PRINT January 1988


tough and sure, both a weapon of liberation and a love poem.

–—Jean Genet

APPROACHING A PRISON, a warder's eye is caught by the sight of a bouquet of blossom being repeatedly swung from one cell window toward another, where a hand reaches for it but fails to grasp it. He goes to investigate, and, peeping into a series of half a dozen cells, each holding a single male prisoner, he sees a different erotic spectacle in each. The warder's excited eye fixes on the mute dialogue between a young murderer—identified as such by a sign above his door—and an older North African man. They communicate through the confining cell wall, which itself becomes the object of desire, an object that is caressed, kissed, punched. The sight fires the warder's fantasies of sex with a succession of men, which appear in a chiaroscuro light. The older prisoner's fantasy is also shown; he dreams of a woodland romance

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.