EICHHORN, Maria; WATSON, Scott (ed.)
Maria Eichhorn: Film Lexicon of Sexual Practices / Prohibited Imports
This book, published after a Maria Eichhorn exhibtion at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, in 2015, tracks two ongoing projects by Maria Eichhorn, both of which explore the representation of sexual imagery.
The first iteration of "Prohibited Imports" was realized for an exhibition in Tokyo in 2003. For this occasion, Eichhorn sent several parcels of books from Berlin to Tokyo between 2000 and 2002 on the assumption that Japanese customs would open the parcels and censor the books. The book Mapplethorpe: Die große Werkmonographie, among many others, was censored by the customs authorities at Tokyo’s Narita Airport, and was displayed in the 2003 exhibition alongside an uncensored copy of the same book. Unlike Canadian customs practice, which involves the seizure and then destruction of offending published material, the censors in Japan altered the images with a kind of sandpaper pen, scratching the paper and rubbing off the layer of printing ink from the paper’s surface and ultimately replacing parts of images with a white nimbus. For the exhibition at the Belkin Art Gallery, Eichhorn made new photographs of censored pages from three of the books she had sent between 2000 and 2002 to Tokyo: Jeff Koons, Wolfgang Tillmans and the Kinsey Institute. By coincidence, one of the works censored in the Tillmans book is in the Belkin’s permanent collection.
"Film Lexicon of Sexual Practices," begun in 1999, consists of 20 three-minute long (the length of a roll) 16 mm films. Each film depicts in a single shoot a close-up of the sexual activity named in the respective title – Anal coitus, Mouth, French kissing, for example. Every time the work is exhibited, new films are produced. This is the fifth time the work has been shown and the Belkin has commissioned three new films for the exhibition: Japanese bondage, Wax play and Needle play. Visitors to the exhibition can choose films from the titles listed on the wall and request the films to be screened by the attending projectionist. [publisher's note]
Includes essays by Nora M. Alter, Pamela M. Lee, Nina Power, and a text on the works by the artist.