Pornceptual presents pornography as queer, diverse and inclusive. It aims to prove that pornography can be respectful, intimate and artistic, while questioning usual pornographic labels. “Can art succeed where porn fails – to actually turn us on”?Pornceptual is turning 5 years old and they are celebrating with an exclusive YASS interview!
How did Pornceptual project come to life? Where does the name derive from?
I (Chris Phillips) created the project in Brazil to explore eroticism through photography. I then moved to Berlin where I met my co-partner (Raquel Fedato) and we have been developing the project together with the help of our team (Eric Phillips, Pierre Emo, Kasper Burghout). We are now based in Berlin, where we host parties and art events, have a printed magazine and run an online collaborative platform. The name comes from “porn” and “conceptual”, meaning that we propose new concepts to pornography.
What was the reaction of people to your project?
Mixed. We receive a lot of positive feedback and many people want to participate and join our events. But, also, a lot of criticism of people. Some say that it’s not art, some that it’s not porn. We are happy to create this kind of confusion.
How do you define porn?
Nothing is pornographic by itself, pornographic meanings can be created via social interaction. So, we are not trying to create a specific definition of what is porn.
Should porn be demystified?
On the contrary, porn should be mystified and continue to perplex people.
Can porn be a weapon for social change?
Yes. Porn is disruptive by its nature and can be a powerful weapon against conservatism views and right-wing politics.
What is your manifesto and your mission?
Here is our first “pornifesto”:
-Pornography is a source of aesthetic experience
-Pornography is a tool of sensual liberation.
-Pornography is a queer momentum.
-Pornography is the ultimate expression of art.
-Pornography is a safe haven for the outcast.
-Pornography knows no limits of tastefulness. Pornography is visual freedom.
-Pornography is in the most mundane aspects of our lives. Pornography is life.
-Pornography should no longer be corrupted by morality and religion.
-Pornography knows no geographical or cultural boundaries. Pornography is unity,
-Pornography does not exploit. We exploit pornography.
Is there a limit between pornography and art?
No, they are not excluding concepts. Something can be porn and art at the same time while fitting perfectly to both categories.
Do you think that queer art is under-represented these days?
Internet has been a very useful tool for queer artists to broadcast their work, but maybe it’s still underrepresented in mainstream artistic field.
How do you question the usual pornographic labels of societies?
By proposing new forms of representation and new approaches to the production of pornography.
What are your artistic inspirations and references?
I would rather not mention specific names. We are inspired by the Berlin queer community.
How has the LGBTQ+ community embraced your project?
Our community is mostly queer, from the artists contributing to the guests from our parties. They embrace very well our concept to celebrate new forms of sexual freedom.
Does the magazine portray your personal aesthetics or is it a collective of the artists featured in your platform?
Both. We have a really big group of artists that often contribute with the project and we always welcome new perspectives. But in the end, we also need to curate the content based on our own aesthetic preferences otherwise it would be impossible to select from the work.
Who would you like to feature in your magazine?
We always like to feature the work of new upcoming artists that are willing to help us bring more diversity to the project.
How did you manage to become one of the most popular LGBTQ +iconography and queer art platforms?
Thank you, but we believe that we still have a long way to go. We are working hard to make the project very active and, at the same time, trying to stay critic about what we do.
What can we find in your online stores?
In our online shop, we present fetish gear with a fashionable/creative twist. You can find the work from different independent designers. We also sell our printed magazine and a few books.
Is the male body usually dominating the domain of nude art?
No, representations of the female body are usually more explored in nude art and mainstream media. But the male perspective is dominant because the work is mostly produced by men. This has to change.
Where do you find your collaborators and how can someone become a part of your project?
Mostly online. Anyone can get in touch and contribute via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What shall we expect from you in the future?
We plan to expand and have more authorial video productions. We are also planning a new edition for our printed magazine and events in different cities (Berlin, Stockholm, London, Amsterdam, Helsinki, New York, Sao Paulo, among others).
More of Pornceptual here:
*all images are courtesy of Pornceptual