It’s all about ME, Not You

(2017) Photograph 245x 135cm transferred to 800x300cm voile fabric

The title It’s all about ME, Not You refers to Greer Lankton’s (1958-1996) final exhibition cataloguing her controversial (and highly sexualised) artwork.

The pose, however, echoes the Pieta and presents a clear connection to Michelangelo’s last sculpture Pieta Rondanini, completedjust before his death in 1564. This work deals not only with my own autoeroticism but also explores issues such as life and death, redemption and the abyss of being a single gay man. By exhibiting myself, I want to explore my private anguish through two characters, namely; Jesus (my corporeal self)and Mary (my inner being). Two bodies become one organism, one takes care of and nurtures the other – there exists a boundless connection.

Being born in Poland, where the Catholic Church still exerts considerable influence on the political scene, you feel that being gay is almost criminal. Gay people are not always readily accepted and you can experience prejudice and a sense of rejection. Deviating from the traditional Pieta (mother and son) and occupying both positions myself, I want to challenge the viewer and ask whether this change can be accepted and appreciated by both church and society. If yes, then what does this subversion mean and, if not, then why not?  

Transferring the life-size photograph on to this diaphanous fabric generates a ghostly, mysterious effect somewhat akin to the Turin Shroud. The picture becomes almost visible, but not sharp enough to see fine details. Shifting the picture to an 8m long veil allows a deeper connection with history from the Bible where Matthew writes: “And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.I want to question the outmoded meaning of orthodox religion in the 21st century.