No Homo #5

Posted: November 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

‘The artwork, which features a naked man sprawled on a bed were lifted from one of Anderson’s old photo books. Taken by American photographer Joanne Leonard in 1971, the front cover picture was originally titled “Sad Dreams On Cold Mornings” and the rear photo “Lost Dreams,” Anderson says, “I just liked the image, really, of the bloke on the bed in the room. It’s quite sort of sad and sexual, I think, like the songs on the album.”‘

It seems to be a time for looking back at the moment. Suede have released their best of album, and Pulp are reforming to do a tour next year. Great if you are into 90s nostalgia, not so great if you are doing your best to forget the 1990s and all who sailed in her.

Brett Anderson, known for his famous line that he is a ‘bisexual who has never had a homosexual experience’, said of the cover photo on Dog Man star that it is ‘sort of sad and sexual’. I agree. It is a very sad image. It reminds me of the last night I spent with my ex, when the light was streaming in from the window, and when I woke after what seemed like only a few minutes sleep in a very long dark night of the soul. I momentarily forgot what had happened and I thought everything was going to be ok. But it wasn’t.

The thing that strikes me on looking at that album cover photo now, is how homo-erotic it is. I am involved in an ongoing quite ‘violent’ (internal) battle with Queer Theory, about the importance of the ‘male lover’ in our culture. Queer Theorists point out how intrinsic this figure is to all our literary and art history, our collective psyches. And the homo-erotic significance of that male lover has been overlooked traditionally. I get that. And I agree. But sometimes it makes me mad that an image like the one above, of a naked man lying head down on a bed the light streaming in from the window, is so much more meaningful than if it were a woman lying there. I don’t know why this is.

Could it be as simple as that beautiful glimpse of naked ass we are offered? That makes us simultaneously feel disoriented, ashamed even, and also delighted by the fact we know exactly what we want to do to that ass, what needs to be done to it?

Comments
  1. Mark says:

    It reminds me of the still of the druggy, naked, headless Joey Dallesandro torso from ‘Flesh’ on the cover of The Smiths, crossed with the fuckable naked bum on the sleeve of ‘Hand in Glove’. Which won’t surprise anyone.

    It’s difficult to tell of course quite whether the subject is sleeping or dead, but the view of him as a faceless arse – and quite a fit arse at that – with one leg up all the better to penetrate him (visually or literally) does make me think of ‘Is the rectum a grave’. Again.

  2. whereas this corpse-like figure, also reminiscent of porno films, also an image from a band that are coming back from the dead, just doesn’t have the same effect:

    http://sleevage.com/pulp-this-is-hardcore/

  3. hmm says:

    Isn’t it curious that a bisexual who ‘s never had a homosexual experience, should create such a homosexually pessimistic image? One would expect that if he never tried it, it would seem like greener grass on the other side, champagne really. The cover is green but not in that way.
    Not only does it speak to experience but also to too much experience. Contemptible.

    Of course he would be, if he said he was really gay just as much as if he were “really” straight.
    Sort of like the lack of belonging destined to seemingly hip mixed race babies.

  4. I dont think it is contemptible, it is only a photo. I find that photo very erotic and sad, and I have never had a homosexual experience either. I have never even fisted a man! (bit of a preoccupation there at the moment. volunteers please form an orderly queue)

    I have no real problem with Brett’s mixed up sexuality. He talks in a silly way but that’s just him. It is the image that made me put this up and my interest in the nihilism? abjection? of men and male lovers in art/literature/life…

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