GAG MY BLOOD FUCK MY PISS
A PERFORMANCE BY BODY BENDER AND BJØRK GRUE LIDIN
The world – the church, the state, the corporation, the father and the mother – expect us to differentiate between ‘foreground’ (subject, primary, surface) and ‘background’ (object, secondary, interior). ‘Female’ pleasure becomes background territory, deemed invisible and enigmatic by both the constraining Freudian framework that binds ‘female’ pleasure to ‘male’ pleasure and by Judeo-religious landscapes that originate ‘woman’ from within and in reflection of ‘man’. In return ‘male’ pleasure is always deemed fully visible – positioned in the foreground. As mainstream porn is driven by capital it seeks to generate easily consumable and thus profitable images. It therefore makes ‘female’ pleasure imaginable only within certain confines that keep gender and sexual binaries intact, and consequently maintains the image of ‘female’ pleasure as invisible.
With its objectified bodies unveiling abject interiorities, porn is positioned in the background, hidden away from the surface of society. By challenging this stigma, by embracing porn’s production of pleasure – a production that narrates porn as dangerous contagion for society and sometimes feminism – the performer is able to destruct and deconstruct the hierarchies within porn itself. Despite society’s general rejection of porn it continues to absorb the porn industry, nurturing and rewarding the production of mainstream pornographic images whilst ignoring the existence of an alternative production of porn that challenges fossilized ideas of pleasure.
GAG MY BLOOD FUCK MY PISS castrates, masticates and defecates mainstream porn, that is, the inscription of the cum shot, the male ejaculation, the climax and masculine presence.
GAG MY BLOOD FUCK MY PISS explores a jagged performance of femininity and within this performance seeks potentialities for both transformation of the subject ‘females’ semiotic pleasures and the reaching of a somatic state where dogmatic semiotic traces are abandoned. This can only be achieved through the performer’s collision with ‘vulnerability’ – in this case the subject position as ‘undressed woman´ – and treating it as an unnatural terrain made up of relations and semiotic systems. It allows the performer to access constructions and limitations of identity and pleasure, which can be manipulated, mutated, pushed, copied or rejected.
The performance simultaneously seeks to question the liberal politics of ‘recognition’ and seeks alternatives to approaches that uphold hierarchical systems. Instead of striving for the recognition of subject ‘female’ pleasure – placing it in the centre, on the surface, in the foreground – the performer of GAG MY BLOOD FUCK MY PISS seeks to remain at an abject opaque point where pleasure touches its every intensity, resisting rigid concepts of ‘female’ experience and the consumption by the audience of such. Resisting movements to the foreground, i.e. the mainstream, does not necessarily indicate stillness or prudence. On the contrary, resisting in the background, in the periphery, means denying ‘female’ signifiers and maintaining feminine complexity, a complexity, which is lost when ‘femininity’ is mapped out in the aim of recognition and for the affirmation and pleasure of the male gaze.
GAG MY BLOOD FUCK MY PISS discards ideas of recognition and hypervisibility as these positions inevitably turn the body newly rendered visible into an exploiting subject. By “climbing the ladder”, achieving “success”, floating over the scene, using, exploiting and consuming the subject frustratingly yet inevitably remains a canvas; used and exploited.
The radical potential lies in remaining in the periphery, in challenging and seeking to dismantle the sickening, assimilating mainstream. As activists, performers, sex workers we must actively fight the foreground’s consumption of the background, and consequently produce alternative modes of knowing, knowing pleasure.
Photographer: Wanda Vrasti