What have Cabanel’s Birth of Venus, Klein’s Anthropometry, or Kusama’s Self-Obliteration in common? What relates Picasso’s Woman Pissing to Marlene Dumas’ watercolours and Tejal Shah’s Between the Waves? All these art works are deploying a wet aesthetics. This refers to an aesthetic experience that is realised by the perceptual interaction with wetness. What is remarkable of wet aesthetics, is that it affords a strong erotic or sexual resonance. This is not surprising; a wet aesthetics produces specific visceral effects in the viewer’s body.
Queer pornographic art has radicalized wet aesthetics in promising ways; it realises its visceral, motoric, and tactile potential in a liquifying, emancipatory, and sex-positive project. The viewer experiences queer pornography’s wet aesthetics as heating by melting. It radically decenters our subject/object experience and our fixed sexual identities, orientations, fetishes, and bodies. We are seduced into a sex-positive re-appropriation of bodily fluids, and our experience of desire and pleasure is reconstructed as dispossession, abundance, and surrender.
Petra van Brabandt is a Belgian philosopher of ethics and a porno specialist. She currently teaches at the St Lucas School of Arts in Antwerp and develops for her lecture an account on the aesthetic quality of fluids in pornographic art.
Der Vortrag findet in englischer Sprache statt.