Tuesday, July 31, 2007

John Duncan:

As for "staying alive," there is no act as pitiable and tragic as the attempt to assert one's life (manifested in eros) against the actual experience of one's desperate numbness unto death (thanatos). Such is the image of pathos that the violent debasement of John Duncan's loathing in BLIND DATE (1980) recalls. In May, Duncan purchased a female corpse in Tijuana for the purpose of sex, and taped his sex act with it. After this experience of "indescribable intense self-disgust," he returned to have a vasectomy in order, he later wrote, "to make sure that the last potent seed I had was spent in a cadaver." Photographs he had taken of this operation anticipate Orlan's equally pathetic and self-destructive cosmetic surgery in the 1990s. Duncan had to wait six weeks for the vasectomy, the waiting period required then in California , and after the operation he scheduled a performance of BLIND DATE before a public to whom he recounted the experience, saying that he "wanted to show what can happen to men that are trained to ignore their emotions." Linda Burnham, editor of High Performance magazine (1976-1997), refused to publish an account of BLIND DATE because she found it "highly morally objectionable" and preferred to be "guilty of censorship" rather than to be "responsible for putting that material in front of any one, especially my kids." When she imagined that the incident was a "rape" from a body whose "spirit" my not have yet "gone from her body," Duncan responded that it was like "having sex with meat."

1:15 AM