21 years ago this month the Sodomites with Flashlights presented Sodom etc. — a seminal piece of queer art. To commemorate the anniversary, I will be posting excerpts, pictures and other material traces left by the show.
As the month goes by, just click on the Sodom etc. tag below to see everything posted.
What follows is the artists’ statement from the program of Sodom etc. A few historical notes: first, it was 1992 so there was still no effective treatment for HIV/AIDS, the “cocktail” still being 3 years in the future; second, this marks the first explicit statement of the philosophy of Enlightened Nihilism: “there’s nothing, absolutely nothing. You are born, you die and then there’s nothing. Now, given this fact, you have two choices. You can be either optimistic or pessimistic about absolutely nothing.We Sodomites argue for optimism.” The slogan POSITIVE ABOUT ABSOLUTELY NOTHING comes from a documentary about the Queer painter Francis Bacon, discussed here.
What Sodomites have to offer
I think when it comes down to it, what we Sodomites have to offer is a belief in the supremacy of pleasure and a recognition that the only real human right worth anything is the right to that pleasure.
And we don’t mean simply food and fucking. We imagine as yet unnamed pleasures, waiting to be revealed by someone clever, like you.
Think about it. A world where people are taught that if it feels good do it. If it feels good, but you are hurting yourself, or others, then stop doing it, or find a better way to do it.
Take Safer Sex for example. Sodomy is pleasurable, but we learned the hard way that AIDS meant it was decidedly unwise to engage in it. Did we stop? No. We found a way through condoms, toys, love and lube to do it without the negative side-effects. Resourceful, aren’t we?
The other thing to keep in mind is that no one else can give you pleasure. You have to make your own, possibly in concert with others, but it is ultimately your responsibility. You can’t delegate it.
We have a bit of news for you humans: there’s nothing, absolutely nothing. You are born, you die and then there’s nothing.
Now, given this fact, you have two choices. You can be either optimistic or pessimistic about absolutely nothing.
We Sodomites argue for optimism.
It may be hard when so many friends and lovers are struggling with AIDS, when so many of the girlfriends seem determined not to have fun, when the rate of addiction in our community is three times that of the general population, when our Dyke sisters are still systematically discriminated against because they are women, when we are verbally and physically attacked in the street, but, just remember, nothing is bigger than you, hold onto nothing.
Frankly speaking, we are getting worried with the way things are going. Angels are forever, but Sodomites will exist only so long as there are humans. If you continue trying to dominate nature in order to create profit for the few instead of pleasure for the many then you won’t be around for long.
The Sodomites with Flashlights
As the month goes by, just click here to see everything posted about Sodom etc.