Father & Sons

Letters between men:

[AMP]

(The) Now is a strange time. You wait but you also do. Is there any meaning in doing? Is there any meaning at all? Meaning derives from others’ lack of meaning. I shit. I had a dream that I didn’t flush out my shit, a second time that pissed my friend off. I got so pissed off that she got pissed off that I slapped her and then I run away cause I thought she would hit be back. Money making. If I had money I would look back and I would try to make new meaning. Fucking. My body on the mirror. I wonder what is it about to be alone. What does it mean to be on one’s own company. I shit again. I go to Greece where lack of meaning is excused. I wait. I lost, its ok. How much more am I supposed to feel till I am liberated from this fucking burden? What am I supposed to discover so I stop being scared?

The Father and Son pictures happened in a way unexpectedly. It was a crossing of paths. The important thing was to ask jen’s dad to be part of this and take his penis out. What I like about these pictures is how we are all different but we have our cocks out and how we lose identity at the same time, perhaps through this very gesture of having our penises out. A thing about the residency, for me, was about identity and how it gets lost when prioritizing an appearance, how can you build a character from ‘within’? – or how I get lost in a sense when looking for an identity. An important thing is fucking. Fucking, desire, becomes something else. Especially now, now is a place where playfulness has died, no one to play desire with.

The pictures remind me of flashing exhibitionism, they suggest this ‘look at us we are male’, I mean, they are deeply ironic, they highlight that the penis (masculinity) is the important things. In a way all men in families that have ever posed in these sort of family pictures could have had their penises out. About signaling maleness. And then that the Father is a ‘real’ father, Jens is ‘really’ his offspring yet s/he is not ‘really’ his son and i am completely ‘fake’ there, not his son, not a real boy. So i guess it is a triangle/hierarchy of realness and fakery? Does Father’s penis makes ours more real or ours his less real? Who was I when we were taking these pictures? A posing man happy to be there, happy to belong, happy to have my long cock out. We were a proud family, all fully able, handsome, working penises, bonded in a family set-up. And i guess about our differences’…how different we look from each other and we hint towards different cultural characteristics.

To summarize it these pictures play with traditions, with men-bonding, with identity and inheritage, with representation.

[LL]

I like the crossing of paths, and the unexpectedness that you were talking about. And the discussion of identity. I found identity and the lack, the deconstruction, the fragility, searching for and finding it in stages, snippets etc, very intense and prominent when I cast my mind back.
Summary of what comes into my mind when I think about the Father and sons piece

– A childhood fantasy of being just like my father, uncles and brother, one of the boys, and of being the one who seduces women instead of being a woman seduced by men.

Why is it important to have my biological dad in the photograph? The only cis-gendered man there, amongst two impostors.
Does Dad lend validity to our masculinity or expose it?
None of us actually look related, we even look as if we are all different nationalities.
Old fashioned style of image – evoking stiff traditional family portraits. Stiff, proper, conventional, ‘father and sons’ – at odds with the true content of the work. Serious, macho poses, reinforced by the measuring of our cocks.
Our proud cocks, a parody of masculinity.
For us (AM and I) with our cocks on display made us feel more like men, a significant addition to our costume, the heaviness of the silicone phallus lending extra weight to our guise.  But for dad I am guessing it was very different, perhaps he felt very exposed, even though his proud demeanor would suggest otherwise. His masculinity was under scrutiny, as our faux penises mimicked and mocked his mortal flesh. All masked behind a masculine bravado.

[AMP]

I think it is important that we think about these Father and Son photographs within the frame of the whole project. In a way it makes sense that these pictures came first, for us to be born by someone or something (your dad) as boys/men. Also as a ritual – the first photo session we did etc. , again, our birth into being us as men. It was the first time we determinedly put full outfits and facial hair on and our cocks too. It is also important to consider that although the processes we put ourselves through were long and a lot about getting lost and finding, as you put it, snippets of identity, a lot of the ‘core’ we were approaching at different times with different ways, is about approaching something prohibited which is not explicitly prohibited. Like, no one tells us we are not allowed to be men or to think that we are, or to walk around packing etc. Yet there is a whole net of voices that ask what is that we are trying to do and in doing so they map a strange space where what we’d like to do, what others would like us to do and what others wouldn’t like us to becomes one arena. ‘What do you mean you are a man? I thought you d be a man, why are you wearing make-up etc. etc etc.’

Like we would obviously try to turn something that is not real into it being real or give a different status to realness. Where I think that we approach the ‘realness-ness’ of our genders in a different way, yet we take into account this sort of expectation.

I think when you first told me your dad is coming and that you had this idea, our mutual excitement was because his penis was the most ‘manly’ thing that he has in a way that we go about manliness. Fucking hell dude, it is complicated. I think our residency was a lot about the penis in a way. But not in a penis-envy way.

I am thinking about what I am writing at the phd. I knew of course that I d show and talk about our residency material in my last chapter but I hadn’t realize how it fits so much in the theoretical context of ‘porno-graphing’. I mean that we start up, recalling an ‘origin’, a ‘truth’, and a very strangely subverted deviation from propriety, hinting in incest in that way without really doing so etc. The playfulness of it all and the ‘now what?’ or the ‘oops! – look what we’ve done’  childlike attitude we somehow have in producing these material with your dad, and later other material.

So I guess thinking like that, you can tell that I am going down a route where I am focusing on something about impropriety and prohibitions and gender. The thing with gender and sex (sexual organs) is that they are a lot about statuses of being, being ‘real’ in a way…
I really liked what you wrote about your dad and his pose and how actually exposed he feels. And yes it is definitely parodical , and i guess we use this parody to talk about something which for us is real, our real manhoods or masculinities.. People have talked a lot about how the ‘parody’ , the ‘copy’ unveils the ‘original’ as ‘fake’ but i guess we are jumping back in the ‘original’ too, no?, or we
somehow claim or explore ‘originality’ in ways?

[LL]

Taboo, prohibition: being women being men, standing next to my dad with his cock out, and our fake cocks – crossing boundaries – the sanctity of family, of the prescribed relationship we are supposed to have between a father, a daughter and a friend.

Is the image sexualised just by the fact that we have our flaccid cocks out? Or the fact that he is my father and I am standing next to him fulfilling my own desire, a desire to be like him, to be a man? The fact that he is my real father, makes the image more transgressive, the act more prohibited. I must not show my desire in front of my father, I must not show him that I want to be like him, I must not tell him of my fantasies of masculinity, where I imagine being just like him, not him, but like him,, I must not see my father’s penis, even though that is from where I was made. Who made these rules? And why is the fact that we cross them so dangerous for some people? Just because my fantasies of masculinity are steeped in my desire to fuck like a man, why can I not give voice to them in front of my father? Why are they so obscene? If I was a man, and I was talking to my father about sex, I could lather it up with jocular comments and jokes about the size of her tits. My father and my brother out on the pull, are like a double-act with a side of brandy.

I am interested in what you have said here about other people: ‘there is a whole net of voices that ask what is that we are trying to do and in doing so they map a strange space where what we’d like to do, what others would like us to do and what others wouldn’t like us to becomes one arena.’ – I feel what we are doing in this project, everybody has an opinion about it, how a ‘man’ behaves, how to be a man, how not be woman, how to look more authentic, that we look a certain way, still female but ‘lesbian’, coded. But it’s not real – they say, it is never allowed to be real. We are only pretending. But what is real? What is a real gender? Do we have to be one or the other? Why does ambiguity make people so uncomfortable? Why does not knowing the answers cause blame and fear for the one asking the questions?

‘his penis was the most ‘manly’ thing that he has in a way that we go about manliness. Fucking hell dude, it is complicated. I think our residency was a lot about the penis in a way. But not in a penis-envy way.’ – I’m not sure I even understand penis-envy. Yes, I’ve always imagined having a cock and fucking with it,  but it never felt like an aching lack, it was a like it filled out in my mind whenever I closed my eyes. It’s so nice to write, I am sick of talking, of defending and trying to convince people of my intentions. I feel like I tell them it’s white, but they are apt to convince me that it’s black. Yet it’s my feelings, my history, my emotions, why the fuck do they purport to know more than I do on that matter? It really pisses me off. And what pisses me off more, is that I worry that they are right. That they can see something that I cannot see, and that I am a sick fuck who is caught, stuck in the phallic phase, rife with penis envy, and intent on winning dad, whilst seeking a way to upturn mummy dearest, text book psycho-babble for those who do not possess the knowledge to read deeper than the surface. Why do I feel like I am on trial? Why do I feel like I do not know my own mind? Like I am a liability, and my thoughts seek to betray. Why the fuck do I care if you believe me or not? Why do I care at all? Because I am not this monster, and I do not wish to be part of this demonization, on a throne of fucking judgement.

‘how it fits so much in the theoretical context of ‘porno-graphing’. I mean that we start up, recalling an ‘origin’, a ‘truth’, and a very strangely subverted deviation from propriety, hinting in incest in that way without really doing so etc. The playfulness of it all and the ‘now what?’ or the ‘oops! – look what we’ve done ’ childlike attitude we somehow have in producing these material with your dad, and later other material’ –  What do you mean by us recalling an origin, a truth? Also what do you make of the childlike way we made it, like we didn’t really think that much about what it was about initially, we just went with an idea, of an image sounding like a beacon in our mind. Like two kids playing, exploring and learning. I think perhaps the whole process of the residency was like this in some way, a doing of things that we wished, desired, wanted to see happen, and then afterwards we began to pick it apart and to fathom it’s meaning.

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Swimming

[LL]

Ok, so yeah I was honest. Brutally honest in my sum up the other day of how I feel now that I am away from the ecstatic embrace of our residency. Vacant, left wondering. Unable to focus too much on other projects as my mind keeps wandering back to what just happened. I haven’t had time to process any of it yet. What it means, what it says, whether we did what we said we were going to do. And also this one, resounding in my mind like a homing beacon – what does my sexuality have to do with this project? With my artwork? Why is it relevant? Is any of my art relevant? What am I doing? Argh! I look through my old blog entries on my website, ream after ream of self-analysis, self-discovery. What makes it art, instead of a narcissistic psychoanalysis of myself? Truthfully I don’t know. And I’m little concerned. I feel a need to search for meaning; I scour the works of others whose introspection is painted for all to see.  I struggle to come to terms with something I have been doing for years. Is it now breaking point?

Sometimes I feel like a writer or a poet. Can that be the same as an artist? How do their roles differ? Am I a visual author? What is a visual author? My mind is swimming in questions that are begging for my answer.

Super femme

[LL]

I’m back home, the residency is over, yet today, and the days before that I reached for those jeans and hoodie, slipping on boxer shorts. I ignored all my pretty dresses with their delicate frills. I know for most people wearing jeans does not necessarily make you masculine, many women wear jeans and t-shirts. But before this residency I never wore trousers, not ever, only dresses or skirts. Super femme.  So maybe this adds to the extra layer of manliness I feel whenever I wear these clothes, I’m just not used to it. I look around me, browsing internet computer screens and think about the difference between femininity and masculinity. What is it about the way we wear clothes that gives us a gendered look? There is a certain way to wear these clothes that signifies a sense of queerness I realise. I feel a bit in-between, almost like that teenager again, unsure of who I am or what I am supposed to represent. I used to love my hyper-femininity, so why do I not want to wear it? We wear clothes as a way to communicate about who we are, and right now I feel that I have been broken in two, or maybe severed into pieces, it’s better without the binary divide.  I have to admit that this desire to cling to these tom-boy clothes surprises me, it surprises my friends too –‘I would have thought you’d be rushing back to embrace your femininity’ they say, a little inflection at the rear of their voice. But I like their identity; dyke, queer. There is a kind of legitimacy in these clothes, one that I felt could not exist before them. A legitimacy that speaks of my desire, instead of coyly hiding within it. My old friend said that it was weird seeing me in these clothes, and that hair, she said that I looked ‘so lesbian’. A gleeful smile lighted up my face, ‘really?’ I beamed. I looked around the queer bar we were in and smiled more at the passing girls, and spread my legs a little further outwards to regain manly composure. ‘Would you really want to be with a girl?’ She asked. ‘I think you want to, but I don’t think you are really a lesbian, you like boys too much’. And I’m back to the start. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this. I remember as a teenager cupping the phone in my hands and whispering to my mum that I thought I was gay, I had a boyfriend at the time. She asked me why I thought that, and after I had told her about the few kisses I’d had, she said something about all girls going through this phase and that was that. I felt a bit foolish. My friend who I’d kissed told me that I was probably straight and then she fucked my boyfriend.

I loved the feel of the cock sock in my underwear, the way it would smell after a day of being close to my insides.  I feel myself searching for another identity, another self-hood – is this a result of my breakup, breakdown? I reach down into myself, can I get beneath the sadness?  – I trawl sites on butch and dapper lesbians, how do I wear my queerness in a way that will make girls want to kiss me? Is having short hair enough? My eyes linger on every girl, I smile and I hold their eye contact, I’ve become confused about which ones I even desire anymore, will anyone do? I feel like a teenage boy desperate for that first taste of flesh. Now I am wearing too much on the outside. Let’s reel it back in. I wear my skirt, with diaphanous net, with my faux converse and my grey hoodie. Safe, they remind me of that lap dancers breasts, and the net of perfume that she spun all around me.

I’ve always taken pleasure in wearing clothes, in forming a style that is mine. Teaming plaid with polka dots, and electric blue leopard print. Juxtapose. And now perhaps it’s time for gender to bend around my form, my style is too playful to stay too long in the comfort of these jeans and grey shirt.  When we inhabited our characters I always found I gravitated toward these feminine men, I found it impossible to perform a clear masculinity, it was always caught up in the delicacy of my hips, and the rosebud nipple of my hairy tongue. The Detective character and the other one, who just appeared in a glance of the mirror as I took off my Detective jacket and loosened my hair sit comfortably between my fantasies of masculinity. I described The Detective as a woman, masquerading as man in drag or a woman masquerading as a man dressed as a woman. He exists almost of an echo of a familiar dynamic, amidst my confusion of gender roles and sexualities, which I never fully understood until now. He is me, and yet he is not me. He looks into my eyes as I bow down to pleasure him, stirring up that beast of desire, until I unleash a hidden monster whose only wish is to consume me. ‘Who will love me now?’ We utter as his jaws collapse in mine.

[AMP]

I am feeling quite emotional I guess and grateful. Now that I am at a space where I am so busy and there is no time for reflection. This happened because I wanted to open up to a speed that would prevent me from internalizing and acting out too much censorship of various kinds. I wanted things to roll and me to say yes yes yes and not have long to get too shy or too scared. I am not sure what the opposite of this would be, in this instance the opposite of yes, isn’t quite ‘no’, maybe ‘not yet’, or ‘let me think/work on it’. So there is a speed of sorts which takes me from place to place and at the same time a sense of a core to be returning to – great.

I have informed my practice with aesthetics and ideas of failure for as long as I remember making art and titling it as such but when it comes to exploring identity and desire through the apparatus and aspects of masculinity I feel resistant to consider and admit to processes, actions, images and texts of failing as critically resolving.

This may be similar with the way the words ‘I am a man’ vibrates internally for me. So how are you a man, what do you mean. I am not sure what I mean, I am just telling you something. In a way I am just using words/signs to voice an internal orchestra or sensations but actually the space I speak from when I say ‘I am a man’ can’t be challenged by language. My statement is not communication the way something stated as art is, I am not sure I need to be understood or maybe I am used of thinking that I couldn’t be. If I stay quiet for long enough (which hasn’t happened in a long long time) something rocky takes place in me, not quite like a core or a basic structure – I don’t claim masculinity in that way. And I don’t state a secret either, it is not like that. It is that it seems that I have access to gender else-like. This else-like ambiguous ontological sense of being gender was my starting point. This became action; I wanted to be action, that is why we set space and time to do things. The actions brought more actions and thoughts and processes and ideas and I didn’t want to just quietly meditate on masculinity, this is a collaboration which means that it became something like an alive moving animal between Jenny and I – we build an organism that is bouncing between both our masculine energies and questions about those.

At the instance of considering gender internally and ontologically and then through language and art I am expanded away from my history and the stories I can tell about me. I trash my collections of flowers-accessories, I am running long hair, I speak without thinking, I am exposed but I am still covered up, I am turning the inside out and it is brown and filthy like The Painter whom I may find out one day who he is and what the fuck he wants from me and it is covered in silk and promises of meaning like his paints and the paints he bought me and the amorous passion to which I wasn’t entitled to as a child, to which he was. It is repeated over and over ‘men stand proud’ so show us your chest, oh yes I will, cause I have binded all up and I look out fearless, funny, so disturbingly funny how men are never meant to appear scared, how on earth. So the first thing is you show your chest like a puffed up peacock, I initially find this posture totally irrelevant to me then again it allows me a pride which has always been relevant to me and also it doesn’t take much else, once I am puffed up and look kind of mean kind of seductive there you have it, as if being a man is just about looking tough and guy-like. Whatever, I like the trick and its effects, I can do it, there isn’t much I can do, but I can be and look serious, I am good at that. I am an unapproachable bastard, like, in a way man, being a man, is all about success. Would a failing man, a scared man look feminine? Femininity is proud also, innit, basically the performance of attractiveness, as if a pose can summarize shit. I guess Jens explored this more through The Detective character: what does it look like to struggle and what does it look like to be alone, one like no other one, what does the heart of the gender-freak desire, will they find peace when they find who killed the promises of the glamour of gender as embodied through the disappeared body of the pretty lady-movie starlet?

Something prominent in the residency for me was the first days of deconstruction and undressing of our identities. That was a powerful exercise and after I freaked out and claimed my right to occasionally wear my identity at snippets I missed feeling a non-person. Or maybe these days stand out more in my consciousness because I still held on to a place/stand where I could regard what was taking place from a relative distance that allowed me critical thought because thereon, everything became one. We both got a cold, one after the other, sleeping, waking up, tired, enthusiastic, agreeing and disagreeing with our ideas, feeling comfortable and uncomfortable, it all became one. We, I feel, even started getting used of our guy-ness and having left the girly stuff behind. The discomfort of the first few days was exceptional and exceptionally interesting, yes.

To set the record right: I am queer, so I do have some outlets for the queerness of my gender and sexuality to be played out. Am I privileged cause I don’t have the urge to transition to become a guy that looks like a guy and passes like a guy? Which are the most important privileges to consider regarding this project and would we be offensive if we didn’t consider them.  To whom are these to be explained to? To whom am I trying to say what kinda man I am, in which ways etc. To other artists, to other teenagers, to other lovers, to other drag-kings, to the guys sitting next to me in the lapdancing bar, to the lapdancer, to the people reading me as queer on the streets, to my parents, to god, who is the ultimate goal-receiver?

Is Adam much of a dancer? Will you take me out dressed as your mother’s ex lover? Weren’t you supposed to be a guy 24/7? Did you labor, cause men labor, do you have a prostate, no, I have no clue what happens in my ass or my guts– I just discovered my urethra 5 years ago, I didn’t cum when masturbating till I was 23 etc.

I guess Adam will be what I make of him. The same with Volcano who has a best mate and that actually makes him more happy and alive than any other character. The same with The Painter who is the filthiest of all and still to be discovered why that is.

I d love to write about the body that doesn’t exist and what I d like to do with it and what I do with it. About each and every of my cocks: the silicon ones, the sock, my fingers, my long cunt lips and my big clit, the one that is really a ghost and which I frequently use to penetrate with and what happens when I do, to me and to the real pussies that tell me where to go. I d love to say what my prostate feels like, maybe I can do that.

Adam is ‘me’, the painter is someone else, volcano is an act. Of course I know that all these performances are of myself but these are different ways of exploring the ‘me-ness’ of me and of me/art. I think that exploring identity and non-identity both personally and as an artist mixes super well with my own sense of male-gender as a temple of silent creative agency.

Desire. He. Now we talking. So Jens and I were and are full of that. We have certain circumstances circling our present – I guess, how do you talk about perversion without saying the word? Free to go wild, whatever that means, explore sex and identity through sex and desire. How do I fuck as a man how do I fuck as a woman. How do I look, how do I flirt, how do I stand, how do I rest, how do I fall in love, how do I fall into oblivion?

Anyway, I left the residency, we left Amsterdam and the 20 days of doing just this for the first time, finished. We took night buses and went to the airport and Jens left few hours before me. I was beyond tired and sleepy and waited for hours for my gate number to appear. I went out to smoke two or three times and the last time the sun was rising and I was listening to music like I usually do and I had then a really nice moment between me and the world. And so now I am thinking about excess and exhaustion, in a positive and inspired way.

There are a set of projects we are planning and our exchange feels pretty endless at this stage.

Cervical scrape

[LL]

#1
I’m really nervous.
My pockets are full of wet tissues and my heart is full of worms.
The only thing I can do with any success is to look gay. But will they even believe me?
I’ve spent my whole life trying to be beautiful and now I’m right back to zero and my pseudo masculinity craves an idiotic ugliness.
Pornographic.
The ridiculous rhythmic push of my feminine hips as I try to be manly in this simulated air fuck.
Air guitar, it’s one in the same, a parody of an action.
‘I have to tell you that profile picture is so fucking horrible’ he said – there’s a thin line between desire and repulsion I utter. Besides my cock sock is bigger than yours.

#2
I only feel masculine when I lie alone at night, with my cock, hard in my fist.  I only feel masculine when I am truly sexual. Master hunter, I always initiate the chase, until I am salivating for its sweet meat, and then I lie in wait. Why do I equate masculinity with sex? Why does there feel like such a need to prove myself? To conquer? I perform my masculinity in the way I carry the armature of my body, that supports my throbbing cock. I am aware that I have created a caricature of manhood, a ridiculous parody of something like gristle and burnt meat.

#3
I am a 42 year old man. Dark hair, green-eyes, 5,7 tall, my body is lean. Bar-fight face, bloody nose, steel rimmed glasses that I’ve worn since I was 12. Broken down wife beater, hey – vest, I’ve never been married. Heh. My snake hips are small, so I wear braces to hold up my pants, somehow it adds to accentuate the bulge of my cock. I eat a lot of hot dog, so I always smell of sauce and meat. The meat seems to attract the ladies, like flies to shit. I can see their hungry gyrate from a mile away. You know I’ve always been too cool for school. I used to box, now I just fuck for sport. I still wear the belt everyday like a badge of masculinity.

Horn -dog. I’ve fucked way more women than my dad. I’ll fuck anything that moves. Women say I disgust them, but they still spread their pretty little legs. I give all women an equal respect, face down as I grunt in their ear. I love the way my hands look when I spread ass cheeks, spit and slide my finger into her rear. I may not remember every face, but I remember every contour of her insides as I glide. I grew up worshiping plastic ass, silicone pussy with a scent of peach. I was a late starter. There’s no room for teenage boys, in the skate park all vying for alpha, so I would take my hatred out on inflatable curves.

#4
Buck, what the fuck? I try to emulate you, your vulgarity arouses me. I want your skinny sweaty body on top of me, as you commit to memory the pink frills of my wide open pussy. Simultaneously I am you, as you fuck me. I want to possess your throbbing cock, as it slides into me. What is it about your repulsiveness that I crave so much? I could dress up as any man, style choice, and clothes, and yet I pick out the grubbiest seeds of my perversion in order to become man. Like a cervical scrape, I collect the scum of my insides in order to scrutinise your form. In my masculine disguise, my soft cock out, my face looks like corned beef and milk, a sadistic junkie that is about to fuck me right up. He goes in for the kill. Is it all about obliteration?

Alabaster like

[AMP]

I am made from alabaster like, I am so white, pale, my eyes stick out, I could be ill but I am not. Brought up in the 90’s, I look like I could be 12 or 35. I am always quiet, at the clubs, at the bars, at the parties. I wear baggy clothes and hoodies and I am mysterious. I am sad about something but not that sad. I am kind of indifferent. I have some good friends that get me and so I don’t have to say much. I don’t say much. I am desired but I don’t desire. I am kind of made out of stone, I am tough, my toughness vibrates and that is why boys and girls want me. I get bored so damn easily. Deep down I am scared that others might get bored with me but I don’t touch that much. I walk in the night around looking tough and I get into some fights. When people touch me up I am not sure what’s happening I go to my friends to tell them about it. Something has been lost and till comes back I ll be a little sad, that is all, and not much more to be discussed about it. I am hesitant to tell you how desired I am. I am wanted. I am adored and bored of being adored. My body and my skin are mine, I touch it and have energy orgasms. I get off with music. I get off with images and ideas. The floor in my room is exactly like my skin, made of marble like but made by something else. Looking down I look up. I sit with my legs open my hands on my head I think about a song and how it suits me. I look at my long hair, semi long, wavy, I wonder if I have a cock, I look, I am still not sure. I am in between and I have no clue what to do with my genitals. I smoke a lot, all the time, I drink a lot but I am never out of control. I am just not that interested in sex. I think if I want someone I ll fuck them once just so I say I had them. I am the one who decides to stay or go. I ll decide to go. Later on I want others exactly like me. Made from alabaster, androgynous, genderless, with long hair or shaved heads, on matrices on the floor, will be great. I fuck them really drunk, I have no clue how it was like or their name. I want it again so I can remember it, I try to find them, I get drunk, I fuck someone else, I am not sober enough to figure out my genitals. I let the alabaster of my skin go, I trust our relationship enough that it will come back. I remember it one night facing a wall struggling to sleep. I tell myself: that is what I am made of. I ve grown into a woman with long hair and tight skirts and a pussy fucked. Hair have grown on my face and my chest. I ve found my clit and someone told me it is called a clit. I ve seen other clits and they are definitely clits. I wonder if my cunt lips are balls, if they are not if they can pass as such. I love fucking asses and lick them. I don’t go on my hands and knees except if I have to. I like to have to. My submissiveness I am told is good for me till is not anymore. I want a great knife in my pocket to threat bastards I am scared of. A gun and a hoody, to look straight in the eye walking down at 4am. I go anywhere I want anytime I want to. I don’t give a damn about animals or kids. My gaze captures and petrifies my opponents. I had no clue of those when younger. Fearless, I didn’t see the necessity of fighting, the world was a ball of happiness and creativity that could certainly contain my looks, my silence, my quiet yet seductive behaviors. I surprise the crowd when I dance. My silence saves me, cause all the juices are kept in me. When I dance I don’t give a shit about the world. I smile to my friend cause we are locked in our own surreal universe and our audience loves us although we could pooh with indifference all over our audience. Later on I am drunk trying to repeat my act, but so it happens I am in love and hurt and falling over. I am asked what is my name by lorry drivers and I tell them the name of woman from a film. They ve put on that song cause they know I dance it well though now I am failing. And it is a bit like they want me to entertain the lorry drivers and the bartender. I wear a long tight black skirt and I wonder if my cock shows. Will they be scared of my cock and not need me to entertain them no more? I meet many female bodied lovers who tell me over and over how much they d like to have a ‘real’ cock. I don’t get it as I feel my hand as a great penis that seems to be doing the job right. Strap ons don’t look that great on me, I transform into a big man. I was never meant to be a big man. I am a tall boy hidden in clothes, I was never meant to be naked. I think: take that bitch, take it deeper take it better you little slut you whore you slut of the whole godamn village, yeah cum bitch, cum fuckhole, cum on my cock, cum on my skin, I sweat, I want you, I love you so so so so much. I could fuck you for ever letting all else that I love go. Open your legs or even better I ll open them for you. I ll tear you apart, turn over, bend over, I just saw these moles on your skin these marks I ll kiss them after I finished fucking you. I wear doctor martens since I was a boy and I look at them on my reflection when I walk by shop windows. I listen to dub and my solders move about as I walk, coming to get you or better pass you by.

I look the butchest ever since I was 15 sitting on that lapdancing bar in Amsterdam surrounded by men that read me as queer in fact they think that my friend is my girlfriend cause now we both look boyish. Whatever, let their objectification go and try to be present in the lap dancing experience. I am not sure about the tit-slaps I am getting but I love her riding my cock. It is a sock but it is still hot and I can feel it growing as she teases me with her cunt. She is a good one, she whispers on my ear and kisses my cheek and makes me believe that she wants me. I worry about how much I ve aged and whether I ll ever be a young boy again, now that I have to face the world. I don’t touch her much cause I am a respectful young man. It will be part of the poetry that still gets me off so much and her long hair remind me of the guitarists I wanted to fuck and I wanted to be all at once and to make music with. I wonder what she enjoys and if she has kids and for how long she has been lapdancing. I think of my friend who is starting off her career as a sex worker. I wonder about me and my sex and my sexual life and art. Can my cock turning inwards come out through my ass? Can I fuck your backwards till your own ass bleeds and then we can make a picture out of that? Can I wear a mask? If I do enough therapy will the alabaster come out again? The lap dancer says ‘yoohoo!’ and insinuates that I should slap her bumcheeks but I am so not going to do that with all these other men watching. Another guy sticks his whole face in a dancer’s ass crack, she says, look at me, look at me, be more gentle. The words gentle and firm remind me of a guy lover I had. The same with the word sideways. First I was drunk and I was like why am I fucking someone with a dick, ok that is really boring, can we do something else, something more adventurous, he said what, like sideways? Autistically, I though, a-ha!, there is a whole new dimension to sideways. Sideways as an art methodology.  But I didn’t know what to do and I wrote him a love letter about avocados and words and how I d die if he d leave me. I don’t like sucking cock, anyway, he was like touch my balls smoothly then firmer, firmer, f-i-r-m-e-r.

The Detective

[LL]

A woman dressed as a man masquerading as a woman. The detective;  a camp parody of female manhood, in black spandex leggings, high heels, and feminised dinner jacket, face plastered with a thick layer of badly applied make-up, 5 o’clock shadow and ruby red lips. She/he/they – someone told me recently that it reflects a familiar dynamic, and a confusion that’s steeped within my childhood. He’s right under my nose, and yet he is so allusive. The other day we donned our costumes, you were your mother’s ex-lover and I was my parodic fantasy. We set the film rolling, and we tried to get into role, you closed your eyes, hummed and repeated your name, at least that’s what I think you did, I’ve probably added some extra stuff in there, as memory is apt to do, but that’s how I remember it. You began to draw and squeeze ketchup on the creased surface of the paper, I scuttled out of the room, and appeared at the door, uttering that I would interview you. I knock the door, and tried to swing my arms, like a man trying to be a woman. My voice high pitched and incredibly posh – is this how he speaks?? He’s not sexy at all – ‘helllooooo’ I say. ‘I am detective pimpernell’ – or some such ridiculous name that I’d made up on the spot, in my fluster of panic. ‘Hello’ you calmly reply, a little smirk lighting up your face. ‘Do you know Mrs Flimpleprink?’ I ask, another horrendous name, I have no idea where they are coming from, I think I am nervous. I move my hips from side to side, and pose and pout, moving my magnifying glass close to his head, his crotch. His head looms large inside the round black frame, as mine does the same from the other side. We both crack up. I almost piss myself. He tells me about his painting, as I scrutinise his surroundings. ‘Abstract’, he says, ‘it comes from a place deep within’ as he points to his stomach. ‘You’re a pretty girl’ – he reaches out with his arm, I jump back disarmed. ‘I am a man’ – or am I? ‘No, no, yes I’m a woman, a pretty girl’. I’m so confused right now. I feel asexual in this outfit, even though it hugs my ass, and shows off the delicious curve of my wadded cock sock. I feel no desire for anything within me. Like a piece of curled up paper jammed in the crack of two facing walls. I only inhabit the empty spaces, the small and uninhabitable. Argh, do I really want to be him? He has no desire. Is he a more honest form of myself? But how can I be honest without my desire? I feel if I were to lose them I would lose myself, and this is what happens with the detective. I try to pour everything into him, but he has sex shaped holes and all of my sexuality empties out of him, and all that is left is questions. I describe him as having an obsession with a deceased beautiful young blonde thing, whom he was once called in to investigate. His obsession takes him on a journey, into the bowels of my psyche, where he meets illicit dancers, and women with hypnotic snake-like hips. He finds himself drawn into things that he never thought he could entertain; the women here are so different and seductive that he cannot help but fall under their spell. It makes me think that he is not me, he is someone I want to seduce. I like it when things are difficult. Tense. It makes the prize all the more worthy in the end.

Rubber

[AMP]

This is pretty fucked, in that I have nothing to say. I got ill again as I said. My son yesterday running around with his young cock, excited. I am of course jealous of him. I smell of cigarettes and sickness and secrets. When I put my beard on I think how pretty I am without the beard. I have a natural beard but doesn’t compare with the one I put on. My relationship with love is fucked, big time, son. The more I like me the more I want to smoke the more I dislike me the more I want to smoke the more ill I get. I love this network that is being created. I touched the ass of the rubber dolls and their tits and it reminded me of caressing the body of an actual live woman. My son has never touched that and I wonder whether he can see my real perversity. Fucking hell, whether my ‘real perversity’ is that of my homosexuality. I am really coming out into the world now. Can you tell how much I enjoy holding tits? As I stick my rubber cock into the rubber pussy slit my fingers go into the doll’s asshole. That is natural, that is what you do with a body. I lie down and I put the doll on top of me and it is almost like having another body touching me, it is nice. It hasn’t been that long since I last had sex, what, three months or so, but it feels longer. Fucking the rubber or stimulating fucking it I don’t get quite turned on. I want my son to see how it is like to fuck a woman and don’t give a shit about the world. I want to teach him how it is like to be a man or a woman fucking another woman. I now have accepted the face I pull when I fuck and I use it for the pictures. It has been years of lovers telling me that they like how I semi close my eyes and my tongue sticks out a little and I used to be embarrassed about how my pleasure shows off and now I know for some reason people find this hot and I can pull this face as my masculine face or something.

The immediate publication of things freaks me out, the fact that we are constantly watched somehow even by eachother. I don’t know from which space I function, if I am being ‘honest’ with myself etc or whether I am just trying to appear interesting. I want to fast forward to performing muscles on stages watched by dykes who will then come on my feet to beg for sex. I am not sure how to stay focused on the subject of masculinity. This is a unique opportunity to be a man. What man? What woman? My voice scares the shit out of me as it goes so husky when lower as if I have smoked for longer than how I have been alive. I can’t do an American accent, that sucks. I can only semi do a greek accent which again is all about limitations. I am limited by my biology or history and my capacities and the choices I have done in the past to choose which abilities to develop and also how much would I fancy to parody greekness? Not that much.

Anyway, I sit around being demanding. Why don’t I go out for a beer? Why don’t I go out to fuck some real pussy? My cock is a sock, my cunt is full of hair, I haven’t waxed my tummy so its hair can stick out when I am Volcano and I haven’t worked out in ages. Also if we do get some chicks, where will we fuck them? Front of eachother in the studio? Swap them?

How is it like to fuck in front of your child? And anyway I hardly want to talk to anyone. Even more talk to anyone about the project even more flirt with them. I am still scared of people locking me in their houses or people turning into maniacs on me. People making massive assumptions about me, I really don’t want to explain shit. Fucking my son’s dolls in front of him I feel that something is wrong. But when years and years have passed you can’t stop who you are. He seems like a nice guy, I am sure things will be fine. I don’t really know my son. I love what he did with the porn on the wall. He is artistic. Volcano is the only character I have so far. That and Adam boy. But is it not all about failure, not at all.  I want to say though: that face glue although good quality does stink. I never had an issue about not having a ‘real’ cock, but I am having some issues now about not having a real woman to fuck. And get fucked by. As a guy I seriously want my ass fucked, licked and adored. Small openings of vulnerability or something. But this may also be a wrong influenced. When you fuck son, you let everything go.

[AMP]

I am a clown. I fight with my head. I have a strong head. Her nose bended. I fuck her with poetic passion. That sucker she is married to doesn’t fuck her at all. He. She grabs my balls real well, firmly. I tell her to do that. She approaches as a snake and then I tell her what to do. Fill your hands and nest my balls like they are your offspring. Now that my cock gets hard be firmer.

Success literally petrifies me. I can’t be creative and creatively successful if I am socially successful. Even if my art works I get scared and turn into a stone. Really I am not an artist, that is the whole point. I am a traveller and a beggar.

I haven’t wanked in weeks nor I have meditated. Sometimes I touch my cunt lips and I wonder if they can pass as balls.

Anyway, sex. I don’t do it as I said but returning to it theoretically always focuses me. I used to be a teacher, there are many things you couldn’t guess about me. I have been a very calm kind boy.  Then what happened? I am still the same person, men don’t change. My mum was always saying that. I don’t follow anyone’s footsteps, that’s for sure. I have been wondering if my cunt lips are balls in disguise since I was little. I hadn’t see other cunts and I wondered if mine are normal. My mum was saying I shouldn’t be pulling them much. She called them clitoris. Some guy friend told me when I was 19 that clit is something else and I argued against that. That guy had a cop father and became mates after few years and he stopped smoking weed and started hunting meat and fish with his father. Wisdom. I am not a wise man, I only know that I don’t know anything. My mum read me philosophy when I was young and I was good at school. Porn films?  I say, only if I get my ass fucked. That’s a great idea but not for me. Maybe you can find a brave man to do it, it is a great idea. Good luck with your project. I am in love but I am not sure what love is. I saw that girl working at the supermarket the other day and I decided I want to brake her pretty nose. I love passionately. This is a fucking roller coster first you heal me so I get ill then you heal me from my healing illness. I want to drink whiskey and touch some young thighs. I saw those girls cycling last night in hot pants. My clit erected to my nose and I could smell it.

Horn dog

Buck?

[LL]

Yesterday I was a pervy little horn-dog, hanging out with my pseudo dad. We were enacting what it would be like to be ‘one of the boys’. Two hillbilly hicks, with dubious virtues and no morals. Did we push it too far? Are they still relatable? It was fun to be ridiculous, to talk about stuff that made us sound reproachable. Father and son sifting through porn to post on a bare pockmarked stucco wall. Now come the sex dolls, I can’t stop giggling, as we simultaneously dry hump and I try to poke them with my measly cock. I enjoy touching their inflatable curves, their small humped breasts like torpedoes underneath my hands. I grind, but I am so self-conscious. Is it obvious how much I am enjoying this? I try not to look like I am enjoying it too much, and I keep flitting from one thing to the next, constantly jabbering. I am reminded of that uncomfortable feeling that would sweep over me like a blanket when a sex scene would appear on the screen of the tv as I sat next to my parents, and I would squirm in my arousal. I was once told that my lips go red when I’ve just masturbated, and my eyes go green when I lie. I feel like I cannot hide anything in the recess of my body, all of my organs seek to betray me. Like my nipples yesterday. I think I could come like this, rubbing against her plastic ass, but my shorts are so tight and I’m embarrassed.

Beacons of truth

[LL]

Every time I speak to her I feel a need to apologise for my lack of masculinity. Have I wrongly sold a lie? Does she expect a 100% transformation, deep voice, and stubble chin? Have I failed? All of my characters are so camp. I was so exhausted trying to be a ‘man’ 24/7, and who even said that this was the project anyway? My voice rises as I defend myself. We have been slipping in and out of character, female, male, fe-male. One of my characters, the Detective, is a woman dressed as a man masquerading as a woman. 24/7 I feel a like masquerade of some sort. I wear my masculinity in clothes, and the soft peak of my quiff. I like my hair short. I don’t really look like a boy, more tom-boy. I feel like a fake when I say the word masculinity. I can’t even carry my own posture well. I feel too feminine.  Right now I strive for androgyny. My friend was disappointed in me today, I was wearing make-up. ‘You should not be wearing make’-up she told me – I felt like I had lost the game. What is it I am trying to do? I want to stop being sickened by my own femininity. I want to feel comfortable with my body again (‘again’ was there ever even a before?), I’m sick of feeling not enough. When will I be enough? I uncovered my body today in order to get closer to my skin, then took it back when I saw the outline of my breasts through my ‘wife-beater’ – my nipples felt like beacons of truth, that would whisper with sly words my thoughts I smiled in serene silence. I was embarrassed by their honest form. I only feel masculine when I lie alone at night, with my cock, hard in my fist.  I only feel masculine when I am truly sexual. Master hunter, I always initiate the chase, until I am salivating for its sweet meat, and then I lie in wait. Why do I equate masculinity with sex? Why does there feel like such a need to prove myself? To conquer? I perform my masculinity in the way I carry the armature of my body, that supports my throbbing cock. I am aware that I have created a caricature of manhood, a ridiculous parody of something like gristle and burnt meat. ‘My name’s Buck and I’m here to fuck’ – god I want to be this hideous character. His misogyny gets me hard. How can I be this way as I woman? What is wrong with me?

Bona-fide

[LL]

Taking up space. Women dominate significantly less space than men, closed in on ourselves. Sat down across from us reading a menu, sit two men, their arms spread out as if there is a lump of stone in front of their chest.  We try to replicate and it feels awkward and heavy limbed. It gets cold and I feel my legs wrap around myself, I have to force them to stay open. We play back a video of us talking; my fingers self-consciously feel for my lips and my mouth purses, feminine. My posture is tight to my body, I wince at my girlishness.  The second clip I am transfixed with my own reflection, like a badly acted porn film, I cannot tear myself away from the gaze of the camera, I follow its eyes with a self-conscious vanity.  I still cannot sit like a dude. I am all flailing arms and fingers, eyes agog at my little elfin head as it animates before me.

I don’t feel confident, we’ve watched various you-tube videos that tell you that men sit, walk, stand with confidence. My attempts without this assured confidence are paltry. I just feel like a fake, I am so obsessed with trying to ‘pass’ as a real, true, bona-fide man in terms of looking right that my masculinity has no real character, no real meat and bones. AnnaMaria (aka Adam – my pseudo name is Jens) and I spoke the other night about what we were trying to do, about our failures, our insecurities, phobias and desires. I had been so preoccupied with this physical transformation that I had almost forgotten about the ‘man’ that I had wanted to become. This self-assured, sex-driven, hideously misogynistic man, whose very being exuded his sexual prowess. I need to find him. I need to become him.  He is in there somewhere, lurking beneath the surface, just begging to come out to play.  But how do I coax him out? I suggested that firstly I need to mature through adolescence before I can find him. Do I need to act out the teenage dude, the randy perspiring little geek who no one ever picks for the football team, was that me? Yes, that was always me.  Skinny and pasty, with a propensity for selling porn, and dad’s tuna sandwiches, my lunch sold like hot cakes as my stomach slowly growled on empty.

Adam said that I don’t necessary need to be a man, that there are women out there with enough balls and masculinity. I can stop shedding every selfhood and security that I ever built, about my body not being ‘right’ and ‘enough’.  All those years of slaying insecurities, of growing into my body and learning to love and accentuate what is there, instead of desiring for another body. I think that is why this shedding of my femininity and my attempt to step into maleness left me feeling so adolescent, so robbed of all my being, my body was not mine because I did not want to lay claim to it. But I am taking it back, I am taking back my tiny waist, and long lanky legs, with breasts that lie like the ‘tiny upturned bellies of fallen sparrows’ – I think that was a recital of a Leonard Cohen line, a self-titled ‘ladies man’ –  and my little face with giant eyes. He showed me pictures and videos of female bodied masculinity, beautiful and raw in their virility. Androgynous creatures, that lie on the cusp of gender, neither male nor female. I like this in-between-ness, my whole practice resounds around this theme, and so I slip inside and embody this duality with a wave of welcoming pleasure.

Yummy

[AMP]:

Yummy.

I don’t believe anyone. I am not exactly depressed I just don’t like myself. My wife and two kids are well and that is what is important. I don’t like being pushed. My name is K.P.

Well, usually in writing I d try to be ‘honest’ but I don’t know what honest is at this stage. I imagined that I would go to a place where silence makes sense but it seems that sense comes out of choices. Do I have any choices?

The bike-rides remind me how much of a scared bastard I am. Though I am not a phobic man. I am a man that has forgotten something. Manhood at this primary stage is about forgetting. I ve kind of forgotten what I wanted to say.

Looking at the boys on the streets I don’t know if I find anything attractive in them. Some of them are cool but the kind of coolness I look to embody (male or female) seems ridiculous. How does one come to perform a detail of themselves to impress a crowd? A detail so important that cam become monumental in an art context in a point in historical time.

Getting lost like when falling in love, admitting a lack and everything. A lack that is an illusion. I guess we are looking for something that is constant. And what will happen if I die? If I was to die it would mean that everyone has lied. Shit.

I got a message from some man that fucked me 5 or 10 times 4 years ago; he says he is sorry about how he treated me. I am tempted to write back and point out how sex with him was dissatisfying. But then there is all this talk about satisfaction.

And what is commitment all about?

The first days was basically a deconstruction of our identities based on releasing or letting go of our female charms and undressing off our identities. That pushed me to some mental edge pretty quickly and I wanted out of that pressure. I decided to become someone expressive in filth. Fuck, I ve missed writing so much. I though I need to hold on to my sanity somewhat so I can deliver. The limitations of my body are pronounced. Not my tits or my curves but how I hold, carry it and how I feel about it.

And there is something major about exchange and dependence going on. The lack of time. The more there is the more it is not enough.

Three aspects:

1.Volcano. He is a guy that usually doesn’t know what’s going on, he is careless. What I like about him is that I don’t need to put much thought in him cause he himself doesn’t think much. I am also playing here with mocking somewhat the artist Del la grace Volcano who I should note I admire very much. The artist is nothing like my Volcano guy but I am drawing from the word volcano, explosive and aggressive, ready to spit out fire, if I ever wake up after centuries of sleep. Volcano is to do one thing at the moment, sing a song showing us all what he’s got which is: his unique ability to disassociate. As a kid he stayed focused to an imaginary world under all circumstances, he is a committed man and he will tell us his truth:

You spin me right round, baby
right round like a record, baby
Right round round round
You spin me right round, baby
Right round like a record, baby
Right round round round.

2. X. , mother’s lover. He is a painter. He lives in the 80’s where he is freshly divorced and has a son my age. He has a studio where I sit and watch him paint abstract. It’s really dirty and he makes space for me to sit and watch. I ask him what something at a painting is but I don’t understand/remember what he says. I want to find out how he makes love, if he gets her pregnant and if he brakes her nose.

3. I am silent and heavy. I don’t say much. I speak some but I don’t say much. I don’t need to say much. My decisions just come across, I just come across. Inside me is written ‘MAN’, in yellow and brown. That is privacy.  I have some serious problems understanding how others receive me in life. I make mistakes all the time. But I have this private certainty. A secret.

Something more adventurous is at play than how I carry my secrets around when I pass as female. I know how to pass as female, though i sometimes fail.

Masculinity & failure

Magnolia

[LL]

I want to include a few excerpts from things I have written over the years; about my desire, my fantasies of masculinity and my failure in trying to embody them as a physical manifestation. I seem to keep hitting against a brick wall in my attempt to give form to an intangible ‘thing’ that always existed within me. In the moment of my desire, and only within this moment of desire, I would swing back and forth between girl and boy, penetrated and penetrator, a constant push and pull; an in between-ness that is manifest within the whole visceral body of my work.

From ‘A summary’:
‘My main character the Detective; explores my fantasies of masculinity and of coming to terms with my own femininity. The only ‘male’ in the story, although his lack is substituted with a bulging cock-sock lest his true gender be displayed, and his apparent masculinity called into question.  Girls swoon in his presence, he only has to adjust the curve of wadded material and they moisten in anticipation.  He is the super stud of my pubescent dreams, with the swagger that I always wanted to possess.  [Growing up] I began to develop a kind of simulated hermaphroditism, where I could be at once both male and female, existing in a constant state of in-between. I did not feel as if I was born into the wrong gender per se, nor did I feel I wanted to become a boy.  I was a girl, but the freedom of masculinity and its ideals seemed to appeal to me more than what I perceived as femaleness. As puberty encroached, and I [b]loomed toward womanhood, the balance began to shift as my interaction with the world as a ‘female desired by men’ took on shape. I no longer held the masculine gaze, I was in the male gaze, where men do the looking and women are looked at. Images to be consumed. The make-believe  characters within my hyperbolic narrative explore this journey, trying to order and make sense of what is it is to be fe-male, or anything in-between.’

From ‘[Seduce and Destroy?] Notes on masculinity and failure#1’:
‘I am finding it difficult to visualise my detective character, it is something that I have been trying to bring to fruition for some time now. I don’t understand it, perhaps I am not focussing enough, perhaps I do not want to give him a face, maybe he has too many. He is within me, I can feel him. He is the stuff of my pubescent dreams. He is me. And yet, he does not want to come to the surface as I try to re-imagine him. An imaginary friend, he never needed to have a self. He came out through me. Perhaps that is what is more important. I have been trying to make myself a parody of a man, but it didn’t quite fit. It seems to keep rejecting. For me, it is not about a certain look, more of an attitude, a demeanour. As a child without the restrictions of societal morals of which I had not yet learned, and with a basic need to satisfy desire, I was able to ‘act out’ the man of my dreams. This masculinity was a part of me, with no need to separate.’

From’[Seduce and Destroy?] Notes on masculinity and failure#2’:
‘In my search to define my detective character, I have begun to think about the notion of masculinity of which I aspire. The more I dwell upon it. The more I see that it is almost like a caricature of manhood. A childish demonstration. He is a strange mixture of sexualised rogue and asexual Oxford don. The serious, stalwart gentleman whose authority never falters, and never succumbs to failure and the serial womaniser (an exaggeration of my father) who’s every swagger exudes sexual prowess, like a lion in his cage stalking the meat on the floor. “I can have any woman I want” he utters. […] I want to be that man, to possess that kind of arrogance and power. Tom Cruise’s character in the film Magnolia exemplifies this ridiculous parody of manhood, which I find simultaneously revolting and horribly seductive. I am seduced by the way he moves, cock first. I love the opening sequence of the ‘seduce and destroy’ clip, he is illuminated, grandiose and inflated with sex. It’s like an exaggeration of masculinity, and I want to gulp it up.’

This collaborative residency period feels absolutely integral to the expansion of my female masculinity, being able to talk about these ideas and desires have really opened up the scope for these characters. Taking them out into public, on film, caught static in images, suspended in the husky echo of my lowered voice – they are finally coming to life.

We spent the first five days trying to don the guise of ‘men’, trawling charity shops and watching with hawk-eyes the languid poetry of the male body on the streets of Amsterdam. I have been a bit fixated on this notion of trying to ‘pass’ in public as a real man, longing for the bristly brim of facial hair, and the broad shoulders of my imaginary protagonist, I would sigh in frustration as I caught a glimpse of my skinny legs sheathed in baggy jeans reflected in the window of a passing shop. It took me right back to adolescence, that gawky uncomfortable stance where I would sit in ill-fit nameless clothes, unsure as to who I was, or what I truly desired. An overwhelmed sense of self-consciousness, down to my very walk, my eyes undressed without years of make-up, and my hair short with ears poking out like radars. Who the fuck I am? Just someone trying to fit in, watching for cues of where to step, which foot forward, how to move manly hips, stand tall and don’t cross your legs. I seem such a long way from my Detective.