Almost 18+ (for your pleasure)
A special performance at Art Rotterdam 2011
Handicraft on easy virtue
At this years Art Rotterdam TORCH gallery will offer a stage for a special performance and presentation of the project Almost 18+ (for your pleasure) by TINKEBELL. These works display a wryly ironic commentary on the contrast between the worlds of pornography and public debate. Seated in a chair designed by renowned designer Marcel Wanders she will devote her time at the fair embroidering lovely flowers, butterflies and birds on images of humiliated teenage girls.
These works concern teenagers (usually barely 18 years old) that dress and behave like younger girls in favor of the sex industry. The continually growing desire for these fetishistic images has resulted in a huge network of website about teenage sex, innocent schoolgirls and other pornographic fantasies of power. Where the offline debate about the age of consent and pedophilia is overwrought with moral high trotting, online these objections are very scarce. TINKEBELL. removes these images from their non-judgmental environment and places them in a new context that is as confronting as it is absurd. These perverse images gain almost homely connotations by combining them with old fashioned handicraft. By performing this act of embroidery live at the fair she will be in direct contact with the public, furthering the effect of this change of context.
Pornography in the arts is not a new phenomena. What distinguishes these works from their predecessors is the sensation they deliver without showing an explicit sexual act. Almost 18+ (for your pleasure)doesn't show penetration but only barely dressed women that are spanked to tears. These scenes of weeping women in miserable surroundings are covered with pleasantly painted decorations and fine embroided flowers. It is almost like TINKEBELL. is trying to comfort these women in their fate. But at the same time she show the sharp contrast between a traditional female pastime and the life of an online sex worker.
What makes this project touching is not only this contrast between misery and colorful naivety, but also the discomfort that occurs when presenting this type of imagery offline. TINKEBELL. achieved a comparable effect by publishing the hate mail directed at her in the book Dearest TINKEBELL.(in collaboration with Coralie Vogelaar). When these anonymous excesses of human behavior were made tangible it became clear just how spiteful and detached from daily live they seem to be.
The project Almost 18+ (for your pleasure) started from the heated debate concerning the party for neighborly love, freedom and diversity. This now defunct political party questioned the sexual age of consent and was thus collectively denounced. How different is the online world, where the same age of consent has become the perfect marketing tool for fetishes and taboos. The closer one gets to illegality the higher the chance it will sell well on the internet. The age of consent itself of course is a way to protect people against experiences they are not yet ready to face and which might harm them. Exactly these experiences are now being emulated online to seduce the public with the illusion of an illegal act.
TINKEBELL. tries to show that much of the public indignation is nothing more than a sham. When the effects of these mostly hypocritical principles come too close to home and the public itself is held responsible for their own behavior the screams of protest are reduced to a whimper. To many porn is a secret need that should not be discussed openly. This stance stands in the way of a moral and even legal discussion about the practice of porn production. The only result is a collective turning of blushing cheeks.
A special publication 'For your pleasure' will be presented and available for sale at Art Rotterdam 2011!
Published by D' Jonge Hond
and and and.....