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PRINT February 2000

PISS ELOQUENT: THE ART OF KNUT ÅSDAM

It is not polite to speak of the crotch of the question.

—Erik Satie

YOU ARE PUSHED UP CLOSE AGAINST THIS BODY, a man’s body, held by a camera that clings to its object like a pair of too-small trousers to the skin beneath them. You are staring at a crotch. Fragmented by the camera’s inert pressure, this is a body robbed of any sense of boundary, caught—like the trunk of an upended tree—at one of the sites of its own splitting, displaying the shadowy fold of zipper and seam as displaced echoes of the body’s own rupture. You notice, of course, the penis, cradled in the snug material but also pushing against it, the full promise of its phallic burgeoning into form thwarted as well as belied by the blue-gray expanse of fabric melting into a similarly gray background. You face an image almost without figure, a formal condition that emerges as the lethargic analogue of this body without

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