Director: Marina Abramović, Matthew Barney, Marco Brambilla, Larry Clark, Gaspar Noé, Richard Prince and Sam Taylor-Wood
Year Released: 2006
Shaky collection of shorts claims to work towards some kind of 'meeting point' between art and porn and only succeeds in making both blasé. Most compelling of all the pieces (relatively speaking) is the Clark segment, a warts-and-dicks "casting call" for young male actors trying to get into the business - several notable porn stars appear, undress, appear jittery: 'staged' or not, it's a sobering turn-off. Brambilla's piece is a work of skillful editing (porn clips 'synced' to a rabid drum number), Abramović's an unfunny series of invented Balkan sexual rituals and Taylor-Wood's a dumb visual pun ("Death" Valley and onanism, "seed" falling on unfertile soil). The two American artists don't fare much better: Barney's "Hoist" is actually a segment of a much larger work and what's there comes across as intriguing (man-as-machine, a phallus used as a sculpting tool, a squash doubling as a butt-plug) but in need of further development while Prince's re-recording an older porno is more about violating copyrights (a core concept in his 'other' work) than sex per se - it's a relevant issue in an age of Internet porn, but I'm not sure that was his intention. The Noé film deserves special mention for being provocative not in terms of content - two different people (a male and a female) masturbating to a Katsumi video, with the (male) masturbator turning it into an act of violence - but rather 'style,' an attempt at audience irritation (he's more Artaud than William Castle). There is a warning in the beginning about the strobing effect being harmful for epileptics … but even the warning message itself is strobing. Monsieur Gaspar, you're such a card.