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Notes on Preciado, Chitty and stopping reproduction by the promotion of anal and dildo sex.

  • Mar 01 2021
  • Fette Sans
    is based in Berlin.
    She has a conceptual and interdisciplinary practice that includes the production of images, writing, performance, online gestures, filmmaking, discussions and installation. Concerned with social systems, representation and technology, she develops obsessive rituals, collaborations and speculative narratives to question these issues.
    Last year, Sans initiated the series of conversations in hotel rooms called Precarious Gossips. These aim at gathering voices coming from multiple backgrounds, that may be under-represented or generally more quiet, as to discuss important yet delicate topics.

What urge will save us now that sex won’t? Can be read carved on a white marble footstool. My body isn’t resting on this object—what I see is a 408x470 pixel image posted on Tumblr. This work by Jenny Holzer from 2005 isn’t really a question, is it?

In the banality of January in Berlin, it’s been raining without interruption for five days—my left hand / right hand, or better yet, cunt / third eye reading of An apartment on Uranus and of Sexual Hegemony interrupted only by grays cutting to black.

I bought the first book in the summer of 2019, upon getting off the train at Gare de l’Est. I received the latter in the autumn of last year in a shipped non-Amazon cardboard box, as one does during lockdown (while underpaid bodies continuously move Amazon and non-Amazon boxes, or the hypocritical conundrum of this whole ordeal).

In her introduction to Preciado’s book, Virginie Despentes talks about the braid of narrative, or how different threads: theoretical, geo-political, personal and poetic are woven together. A sort of sky-seeking Rapunzel—the braiding begins on earth with promises of your very own furnished flat on another planet. The way I remember these enormous billboards on the side of eastbound Twentynine Palms Highway; If you lived here you’d be home by now!

Certain reads definitely exist as a congregation, a collaboration of reads: a necklace of tabs left opened since so long it may as well have been worn by the last fuck you had, the scrolling of a google doc still auto-named after the first thing you wrote in it, folders filled with screen captures of late-night texting of a thought longing for someone else’s thoughts, or another video auto-playing when you open your laptop again. You hear McKenzie Wark asking you about the commodification of information. When you eventually find the window she is talking from, the first thing you recognize is a postcard taped on the wall behind her, a detail of Judith Beheading Holofernes—Artemisia Gentileschi’s wrath-of-goddess interpretation. And immediately you return to the hands orchestrating a similar dance albeit a less murderous one, in the work by Jesse Mockrin entitled Some unknown power, painted more than 400 years later and used for the cover of Chitty’s book.

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If the aetiologies for ADHD remain unknown, the boundaries between private and public spaces obviously dissolve at the scale of a virus. The centripetal anxiety of the world systems clamoring to hashtag StayHome, and in the great surveillance economy, you’d be lucky to even have a room from which to broadcast your sad sanitized desires.

Sex is great but have you ever tried free health care?

The market is fake, the game is rigged and triage is ableist. In this enforced stillness powered by the uninterrupted psychotropic access to information, it is important to acknowledge that some people can’t comply with International Health Regulations because of structural factors, such as inaccessibility to shelter and systemic racism, that render physical distancing a privilege. Sanctimoniousness drunk on the fumes of all the factories and churches that remain open while clubs, baths and art spaces continue to project disgust. This is where fluids come from! So we are told to wear condoms and masks as if the path to save the planet was only paved by recycled plastic bottles. The Purell Generation on weekly detoxes and pineal gland highs to nowhere.

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Like how an ex who doesn’t text back will still cruise your insta stories, or how a stranger you follow on Twitter will introduce a new crush. Everything real and commodified simultaneously hashtag TMI.

How does one read a book (or two) in times of passive resignation to a completely strange reality? A question more like the title of yet another self-help clickbait on “How To Anything During (...)”. My point is that it’s impossible to isolate the body outside of environmental factors and that the terrain onto which the assignment of legitimate “innate” traits over others have been claimed, is a political battlefield. Or to quote Sherman Alexie by way of Lazenby, Rich people who don’t read are assholes and poor people who don’t read are fucked.

Even with diseases spreading from toilet seats to phone screens, the weaponized hypocrisy still tries to categorize who is worth sympathy and who is to blame. If we learned anything from the 1918 pandemic, no, I mean if we’ve learned anything from ACT UP it is that our approach to health care has to be anti-capitalist, anything less is mass-murder. If only we could figure out what the fading ruling class is thinking! Imagine looking up at an entire wall of soft brick stock that has dissolved leaving only a skeleton made of the hard cement mortar. The absent bricks of the bodies of others.

The way we often sing along to that pernicious tune that says that we are all autonomous, individual bodies. Obviously, again, viruses destroy this narrative. Our bodies all connected, a community of bodies, sharing breath, blood and death. Yet in the condolences of this collective dissolving, certain bodies die more murderously than others, certain bodies die tethered to an institutionalized mortar that mixes lime with silicon carbide, after a life under relentless rainfall.

 

April 11, 2015
Necroeconomy, necrotruth, necroinformation, (...) Necroself, necroyou, necrowe…
Are we still alive? 1

Chitty tells us that a group of boys were imprisoned, then hanged in Amsterdam in 1689 for following the sons of wealthy merchants and signaling that they were interested in sex.
Although none of these men was charged with sodomy, their stories indicate that the persecution of sodomy was carried out for the sake of class interest rather than religious sentiment.2

Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide (TvT) - a TGEU project, reported that 350 transgender people were killed in 2020 throughout the world.
Their stories indicate that (...)3

Despite our best attempts, history continues to happen and territories continue their pilgrimage to privatization. Meanwhile, The Ideal Normative Body - fed a cornucopia of invisible food, remains sane, strolling, seemingly unaffected through times and borders. Health is always so virtuous in the face of immoral infection.

Kassel, May 28, 2016
(...) it is the entire political space that must begin to transition.4

So how does one read a book (or two) in times of (...)?
Kill your idols / Marry the canon / Fuck the police!
But I think about how reading a book in public has always lowered a veil of subversion over me. There’s a sense of trespassing, of coating the public sphere with a very private colour. More so than pressing play on a jerk-off video sent to my phone while I exit the Ringbahn. It’s the candor of a cover making eye contact with the world. I’m in the book, but the book is looking out with abandon, the unperturbed blaze.

If An apartment on Uranus was a delicious companion on the different trains I took that summer of 2019, Sexual Hegemony requested a more sedentary method, so it joined me on the benches of the parks where I walked until it got too cold to sit outside. Then I read it over Christmas at my parent's home, my own return to (further than) Reims.

In the collection of essays Petite Mort, Recollections of a Queer Public, Ann Pellegrini and Janet R. Jakobsen exhibit the very public nature of marriage as an alibi, as providing the cover of privacy and enabling a host of sins—that sexual transgressions within marriage are supposed to be and remain private.

Singing along with Joel Gibb to ban marriage is a similar mood than letting John Waters give you dating advice, a meme as soon as it is uttered. And despite best attempts, fucking a nazi isn’t as revolutionary as beating one up.

The double bind of what happens behind whose closed doors.

Sexual norms imposing a moral order upon public spaces and domestic arrangements and setting up sanitary geographies in which some bodies matter and others don’t.5

Or how marriage has been working its way through territories to affirm the social dominance of one class over all others, and one race over the rest, spawning the generational hand-off of every key to every home that still has actual privacy.

For Chitty, queer functions as a signifier for “lack of normative status property”, which echoes the title of Preciado’s essay written in Athens on October 8, 2016, My trans body is an empty home, empty as in lacking the easy-to-clean signifiers of Ikea’s normative domesticity.

Already in 1997 Sue Schaffner and Carrie Moyer of Dyke Action Machine! were printing posters I wish I could have taped to my bedroom’s wall then, asking if it (is) really worth being Boring for a Blender?

No ❤️

You are your safest sex partner. Masturbation will not spread (...), especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex

Rule 34 giving us Tired_Proletariat_Mass_Jerking-Off_Behind_Rented_Doors_That_Do_not_Latch.mpeg

In the essay Your Sex Is Not Radical, Yasmin Nair gives the most poignant words: “The revolution will not come on the tidal wave of your next multiple orgasm had with your seven partners on the floor of your communal living space. It will only happen if you have an actual plan for destroying systems of oppression and exploitation.”

Barcelona, August 30, 2014
By taking a chance on another performative utterance, who will we become?6

Left hand reading that “proletariat” drew upon an analogy with the status of the propertyless citizen of ancient Rome. The proleterii referred to free men who lacked sufficient property for full enfranchisement in the political community / right hand reading that “feminism” was initially a medical term originating from the 1871 thesis by French doctor Faneau de La Cour on psychopathological ideas associated with tuberculosis. He applied the term “feminists'' to men who had lost their virility due to the illness.

If only we could figure out what the fading ruling class is thinking.

Whereas it is Artemisia Gentileschi painting herself as a lute player, Querelle shifting his red beret at an angle and claiming possession of the gesture, Catherine Opie having her back carved with a scalpel, boychild ass-naked on stage, Mademoiselle Raucourt taking stage at the Palais-Royal against the demand of straight women for increased police force, Jeanne Dilman staring in the distance of her bedroom mirror, Leilah Weinraud spending a decade filming inside LA Black lesbian strip clubs for 400 hours of footage, Jamie Loftus eating her way through Infinite Jest, Carrie Mae Weems photographing herself at a kitchen table talking with two friends, or smoking, or having her hair brushed, or Gaëtan Schmitt battling French courts for the right to be recognized by the state as Intersex, I am seduced into believing Andrea Long Chu that everyone is female and that everyone does indeed hate it.

PROMOTE ANAL AND DILDO SEX STOP REPRODUCTION

And with Preciado’s identity as docent—a braid of dildos, texts, and moving images, done “to avenge your death,” we can persist in creating new sites of class warfare.

The body leaking, loud, beautiful and disgusting, taking more space outside, IRL and in VR, against the aesthetics of abandonment, against eurocentric constructs of time, or against the pseudo-community guidelines. The body bare from the weights of pronouncements, healing by wearing every uniform like face filters, cruising the boundaries of states and glory-hole fucking walled territories, destroying anti-homeless architecture, abolishing the family, reifying desire and protecting all that breathes. An alternative genealogy is possible and as activists Michael Callen and Richard Berkowitz had proposed in 1983: “Maybe affection is our best protection”.

This text wouldn’t exist without a necklace of thoughts from Legacy Russel, Judith Butler, Sophie Lewis, Andrea Long Chu, Hélène Cixous, Hannah Black, McKenzie Wark, Zoe Leonard, Max Fox, Luce Irigaray, Yasmin Nair, Tobi Haslett, Jean Genet, Hervé Guibert and Cheryl Harris.

Read, read, otherwise we are lost.
(And let’s exchange books & links)

 

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This contribution is part of Issue 15: DECOLOMANIA, on art history, the history of politics, and the history of theory: all of them colonized and colonizing, much like our very selves.