale fine. In effetti la nostra biblioteca contiene svariati volumi sulla questione, e confessiamo che il pensiero ci aveva già sfiorato, all’epoca degli scandali del waterboarding utilizzato dalle truppe americane in missione e nei carceri militari; non escludiamo in futuro di affrontare il tema.

Per il momento, però, ci piace rispondere a questo suggerimento in maniera trasversale, un po’ trasgressiva, ma ludica e leggera. Proponiamo qui un gioco flash abbastanza famoso in rete, che vi permette di vestire i panni di un torturatore. Questa, che sembra una trovata di dubbio gusto, si rivela essere poco più che un innocuo antistress: in questo videogame, avrete a vostra disposizione un manichino che subirà tutte le peggiori sevizie che vorrete provare su di lui, utilizzando una serie di armi predefinite. Ma con un clic del mouse, eccolo ritornare integro e pronto per nuove sadiche combinazioni di morte.

Certo, un gioco simile rende l’idea della tortura un intrattenimento un po’ stupido e vacuo, virtuale e irreale, quando sappiamo tutti quali terribili realtà siano legate a questa pratica. Ma buttiamo lì un paio di domande, per puro spirito di provocazione: la nostra società ha davvero bisogno di censurare violenza e sesso? O forse, come auspicava Ballard, maggiori dosi di entrambi potrebbero portare a una aumentata consapevolezza e a una minore paranoia schizofrenica dettata dai tabù? Film e videogiochi violenti sono davvero pericolosi, o è pericolosa una mancata educazione che ci porti a distinguere il reale dalla finzione? Cosa hanno a che fare la catarsi, e la sublimazione degli istinti violenti, con tutto ciò? È giunto il tempo di accettare la nostra intima psicopatologia occidentale, e di creare una mitologia adatta ad essa?

Sono questioni delicate e complesse, che noi vi proponiamo con l’ausilio di un semplice ma controverso videogioco!

Nota: su YouTube si trovano tutorial che descrivono complicate varianti e procedure per raggiungere risultati davvero artistici con questo giochino. Buon divertimento!

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Trevor Brown

L’artista inglese Trevor Brown è celebre per le sue opere estreme e macabre, che spesso affrontano temi difficili e spinosi. Trasferitosi in Giappone all’inizio degli anni ’90, ha goduto di una fama sempre maggiore mano a mano che le sue pubblicazioni raggiungevano un’ampia diffusione, e che le sue immagini venivano utilizzate per adornare copertine di album di vario genere, e pubblicate sulle prime pagine di diverse riviste famose.

I dipinti di Brown sono ispirati dagli scritti di Sade e di Georges Bataille sull’erotismo, ma ciò che li rende davvero unici è la commistione di innocenza e violenza con la cultura pop giapponese. Trevor Brown esplora diversi territori ritenuti tabù: la pedofilia, la tortura, il medical fetish (di cui è pioniere riconosciuto), il BDSM e altre parafilie.

Protagoniste dei suoi disegni sono quasi esclusivamente bambine sottoposte a vari generi di stress, torture o costrizioni. Eppure, grazie appunto alla forza con la quale l’artista riesce a fondere la sua sensibilità con la cultura giapponese, queste immagini crude e forti emanano un’aria di innocenza e di infantilismo che contrasta con gli aspetti più macabri. I colori pop estremamente accesi, i grandi occhi in puro stile manga, la limpida pulizia dell’immagine rendono i suoi dipinti delle specie di teatrini astratti, pure icone di repulsione e desiderio.

Alcune delle sue immagini più celebri esplorano il cosiddetto medical fetish, vale a dire il feticismo ospedaliero per le bende, le siringhe, gli strumenti chirurgici e ginecologici. L’ispirazione principale (dichiarata) per questo tipo di feticismo restano i romanzi di uno dei maggiori scrittori inglesi del dopoguerra, James G. Ballard (Crash e La mostra delle atrocità sopra a tutti).


Trevor Brown è anche affascinato dalle bambole create da sua moglie: da un certo momento in poi comincia quindi a inserirle anche all’interno dei suoi lavori. La bambola è un altro stratagemma efficace per creare quel senso di disagio e spaesamento che l’artista ricerca: simbolo ludico e infantile per eccellenza, viene qui posto in situazioni invariabilmente adulte, crudeli o morbose.

Eppure, per quanto macabri ed estremi, i suoi dipinti hanno sempre qualcosa di indefinitamente positivo. Le ferite, gli ematomi, le garze oftalmiche divengono quasi un gioco sensuale, perdono il loro alone di semplice sofferenza: rappresentati come oggetto feticistico, sembrano divenire orpelli quasi desiderabili. Sembra cioè che le stesse bambole se ne rendano conto, e si compiacciano ingenuamente che la loro bellezza venga esaltata da questi strani ornamenti.

L’apparente semplicità dei disegni di Trevor Brown nasconde una cura maniacale per il dettaglio, e un senso della composizione non comune. Grazie all’ibridazione fra l’immaginario infantile e quello feticistico, Brown riesce a interrogarci sulla natura sadica del desiderio, mettendoci a disagio con pochi, precisi elementi.

Il sito ufficiale di Trevor Brown.