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Monday, 30 April 2012 02:00

The Magnificent Seven

By  Steve Rosenthal

Image Gallery

This is an extract from the series, ' The Magnificent Seven' which depicts the presidents of countries with the death penalty for homosexual acts. The portraits are constructed from thousands of smaller images - all extracted from the profiles of visitors to the artist's Gaydar page.

"Everyone wants to have photographs, not only to prove but to invent their experience... Sex used to be the last stand where privacy preserved direct experience without the interposition of models. But when sex went public the fatal surrogate entered, promising 'real' experience by the very consciousness of self that makes it inaccessible" (Brian O'Doherty).

Over the 1000 days between January 29th 2007 and November 15th 2009 my on-line social-networking Gaydar profile received 38,340 hits. Some 15,591 visitors left a visible 'track' evidencing that they had viewed my page.

Extracting from these tracked profiles regardless of content 44,954 images that in a virtual striptease of poetic philanthropy effectively become the exploitable pixel-palette in this series of work.

The appropriated catalogue of homoerotic images, are galvanized and reconvened; the exhumed digital data, cloned from other digital data, digitally re-mastered to reconfigure further digital data: de-creating, in essence, manipulated ready-mades. Re-imagining the imagined, de-constructing the construct and re-contextualizing context, origin authorship copyright and ownership are all systematically called into question; notions of subject and object, absence and presence, production and reproduction, fantasy and fact, the public and the private are precariously packed and unpacked and promiscuously turned inside out.
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