Shoot to thrill

Scotland's photography festival has sex on its mind this year. The List gets under the covers With FOTOFEIS. Words: Susanna Beaumont

SEX. SAUCY OR DOWNRIGHT SENSUAL'.’ A basic instinct. a life- giving activity or if you prefer. a hip-toning work-out“? For pleasure, leisure or as a means to earn your keep. the three-letter word is a potent one.

It is apt then that the Parisian artist duo Pierre et Gilles. who take photographs that would make your average Kodak steam up. feature in this year's fotofeis. The biennial. Scotland-wide photography festival. is celebrating sex. exploring every conceivable photographic take on it.

At Glasgow‘s subterranean club The Arches. technological performance artist Stelarc is to flex his limbs. which will be linked to electrodes. while New Zealander Ann Shelton will show photographs of the fetish scene down under.

In Edinburgh. notorious transsexual April Ashley will discuss life and how to crash gender boundaries over cocktails. Meanwhile. at the city‘s Mansfield Place Church. work by the late high priestess of British art Helen Chadwick is showing in Virtue And Vice.

Fotofeis doesn‘t duck the serious issues surrounding sex also showing at Mansfield Place Church is an installation by Australian artist Dennis Del Fayero. Based on testimonials gathered by the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal. it is inspired by Bosnian war camps where rape of female internees was a matter of course rape is still not recognised as a war crime.

Back at (.ilasgow"s Tramway. Japanese artist Yoshiko Kamikura shows black and white photos of bedroom locations where sex industry ad men film their promos.

But Pierre et Gilles‘s milieu is deliciously decadent. 'Wc have

If you go down to the woods with Pierre et Gilles, be sure of a big surprise.

always dealt with sex and eroticism,’ say the duo. And as a kind of

camped—up. full-on. Technicolor Gallic version of the sombre Brit twosome Gilbert and George. they have no time for the monochrome.

The duo met at a party in l976 given by fashion designer Kenzo. The story goes that they both hopped onto a moped and neyer looked back. ‘Our life and work have become one.‘ they say. And it‘s a candy- lioss pink. saccharine sweet life at that. Their Paris apartment is afin (1e Steele shrine to kitsch. where statuettes of Marilyn Monroe rub shoulders with the likes of Rambo and Madonna (and here we are talking the Virgin Mary).

Like adults in wonderland. their touched-up. hi-gloss photographs show lean. lissom men languishing against sequinned. rose-budded backdrops. so plush they are deep-pile. Singer Marc Almond. a frequent sitter for the duo. is pink-lipped and syrup smooth. inhabiting a landscape of pink cotton-wool clouds.

Behind the sweetness and light lurk Lynchian moments of menace.

though. In Pleasures ()f The Forest. on show at Glasgow's Gallery Of

Modern Art. there is a feeling that Little Red Riding Hood has grown up and met a few good-looking chaps in the undergrowth.

‘The forest is fascinating for us. but there is also the possibility of

danger.‘ say the duo. ‘We are attracted to that.‘ If you go down to the woods with Pierre et Gilles. be sure of a big surprise.

Pierre et Gilles are at Gallery Of Modern Art. Glasgow, Tue 11 Oct-Sun 9 Nov. Pierre et Gilles: The Complete Works is published by Taschen at £29.99. The fotofeis launch party is at The Arches, Glasgow. Fri 10 Oct, with music by Love Boutique, for further details call The Arches, 0141 221 4001.

Fotofeis runs Thu 9 Oct-Sun 9 Nov with events in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. See also fotofeis listings in the Art Section. page 88. For further details call the fotofeis hotline on 0131 555 5205 or ring venues direct.

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OPPOSITE PAGE: Pierre et Gilles's portrait of Eric. Les Plaisirs De la Foret

(Pleasures of the forest) at the Gallery Of Modern Art. Glasgow

TOP: Danny Leriche's Isabelle et Dominique on show in Virtue And Vice at Mansfield Place Church, Edinburgh

ABOVE: One of Yoshiko Kamikura's photographs from After Shooting at Glasgow's Tramway

LEFT: Brother And Sister by Ivan Pinkava in a show of Contemporary Czech Photography at Glasgow School Of Art

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