Kickstarter and dick pics. Exclusive interview with Blaise Larmee for Mould Map 3 - http://kck.st/1bISjB5
So I get that you were basically just putting at the end of your Q and A a little sneaky link to an article that contradicts a lot of what you said. I guess that is the tension to the juxtaposition in the art piece of your kickstarter page, Blaise.
Or maybe that’s not the case, and you are unaware of what the article which you link to describe your gendered response to affective labor (the effort to put on a smile for people, to engage with others) actually is saying. Look near the end where it starts decrying irony and appearance of authority and thoughtfulness (like you evoke when you use words like “hyperautonomy”) as what protects and enable sexism within educated circles. I don’t think I need to prove too much that your whole artistic brand is based upon perpetuating an ambiguity around your intentions, and a general ironic-as-deep attitude. Just seeing the layout of your tumblr sums that up pretty well.
That is not by itself a bad thing! Actually, it’s a thing I really like. And the irony and ambiguity really can be deep and meaningful. It becomes bad, though, when you do stuff like this dick pics thing.
You address the entire topic of nudes divorced from their historical context, which kind of is filled with sexism. It’s not a problem to do nudes, but it’s a problem to take on Nudes as a topic without really taking it on. Instead you are just juxtaposing and recontextualizing along formal/informal lines. Which is to say…you are propagating historical and modern ideas of sexualization, while not thinking at all about how these ideas are actually problematic. You are invoking the guise of intellectual discourse as a way to appear that you have thought about these things, but you are ignoring much of what you are doing.
Your first answer on your kickstarter page, I guess though, absolves you from everything because you are saying essentially that artists have no responsibility for their works. You say that agency is dispersed, but you are really not taking into account the many decisions that an artist actually has freedom on. There are plenty of choices in art pieces which do not have a direct impact on brand, or on the overall appeal of the piece or artist. There are even many such choices in brands. These choices can have moral aspects. And choices made out of economic pressure still can be considered moral and immoral, anyway. What you are doing is essentially like what the article you linked at the bottom of your Q and A said the Man-Child does. Absolves himself from all responsibility.
It bothers me to see that the community of arts comics creators are pretty intentionally blind to this. They understand the role that your art wants them to be in: the audience left in ambiguity. This is a more enjoyable space for them. And really, it is enjoyable! I do like your works.
The problem I have with all of this is that you are appealing to sexualization for something other than sexualization’s sake. You are trying to make a commentary about sexualization, but I think even you understand that you are also engaging in it. The way you are doing so is by evoking a superior artistic stance, which is the same stance taken by artists about Nudes historically. You are suggesting that you are not just flirting with the audience, you are really a deep guy and you think they are smart. And really what is flirting anyway! We are just people interacting. But yeah, the audience is just liking the way you put your hand on their shoulder.
Really I just find it intellectually dishonest. Like we somehow aren’t looking at dicks because we like looking at dicks, because we all put on our shrowds of ambiguity before we go in. There’s an essential bias you are playing to, and that should be owned with all of it’s intended and unintended consequences.