martedì 3 luglio 2007
Bruce La Bruce - Interview (english)
Hi Bruce. How Are You?
Not bad. i just got back from little excursions to Vancouver and New York where i got into all sorts of trouble, and when i returned to toronto i thought i mayhave come down with a slight case of tuberculosis, but it went away. so now I feel fine.
Talking about you as a photograoher I think that some of you works make beeing gay more interesting.Which is the message you’d like to comunicate through your photos?
I don't really care if people talk openly about sex or not. in fact sometimes i think people talk too openly about sex. i would hope that my photographs make being gay seem more interesting, but i think they operate outside of the current gay discourse, which i'm not very interested in. for years i've been clinging to the outlandish notion that the homosexual experience is qualitatively different from the heterosexual one, that fags have the unique opportunity to be different, avant-garde, non-conformist, dangerous, rebellious - even revolutionary. they can operate outside of the constraints of normal, mundane society, or can be the vanguard in fashion, aesthetics, sexual liberation, and flower-arranging. but apparently most homos seem to crave the humdrum existence of the heterosexual masses, and have decided to conform and assimilate. how dreary. so my photos attempt to carry on the tradition of fags being edgy, controversial, and sexually provocative. i've always used sexually explicit imagery as a kind of political tool, because there will be no revolution without sexual revolution. but now that pornography has also become assimilated by the mainstream, it doesn't quite have the same impact as it did when i was doing it in the eighties and early nineties, before it became trendy.
In an interview you once said that fags should reclaim their avant-garde identity, can you explain me in which way they should do that?
well, look at the work of great fags of the past: genet, passolini, fassbinder, warhol, burroughs, bacon, etc. etc. they all engaged homosexual themes in their work, but they weren't confined by any means to any sort of gay mentality or discourse. they made their art for mass audiences even though it included extreme expressions of homosexuality. they didn't tone down or alter their art in order to appease anyone or make the homosexual experience seem more palatable or decipherable for the plebians. And their work in general terms - in its formal innovation, its radical aesthetics, its subversive content - revolutionized art and influenced generations of artists, gay and straight. it wasn't confined to a limiting, ideological discourse. the ghettoization of the gay experience, and its subsequent commodification and commercial packaging for mass consumption, has been disastrous for fags, who used to operate as an underground, avant-garde force with a strong but somewhat invisible influence on art and culture. fags should be more concerned with subverting the mainstream and fucking up the system which ultimately still regards them as irrelevant and inconsequential.
Have you helped the avant-garde gay aestetics somehow?
Well not to blow my own french horn, but yeah i hope so. with the movies i made in the nineties i was merely trying to carry on the tradition of the gay avant-garde in cinema - warhol, morrissey, anger, george kuchar, kurt mcdowall - combined with the great gay pornographers of the seventies like wakefield poole, peter de rome, fred halsted, jack deveau, peter berlin, etc. these pornographers were actually legitimate artists and film-makers first, who happened to work in the genre of pornography. i like to think i have extended that tradition somehow, or even expanded it.
How do you choose your models? Which qualification they should have to be taken?
For my photography it's kind of strange because i started out working for porn magazines like honcho, playguy, inches, etc., and each one has it's own mandate for what kind of subject it prefers. honcho likes beefier, hairier guys, playguy likes young hairless preppy and jocky types, inches speaks for itself. but they all prefer guys who have particular traits - lean, tight, or muscular, big dicks, very sexual. but within those constraints i think i've managed to shoot a wide variety of guys, which is also an expression of my own sexual interests. personally i'm very sexually democratic in terms of age, race, body type, etc. i can appreciate a certain beauty in models who most people would regard as ugly. but i also am attracted to a certain objective, classical beauty - somone who is "photogenic", with great bones, or classically chiseled features. i support beauty, but ugliness is always an option.
Is it true that you have almost slept with the most of them?
who told you that? that is a bald-faced lie. in my first film i used my boyfriend at the time as my co-star and we have sex in front of the camera, so maybe that led people to believe that i fuck everyone who i shoot. i've shot probably fifty or so models for porn purposes over the past three or four years, and i've only slept with a handful of them. i try to keep things professional, but if a model makes the first move and i'm also into them, why not? i've fluffed five or seven models, but only if they ask me and it really looks like there will be no other way for them to get it up. one thing i have
learned, never let the wife or girlfriend fluff the model, because they can never get them hard!
What are you working on now?
Oh, this and that. i have scripts, upcoming photographic shows, writing gigs. whatever comes along.
Do you consider yourself an outsider?
I'm definitely an outsider in terms of the gay "community", but it's really a kind of self-imposed exile. i don't hang out at gay bars, only hustler bars, and i usually try to write for non-gay publications. i work in pornography because it seems to me like the last bastion of gay radicalism. i've always been a non-conformist and a contrarian. i'm also a classic introvert, and any social skills i have i've really had to work hard at. i'm also not an exhibitionist at all, which most people don't seem to be able to reconcile with my work. when i was a punk rocker i work nothing but black for ten years and didn't come out of my room before sundown. punk was all about being an outsider.
What’s really turn you on?
Where do you get the ispiration for your art?
Do you find hard to make people accept your ideas?
I'm not really interested in people accepting my ideas. In fact, i'm skeptical of people who claim to understand where i'm coming from and that we're on the same wavelength. i often act as a devil's advocate, so my position on things usually isn't that fixed. i try to contradict myself at least once a day. I have very strong opinions about things, but that doesn't mean that i expect people to share them, even if it means they're idiots if they don't.
Which is the thing that shocks you most?
People are so stupid. they don't understand how i, a pornographer, can still get embarrassed or blush when i see a porno movie or something else sexually explicit. but i still do all the time. i'm also shocked by how gullible people are, particularly by the American public and how easily they were hookwinked into becoming hypernationalistic, war-mongering patriots. i find what's going on in America right now, the neverending war on terror, the arrogance and solipsism of the US government, very shocking.
Do you have any recurrent dream?
I have a recurrent dream about a really handsome young Japanese man who is immortal and lives in a bottomless lake. he hovers horizontally over the water and then submerges and disappears for centuries but no one knows where he goes.
Which kind of music are you listening to in the last period?
The Strokes, Angie Stone, Glen Lewis, Broadcast, Brazilectro, the new elecronica stuff coming out of New York, Foreigner, Serge Gainsbourg, Bebel Gilberto, and always movie soundtracks. lately Jerry Goldsmith - The Trouble with Angels, Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, The Vanishing, etc. I love Vincent Gallo's new cd. I loved Clair Denis' "Trouble Every Day". Oh, and the Blade 2 soundtrack. Blade 2 rules. See it stoned.
When did you have your first sexual experience?
I lost my virginity when i was 22 or 23 in Provincetown one summer to a Jewish actor from New York.
What’s the last thing you did just for money?
Fortunately I haven't had to do much of that at all, which explains why i'm often broke.
s there any director that you really like?
Well yeah, lots. Cassavetes, Warhol, Morrissey, Clair Denis, Harmony Korine, Larry Clark, Altman, Bergman, Antonioni, Godard, Chabrol, Fellini, Dario Argento,George Romero, Fassbinder, Polanski, Jerry Lewis, the list goes on.
Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense involving moral turpitude?
I've somehow managed to avoid arrest or conviction, probably because i learned early on to use a pseudonym and remain relatively anonymous considering my notoriety. my movies have been seized and destroyed, banned, censored, etc., for such offenses as sedition, bestiality, sex with violence, sadomasochism,and sucking of toes, but i've never been arrested.
I think that exist a thin line between art and ponography do you agree?
Yes, it's all about context. i can take a photo of a guy with a hard-on and put it in a porn mag and it's accepted as pornography, and then put the same photo in an expensive frame in a high-end art gallery and sell if for thousands of dollars. so it's all about context.
Is there a part of men’s body that you prefeer?
I'm a cocksucker.
What would you most like people to know about you?
I'm a cocksucker.