Arnoud Holleman

Stedelijk Museum/Bureau Amsterdam

Arnoud Holleman’s recent show “Being There” began with drawings, but in a rather special form. The book Sperm Drawings, 2003, contains the results of five years of ejaculations on paper, with a neatly traced black background around the white blobs. This work seems like the ultimate result of the “classic” modern artist’s seclusion in his studio, and it introduced the friction between the public and the private as a motif for the show.

For Museum, 1998, Holleman acted like a latter-day Hays Office, eliminating all sex scenes from a gay porn film and showing the remaining footage as a weird ballet of brooding glances and gestures. The film is set in a (fake) museum of antiquities, with young male visitors studying the muscular bodies on display and uniformed guards eyeing the boys. There is a constant sexual tension that never really erupts; all looks and postures point toward what has been

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