New York

“The Moderns”

Feature Inc.

A perplexing, disconcerting, very pretty thing is the body, and I have been trying to think about bodily beauty as a form of intelligence. The truism about beautiful men and women not being very smart is only interesting as comedy; if thinking through the body is to have any finesse, then those for whom the body is their constant inquiry deserve recognition for the cognitive skill of their dazzling flesh. A taut bod in bed is a kind of thinking. Skin is, muscle remembers, and there is no certainty. If you see someone like Travis in Markus Morianz’s photo, travis, 1995, start with, What’s it like to be you? The answer may be verbal, a sentence with its own remarkable thrust, or performative, a stroking of cock, a flexed tummy, but either answer may alter any preconceived notions of esthetics forever. It is easy to forget that depicting sexiness and come-hither qualities is a complicated

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 1995 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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