Notes Sauvages / Museum as Slut Machine by Pierre-Alexandre Mateos

Pierre-Alexandre Mateos
October 11, 2023

-def transgression
-transgression à la papa
-the camp version of transgression / obsolescence / transgression as a canon


MUSEUM of SLUTs (Sluterries)
-hospitalité radical = Ian White / Richard Serra
-unapologetic désir = Mario Mieli / Colette Peignot
-self-dépossession = Alberto Sorbelli/ Hervé Guibert

-Institutions on fire: the counter museum of modernity
-The accidental, the unplanned and the non-human event
-A typology of accidents

Objective of Transgression
-experience the limit, the law of the law
A museum should accept a dose of ambiguity and foster readings that escape an exclusive lecture.

-personally, we became interested by art because we were fascinated by the idea of extra-territoriality, art as a place where you could find a tolerance toward representation, a place where you could experience shock, a moral injury or a position of weakness

-we are deeply concerned by the paradox of Aristotelian mimesis, which indicates that we take pleasure in the representation of things that, in reality, would inspire disgust.

-we think transgressive space can bring a difference, a difference into play through language/formal games.

-transgression is often a practice of ethics that dissimulates itself behind a sort of folklore, the cult of the transgressor. Ultimately, transgression is for us still a resistance to conformism, even to the point of offense

Being offended:

-Offenses can take place in the theatrical space of a museum and not in the street, or a courtroom. It is the same when you accept to enter a cruising space or a sex club. It is a stage for performance in which the dom top that insults you can be a gentle and civilized guy during the day.

The museum can be a place of hostility, but a place of camp hostility, a distant and mediated place for Sadomasochistic games between the audience and the artwork, between the institution and the public.

A place for risk and turbulence that requires a tacit agreement, a consent between the two parts of the interplay.

We need to invent a culture of transgression that links different battles and cultures of militantism, from feminism to the decolonial and that space of the patronizing figure of the white heterosexual man where transgression is sometimes reduced to:

“Recent lectures in political science have accepted a very shallow reading of the cult authors of transgression: Sade, George Bataille, Antonin Artaud, Jean Genet, Kateb Yacine, Violette Leduc, to name a few.

Often, they are linked superficially to alt right icons often negating their revolutionary forces.

Alt right culture has sometimes stolen these icons for political purposes. to argue against over-sensibility, cancel culture and so on.

But we need to understand that conservative forces are extremely far from the transgressive tradition. Sade like Bataille, the transgressor à la papa, were attacking the moral authority of the ruling class itself.

They were never in the service of power and remain powerfully anti-establishment. They all share a ferociously anti-bourgeois, anti-procreation, anti-capital, anti-family, anti-colonial, anti-imperialist reading of society.”

A museum is neither god nor the devil, and we need to distance ourselves from the concept of offense, a word that shares ambiguity with respect of a religious order.
The only prerequisite for inventing new, transgressive places/topos and an anti- patronizing territory is first

-to integrate the cult of transgression as a tradition, a genre per se.
-accept its communications and the loss of its aura, the decline of its absolutist and spiritual objective. That is why we need to invent a camp re-lecture of transgression.

Transgressions are often marked by buffoonery and when they are taken too seriously, they become hilarious. So a transgression that is not the fool of its effects.

We need to invent camp transgression that rereads works more than it believes in their inherent transgressive value.

With Charles we had invented two imagery museums dedicated to sluttery and accidents. Welcome to the Museum as Slut Machine
You’re entering a zone of risk and turbulence, a zone of management of risk, a zone for sluttery and accidents

This museum was inspired by different notions:

-resexualizing the public sphere and the museum (Guy Hocquenghem)

-a camp and transgressive lecture of contemporary art

-the idea that there are still irredeemable figures

The museum should take inspiration from the game play/theory book of Spanish author Itziar Ziga “Becoming a bitch.”

Like her, like us, we can sometimes disguise ourselves into a truck driver and sometimes as a bitch with feather boas. The museum should accept that the lecture between macho art and feminist art becomes inoperable.

-a museum with an unapologetic désir, inspired by Mario Mieli, an italian trans militant. Mieli like Guy H, calls for a sexualization of the public sphere, a sexualisation of institution. The museum shouldn’t be escort but pure slut with the ethics of a slut. He imagines a museum that could be fucked in the arse; that accepts his most delicious bodily pleasures and anal intercourse, “a museum that keeps its treasure in its arse, but is an area open to everyone…”

The black hole of the museum is neither masculine nor feminine, and produces a short circuit in sexual division

The black hole is a temple of pleasure, but also an abject place, par excellence.
Due to its proximity to waste and shit, the museum should be a universal black hole through which gender, sexes, identities and capital slip.

Mieli calls for a museum not focused on sexual identity but on erotic abundance, a world in which artificial sexual scarcity would be unknown.

The transgressive museum of the nouveau regime needs to rediscover its bodies and their fundamental metabolic and communicative function.

A museum that borrowed its unapologetic desire from artist and writer Hervé Guibert who imagined a post mortem installation in his book “The death propaganda”:
My body, either under the effect of pleasure or pain, is put in a state of theatricality, of paroxysm, which I would like to reproduce in any way I can: photo, film, soundtrack.
As soon as a distortion occurs, as soon as my body becomes hysterical, I set in motion a retranscription mechanism: belching, dejecta, sperm after wanking, diarrhea, spitting, catarrhs of the mouth and ass.
Let this convulsed, chopped-up, screaming body speak for itself.
Place a microphone inside my mouth as full as a dick’s, as deep as possible in my throat, in case of crisis: twitching, ejaculations or brutal dejections of shit and rales.
Place another microphone inside my ass, whether it’s bathed in my tides, or hanging from the toilet bowl.
Make the two sounds respond to each other, mix them: the swarming of my belly, the squeaks of my throat. Record my vomiting, which is the opposite excess of pleasure. My body is a laboratory on display, the sole actor and instrument of my organic delirium.
A slut museum that postulates a radical hospitality, and a new ethic of contacts inspired by cruising theories by American author Tim Dean, is a place that can recontextualize Hand Catching Lead (1968) by Richard Serra as it was done by Ian White in an exhibition from 2009.

In 2009, Hand Catching Lead (1968) by Richard Serra was exhibited in Berlin’s Cloaca Maxima the Laboratory, displayed in the dark and lubricated corridor of this gay fetishist institution.,

The dented hand of the blacksmith-sculptor met for the first time the clanking of chains and cages of this rutilant BDSM complex.

This display seemed to be a perfect analogy between the Héphaïstos-like power of the post-minimalist artist, and the school of delicacy that celebrates forbidden gods of pleasure.

A slut museum that borrowed its slut techniques to prostitute and artist Alberto Sorbelli who has been slightly excluded from the art world: Alberto Sorbelli’s main performance was supposed to be part of “The winter of love”, a canonical exhibition of relational aesthetics that took place in France at the Musée d’art moderne in 1994. Sorbelli, has presented himself as a transvestite prostitute in different museum contexts, such as the Musée d’art moderne, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Louvre.

For each of these outings, a disguise was de rigueur: latex miniskirt, fishnet stockings, stiletto heels, sometimes a garter belt and just the right amount of make-up, lipstick, earrings and hair, held back by a headband, so that no one could doubt her profession.

The artist describes the art world as a “global whore system”.

By playing the role of the art whore, Sorbelli is simply exposing the underbelly of a system that would not dare to bluntly show the infrastructure – the desiring machine – that sustains it. If the artist’s behavior is radical and unpopular, he has chosen to show himself as an object of exchange. By miming the possibility of being both art object and sex object, he covets art lovers, dealers and collectors, offering to satisfy their desires like a veritable whore.

Among others irrecuperable figures that could occupy our slut department, we could quote Colette Peignot, this communist militant and intellectual, poet and writer who was the girlfriend of George Bataille in the 1930s who left behind her, “Les écrits de Laure”, la sainte de l’abîme, the saint of the abyss. In her erotic writings, she recounts how she seeks out the ugliest, dirtiest men in Montmartre and offers herself to them. Colette Peignot also pushed her erotic desire to the point of self-sacrifice. During the creation of the secret Acéphale society with Bataille and Michel Leiris, Colette Peignot asked to be sacrificed in front of the lightning tree in the Yvelines forest, the tree that later become the place of pilgrimage for what Michel Blanchot calls the unavowable community, “la communauté inavouable”.
To reassure our audience, the sacrifice in question never took place and has remained nothing more than a phantasmatic and cerebral order.

Here an extract of one of her letters:

I am feeling like a slut today –

Driver – Go anywhere: “to the furnace, to the road, to the brothel, to the slaughterhouse.”

I’ve got to be burned, torn apart, covered in garbage, and I’ve got to smell all the shit, I’ve got to disgust you – and then ——- fall asleep on your shoulder.”

In this museum, we imagine the collision of Flaying of Marsyas (Titian) 1576, the human cadaver of John Baldessari inspired by Andrea Mantegna’s painting, “The Lamentation over the Dead Christ” that was never presented for legal restrictions,
the baby project of poet and trans activist Paul B. Preciado and writer Guillaume Dustan that was supposed to be financed by the Guggenheim Museum.

Our museum would be at the intersection of transgression and servitude, pride and obsequiousness, arrogance and humiliation, anger and extreme gentleness, wit and brutality.