Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fag attack Riga





Fag attack Riga

In the age of mass communication, where the majority of society as countless specimens reproduce the same message, cultural forms and insights about the order of life, situations on borderline between „normal" and abnormal, radical different identity are artists advantages. Sexually and social marginality gives different perspective, which is precondition to critical view and often a step towards creative originality. The price of being different frequently is society majority's incomprehension that can easily grow into the hate.
In the catholic Poland and rather prejudiced Latvia homosexuality is identity that place the artist in a position of radical protest, forcing to question the causes and expressions of generally approved rules.
Karol Radziszewski in his artistic activities does not reconstruct homosexual identity coming forward with alternatives for norms of behaviour. On the contrary - his works are rather a mirror that faces the heterosexual identity. Radziszewski deconstruct the comprehension of masculinity and heterosexuality that has deeply rooted into European culture and society's consciousness, particularly stressing that masculinity has been largely created as negative identity - contrary to female, gay and other sexualities. Modifying the usual context of masculinity code author invite to face its dark sides - the vulgarity and violence that escapes attention in regnant tendency to romanticize and discourse of normative passing over. Homophobia and sexual violence are two sides of one coin.
Each strata of society, even small groups are taken by different insights concerning perfection of a male, his sexual expressions and eventually what is a man. The society of all ages has its dominant masculinity model - ideal type that represents the universal concept of the majority. Playing with fixed forms of masculinity, Karol Radziszewski unmasks repressive mechanism, which serve as a base for construction of major comprehension in opposite to some marginal forms of masculinity.
With provocative message Radziszewski art projects bespeak irrational fear, the dark side of heterosexual culture. While film „Brokeback Mountain" and other popular culture's massages propose romanticized homosexuality as dramatized variation of heterosexual relationship, contemporary gay artists are aware of provocative potecial of their identity and use it for criticizing society's dominant comprehension about identity of individual and relations with other individuals.

text by philosopher and art critic Toms Ķencis / photos by Edgars Jurjāns

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