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?