Below Passion Le Noir
is Love Letters
, wherein the presence of the floating face above seems to be the instigator for the frenzied writing and rewriting that creates a thickly layered, dark artwork in which the construction of sexuality is rendered as a constant negotiation. This modeling and remodeling of sexuality is echoed in Eric Rantisi's Pillowtalk with Hangover
and Miss Hollywood
. Notions around the construction of a sexually desirable body through augmentation is rendered in the cut-up drawings of legs and the face of the Venus which rise and sink in a mire of candy pink and red splatters to reveal the painful route traveled as aesthetically pleasing.
On the opposite wall, a more subtle rendering of sexuality is captured in Lien Botha's Not the Missionary. In her photographs of sewing equipment and clasps used in the manufacture of underwear she confronts the viewer with a variety of sexual positions. Although rendered harmless by the materials used, the slips of paper in perspex seem to create a filing system in which the images, and thus sexual acts, are horizontally categorised at eye-level along the gallery's wall - a system that, in the broader context of this show, seems to only have two categories: acceptable or deviant.
Brenton Maart's photograph series taken in a club, entitled Factory Bareback Narratives; Strijdom in a Natural Context depicts images of bondage as Strijdom's hands seemingly pulling or yanking a chain are completed in the portrait images of Strijdom in orgasm. The club becomes a liminal space in which desires can be exercised without fear of judgment, commenting on the lack of empathy towards certain forms of sexuality, which are similarly captured in Josephyís photographs. Sadly, it is here that that the cohesion laid out eloquently in the above works drifts into disorientation.
Liza Grobler's Narcissist and Stone Blind Love add little to the exhibition's discourse. Although Leon Vermeulen's Absence comments powerfully on the longing and absence that mark moments of desire, depicted in films by the German director Werner Fassbinder, the artworks merely distract from an otherwise effective critique of the labeling of perceived deviancy and the construction of sexuality.
Nicholas Hales' My Racing, Beating Heart and Questions of Weight and Volume beautifully captures the passing of time in a video of a landscape rushing by to the sound of a racing motorcycle, which is projected onto a melting piece of ice in a bowl of its watery remains. Unfortunately, its subject matter breaks with the exhibition's dialogue.
And finally, through photographs of iconic signifiers of female sexuality captured in pornographic centerfolds and placed in places of menial work, Adrian Kraft highlights the inhabitant's misogynistic leanings and the absurdity of our acceptance of such renderings. These artworks place a question mark, much like the scrawls captured in Josephy's defaced magazine covers, over society's categorisation of so-called normal and deviant sexuality and is an apt ending to the discussion begun by Josephy's works.