POV9 - The Fetish Issue
With: Vex Ashley, Gaff-E & My Bad Sister, Es Morgan, Ziúr, Romy Siegrist, Sandy Bee, Karla Hiraldo Voleau, Dennis Vetter, Sacred Sadism, Mother*Fuckers, Lucien, Lina Bembe, Parker Marx, Hello Rooster & Dwam De Vesperal, Émilie Notéris, Theboundcollective, Rose Bucket, Evalyn Eadit & Xénia Laffely, Jeanne Guien, Jean-Vincent Simonet, Charlotte Krieger and Basile Mookherjee
Price: 20 CHF
The notion of fetish has come a long way. Anthropology, Marxism, psychoanalysis, feminism. . . . Giorgio Agamben summarizes the history of fetishism with the following: “The map of the journeys of fetishism draws the system of rules that codify a repression of a specific kind for which the theorists on liberation have not yet cared: the repression on objects, by setting the norms of their use.” Framed simply, what is of interest to me regarding fetishes is that they allow us to question the production and circulation of the norms, as well as their transgressions.
What about sexuality? Sexual fetishes are still understood as exceptions, as distortions to the sexual rule. I was wondering if it would not be easier to ask if it is possible to define what sexual normality is. If we follow Haverlock Ellis’ conception of fetishes as pertaining to three categories such as those related to the body, to inanimate objects or to acts and attitudes, one can start to wonder: wouldn’t fetishism be more common and richer than we may think? In our relation to images, sounds (think of ASMR), our fluids (cyprine, sperm, urine . . .), language and sensations (pain)? Fetishism thus crystallizes in a variety of ways. The definition of the verb fetishizing describes it as the attribution of existence and a quasi-magical power to someone or something rather banal. But in this attribution of power, the relation to fetishism is paradoxical. The origin of its power does not lie in whatever turns us on, rather in the relation we maintain with it and in the power we decide to give it. Fetishes emerge in the fetishist’s relation to the world. But at the same time — and this is where fetishism can surprise us — it is through its sacred nature and its power that it transforms the creator into a creature: into a fetishist. Hence, it is not the foot or the shoe that creates a fetish, rather the fetishist who enacts them through their own perception. Also, one had to wait for the balloon to be invented to become a looner, or the invention of camming for certain kinds of financial domination. Thus, fetishism is contextual. It emerges within the history of individuals, groups, and societies in which it is inscribed and through technological developments. Our fetishes have a really social and cultural dimension.
In this issue, they will be unveiled sometimes as domination mechanisms, which reify individuals without their consent, w the tools of hegemonic power. But they will also reveal themselves — to our pleasure — as individual or collective responses to a problematic relation to the world, as emancipatory mechanisms or as creators of meaning, alternatives, and enjoyment — as empowerment.
How do contemporary actors (sex workers, writers, photographers, artists, communities, partners, lovers or long-time friends) seize and stretch the boundaries of what we see as fetishism? I invite you to discover how their points of view allow us to question the power relations, the gender norms, the relation to self and to otherness.
This issue was made possible thanks to the generous support support of: Adeline Mollard, Al Gusto, Alex, Alinebo, Amandine H, Amélie, Ana-Belen, Anonymous, Anonymous, Anonymous, Anonymous, Anonymous, Anonymous, Aronsmth, AS, AustejA, Bastien Bento, Boronali, Brigitte, Celine, Cerise Rouge, Charles, Charlotte Krieger, Charlotte Roche-Meredith, Chez Jean-Luc, ChillLllLLLLL, Cynthia Ammann, Cédric R., David Berguglia, David Bichsel, David R, Davide Fornari, Delaroche, Delphine Jeanneret, Dimitri, Duvanel Philippe, Eskwander, Estelle, F.t, Fanny Schaffter, Federico Paviani, Francesco Ceccherini, Frédéric, Fz, GlennMaxted, GMSSX, Gmtribune, Hi e, Hoyois Fabien, Hugo Hoppmann, Jenneng, Jesus Gonzalez, Johanne Morrison, Jonas Jacob, Jr, Jsantschy, JuanM, juliA Bünter, Juliette P., Kevin PradervaNd, Kira, Laura M., Laurent, Lionel Bastian, LiudmilaBredikhina, Loki, LondonJamesZurich, louisa Becquelin, Louise Ostertag, Luc Meier, Lucie Gui, Luthf, Léa, Margaux Corda, Mari, Meretebarass, Milo Keller, Mireille Berton, Monokini Graphistes Libres, Muzzo, Natalia F., Nicolas dubosson, Noémie, Olivia Schenker, Pussy Grime, Rolando Bassetti, Roman Moriceau, RS, Régis Tosetti, Sam*, samuel Antoine, Samuel Chalard, Samuel Eggs & Eric Phillippoz, Sandor Marazza, Sim Ouch, Skjelset, Sophie, Stanislas, Stefania, Sterling, Sébastien Leseigneur, Thomas Ruegger, Valerianne P, Valérie Reding, Victor, Vincent, Vincent p, Vtrac, Xénia Laffely, Yasssss, Yuri Tironi, Yves-Alexandre Jaquier
With: Adi et Esmeralda d'Arad, Simon Arthaud Monseu, Jaz Ayling, Bamboo Banga, Emile Barret, Karim Bassegoda, Tatiana Baumgartner, Bishop Black, Rose Bucket, Jerry Cane, Mathias Clivas, J-X de Combeloup, Marquiset Jean-Joachim de Combeloup, Mademoiselle Anne de Couminges-Maupeou, Regina Demina, Valentin Dommanget, Raphaël Faure, Emy Fem, H.R. Giger, Hannes Heiner (Monsterkabinnett), Céline Heini, Florence Jung, Mad Kate, Sebastien Zombie Kunert, Jeanne Lenfant, Lucy, Raj Lyubov, Romain Mader, Mamablis, Alain Margot, Pierre Molinier, (Musicfor)Eggplant, Victor Noir, Isis Odi, Pan & Goat, Laurent Ponce, Valerie Reding & her BearAssistant, Denis Roueche, Samovar, Guillaume de Sardes, Fabrice Schneider, Tristan Savoy, Laure Vial
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“A brief defense of the dark side”
This issue of POV paper is particular, it is dark and disturbing. It pokes into the areas that hurt, and puts us in uncomfortable positions. It shows us the aspects of ourselves that we don’t particularly like, a dark side that lurks in each and everyone of us. How can one justify such a morbid drive, an inspiration that reaks of a death instinct, when we are living already in such a violent, unjust and destructive world?
When we started La Fête du Slip, we used the term “sex positive” to describe our approach. But that didn’t mean we were naive in our perspective on gender and sexuality. We were, and still are, convinced that celebration should go hand in hand with resistance. To resist means to look at ugly things straight on, and to confront them.
Sometimes, often when it comes to identity and sexuality, resisting can take on very intimate and internal forms. Laypersons tend to consider BDSM practices as twisted, dark and perverse. But the queer community has embraced them with enthusiasm. As they should. BDSM can be a way to neutralize certain aspects of male domination and rape culture. It can also be a way of exorcising traumas or hurts that are difficult to express in other moments or spaces. It is precisely because BDSM can give us access to dark places in our lives that it has such a powerful and liberating potential.
I come from a fundamentalist religious background, and I know all too well how much damage self-righteous people can inflict — the road to hell is paved with good intentions — people who are convinced that they are right and that they have everyone’s best interests at heart. I have recognized the same fundamentalism in certain feminist or leftist circles, and I have become wary of people who think they own the truth and feel morally superior to others. So many atrocities have been comitted in the name of progress and science. “Thinking you are right”, believing you are “righteous” are no safeguards.
Now that doesn’t mean we should give in to complacency and justify mediocrity through a lazy and dishonest acceptance of our imperfections. But in an increasingly polarized world, where the discrepancy between different perspectives is increasingly unbearable, to dare accept and explore the dark side in us, all those inconsistencies, those flaws we feel ashamed of is also what makes us human. As Leonard Cohen used to sing: “ There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”; Today I truly believe that our cracks and flaws are our last bulwark against fascism.
POV7 - The Consent Issue
With: Gala Vanting, Daniel Hellmann, Charlotte Krieger, Gustavo Dao, Bjørk Grue Lidin, Viviane Morey, Florian Vörös, Alex Weiss & Root Sobiesky, Pincopallino Calzelunghe, Mathias Clivaz, Kathryn Bilverstone, Flor
Price: 5 CHF
The issue you are holding in your hands, the 7th, now has a soul (yours) that comes with its shells, its fluxes and its membranes. All of its compatible games.
This soul circulates within POV, goes from the words to the images, from the paper to the world out there, right here next to us. It talks about itself with others and as POV passes from hand to hand, this soul is touched by all those hands: here a hand that says stop or that clenches a fist, there a hand that is held open. What YESs are being said, what NOs, what MAYBEs? It tries to understand this, to feel it.
There are also NOs that do not come from this exchange, that are not intentional. Instagram for instance recently censured our images and shut down our account. Other NOs stem from omerta, from dominations that keep speech from circulating or threaten it. Some of the people that wrote for this issue prefer to remain anonymous, or to not write about the things that they have experienced, because doing so would put them at risk.
The Consent Issue. Maybe. But then it needs to be passed from hand to hand, to be told, to be acted, to be questioned. What does it mean to be feminist, anti-racist, anti-speciesist? “Being” is meaningless if nothing can be done.
The value of a maybe: what we may be. To never know before hand. Behind the door, maybe, maybe not. This is what it means to risk living with the cats.
The VR issue
« POV VR XXX », « A ROOM WITH 4 VIEWS », & « VR DIVE INTO THE SELF »: a three-part project by Maria Guta
Illustration by Gustavo Dao
Texts by Louisa K., Nina Lau, and more.
And a review of Émilie Jouvet by Dennis Vetter
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What is it like to fuck when you’re immortal? — And — if you could choose with which body, where, with whom… What would you choose? Yes, just like that, out of the blue.
On one side, the transhumanists and the fantasy of eternal life. On the other, Virtual Reality and the fantasy of a sensory environment to be customised at will. But careful: no-one here on the editorial team of POV would ever use the word “fantasy” in a derogatory manner. We are too fond of taking our mirrors for a wander there, as well as our hands!
Incidentally: do we have to touch to see, to acquire a sense of space, identify volumes and textures with visual perceptions? — And — let’s imagine that technology allowed us to do away with death: would we still feel desire?
We deal in dreams, death and the senses. Our hobby horse, our totem and taboo, our Eve playing with her new tamagotchi in Steve Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights. You who are shuffling off this mortal coil, who are dreaming themselves immortal, here and now: we are into you.
Why? Because the expression “taking your time” can finally make sense! And because through imagination a thousand other aspects of our lives are transformed; aspects which we can heal, nourish, stimulate, by dressing up, by creating images. We stopped believing in Beauty and Goodness donkey’s years ago; we do not wish to direct the actions of fantasies from above, but rather exist on the same plane as theirs, vigilant and creative…
That is how “POV VR XXX” was born, a project by POV in collaboration with Maria Guta: by using virtual reality to slip into someone else’s skin, and calling into question our image of ourselves. Nina Lau’s piece on memes also fiddles with our relationship to identity and repetition; whereas Professor Postfreud invites us to travel between worlds, be they real or virtual, to find new types of bearings and dosage. An exploration of the filmic universe of Émilie Jouvet, a plunge into the passion of a porn collector: from one planet to another, searching for what kills us and makes us immortal.
With: Sadie Lune, Michel P., Marianne Chargois, Matthieu Hocquemiller, Andrey Zouari, Stephen des Aulnois, Sasha Osipovich, Gustavo Dao, Lucie Blush, Krystal Asky, Asia Hump, Mathias Clivaz
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To approach the intimate, Swedish writer Sixten Strömblad suggests that we see therein a production of self-awareness. During a lecture in Uppsala in June 2002, she invited the audience to ask themselves: what is more intimate for you: your face, or your genitals? Most replied their genitals; evidently, since it was hidden under their clothes, it must be more intimate. That which is intimate therefore goes hand in hand with that which is hidden. But the speaker then turned the tables on the audience: imagine that, anonymously, you put on the internet a close-up photo of your genitals only, and one of your face only; which one seems to you more intimate? Nearly all replied that the photo of their face was the one that showed the most, and was therefore the most intimate. Thus the opposite conclusion was reached, namely that the intimate goes hand in hand with that which is shown. Strömblad put forward this summary: the intimate is the awareness of what is hidden and what is shown, the dynamic proportion of these movements, which, a priori antagonistic, actually serve the same purpose, that of a positioning within the otherness that we are to ourselves since we can manifest such awareness only in relation to the awareness another one manifests of themself.
Between the burqa and face fucking, between self-modesty and the shame of showing your ass, in truth there are no commonalities. Each intimacy is an operation that performs in itself; and any comparison is therefore inadequate. Tastes are one thing, but it is quite another to estimate the value which the-self-awareness of others holds for us. We love people of cultures and tastes that are very different from ours; differences that do not affect our intimacy with them, as we are struck by the awareness they manifest and whose operation excites ours to know itself.
The texts, drawings, photographs of this POV issue, do not have in common that they speak of that which is intimate, nor even that they are "intimate". Any reader would recoil at being addressed directly by the author of a text - but don’t all voyeurs take the risk of being caught?
With: Louisa K., Viviane Morey, Sasha Osipovich, Linda Williams, Sadie Lune, C Flat, Cédric Raccio, Stéphanie Pahud, Jan Soldat, Rebecca Boguska, Maxim Maillet, Jacques Tantale, Eskar Loop, Michel P., Sarah Jane Moloney
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Here’s the narrative we’ve always took for granted about the history of sexuality: Guilt, shame and taboos are psychological tools used by the powerful to control sexuality, and therefore control people. So naturally we’ve built our resistance largely on the rejection of guilt, shame, and taboo. It’s no wonder marches to defend LGBT rights are called Pride marches. The whole concept of “the closet” is intimately tied into the idea that shame is the enemy.
So here we are, out and proud. And yet, it turns out guilt, shame, and taboos are still around and there’re playing roles in our lives that we didn’t expect. What if shame wasn’t the enemy after all? What if taboos were actually a necessary aspect of desire? Here we continue to question the borders — between pornography and cinema, academy and activism, centers and their margins — and we try to make a good use of the lesson of the Trojan horse : hiding in plain sight.
In this issue, Viviane Morey invites you to own your shames, Jacques Tantale gives you hints to understand them, Linda Williams encourages us to experiment more, Stéphanie Pahud tests the resistances of the feminist body in the public sphere, Jan Soldat shows us the shameless, Eskar Loop peels back your eyes, and finally the great Sadie Lune plays with her shame with photographer Cédric Raccio. I hope you like it, otherwise, shame on us!
With: Viviane Morey & Elorri Harriet, Jean-Vincent Simonet, Louis-Philippe Scoufaras, Nayansaku Mufwankolo & Tristan Savoy, Sinnes Dan, Sasha Osipovich, Michel P., Bjork Grue Lidin
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POV paper is a paper. It’s not on the web. It has avatars of course, but POV exists only in paper form, and all of its content is exclusively printed on its pages before it exists anywhere else. There’s something sensual and singular about reading POV, feeling the thin, rough paper between your fingers, and the smell of the ink that lingers. This issue of POV invites you deeper into the realm of touching, sensing, feeling, and fetishizing.
The wonderful thing about sensation is how it inextricably intertwines knowledge with time and experience. It is a journey with no arrival, just a beginning and process. There are no experts, save of the self, and there can be no disdain or dogmatic judgement. It’s this hands-on approach that gives the ethnographer humility and respect for fellow humans. It’s a manifesto against objectivity, calling it out for the phallacy it is: an act of domination. POV gives voice and credence to the subjective, the experimental and the personal.
Like the hypnotizing back and forth of penetration swinging inside and out, come with us and cross the boundary again and again, and explore every detail of that experience. The boundary between the public and the private, the familiar and the unknown. Experience the limits of control, and letting go, of pride and of shame. It’s not about duality, but it is about fluidity. Bodily fluids, sifting through the porous barrier of skin and leather, pouring out uncontrollably, or naturally, breaking the law, or revealing the divine. Through the cold water of the bong, the warm endorphins of blood shed, or the rush of ejaculatory orgasm, altered states of mind offer numbness and then clarity. And so will POV number three, hopefully.
With: Kay Garnellen, Gala Vanting, Sean Dunne, Louisa K, David Bloom, Ivan Ligne-Noire, Sarah de Vicomte, Claude-Hubert Tatot, Russell Sheaffer, Nicolaj Lange, Cie à Contre Poil du Sens, Mathias Clivaz, Fabienne Morales, Michel Pennec, Philippine Chaumont, Agathe Zaerpour, Samuel Nyholm
Price: 5 CHF
Reading POV is to give yourself the opportunity to question your relationship to sexualities and gender. If a being with XY chromosomes starts to wear clothes or accessories that are associated with XX, does that person become an XX individual? Or only once surgery has been involved ? Or maybe when it becomes official you are a Linda rather than a John ? What if your first name is Terry or Jesse? How are the feminine or the masculine constructed? How do we become men or women? How is gender imposed on us?
Reading POV is to ask yourself how to deal with grammar. In French, for example, flower is feminine but so is war. Peace is feminine but so is idiocy. Power is masculine but intelligence is feminine. Love is masculine in the singular and feminine in the plural. There is no German Mensch in the English or the French language. So are theses languages necessarily gender-marked?
Reading POV is also indulging in a moment to think about the intricate workings of desire, how does desire come about? How about the absence of desire? What is intimacy? What is our relationship to the intimate? Are these images, these stagings unsettling to me? Am I indifferent to them? Am I aroused by them? Is it hard for me to come to terms with what I am aroused by? Is there any difference between my sexual whims – that are like my craving a cream puff – and real sexual desire?
Through an array of texts, illustrations and photographs, POV 2 is an invitation to connect with ourselves and with others, regardless of their chromosomes.
With: Nadja Kilchhofer & Romain Mader, María Bala, Viviane Morey, Yiss H. Heimer, Louisa Gagliardi, Marianne Chargois, Matthias Strogoff, Jochen Werner, Sasha Osipovich, Michel P.
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As its name suggests POV paper is about perspective, about who watches who, and how. About the effects of that gaze, about the power issues involved in who (and what) is visible and who (and what) is, on the other hand, made invisible. It also poses questions such as to what extent can we decide what is arousing to us or not? What happens when you disagree with what turns you on? Are we responsible for our fantasies? Are we respon- sible for the fantasies we create and put out into the world?
Discover Marianne Chargois’s whiplash analysis of the intermingling of sex, power, economic forces and technology in Sexe et Panoptique, le travail du sexe par webcam, María Bala (director of amazing girl-POV The Silent Guy)’s take on porn in Pornografía del Futuro, while Matthias Strogoff takes you on a strange and nostalgic journey inside the idiosyncratic meanders of sexual fantasies. Feel the tension in the obsession and worship a lover’s body with Yiss H. Heimer’s poetry, enjoy Louisa Gagliardi’s psychedelic peep-show, re ect on the limits of so-called univer- sality with Why Gender is still.
This issue offers an array of different voices, various approaches to thinking about how the interweaving of sex and perspective can create or inhibit agency. a Girl’s Thing, discover Michel’s book selection, Romain Mader and Nadia Kilchhofer’s crisscross photos and hear about Sasha Osipovich’s selection of sex-positive events near you. “smart” and “beautiful” might mean, we at POV paper hope that this our rst attempt in creating something smart and sexy will have you coming back for more.