April 4, 2012

Bill Tong - Carnal knowledge & more

Bill Tong, like Laurent Benaïm, questions the problem of the frontier between pornography and art. The fact that his images aim to stimulate sexual excitation in the viewer may seem not consistent with art and stimulation of mind, intelligence, thoughts, concepts. But I'm sure this will one day be considered as an archaïc limitation of our times (and more ancient ones). This is why I think Bill Tong (another French, like Gilles Berquet, Antoine d'Agata, Jean-Christian Bourcart, Philippe Justforgues, Pierre Radisic, all questioning the sexual act as subject of art in photography, maybe a French question) is doing a very interesting work although I'm sure most of his motivation is to produce an exciting iconography for his (and our) fantasms. He succeeds in it (I'm sure some of you, males or females, are excited by these visions of real sexual activity captured by the camera) but in reworking the cliches (surely rather poor visually without transformation), he adds a dimension of aesthetism which heighten what would have stayed some anecdotical sex souvenirs. Some of his shots look like Seurat's pointillist drawings. His blog here.

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