Reading the Liminal: An Interview with A.K. Burns

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Reading the Liminal: An Interview with A.K. Burns

really simple, banal essence of touching and exploring. A set of gestures that were not presented in a coy, manipulative or seductive, way. I think men are privileged to have the space to be sexual. In the videos—as in life—I'm performing androgyne as opposed either binary.

Patricia:  Which seems very deliberate…
A.K. Burns: It's who I am. In the videos, my body does tend to read as masculine which partially comes from what I culled together from the original videos—the esthetics of the environment and attire. And the videos I was most drawn to were typically produced by men for men. If women were producing them, it was typically for men. As with most pornography, the population of women consuming this stuff is much smaller. The resources I culled from were homosocial because the hetero versions were too predictable and unconsciously staged to look sexy. This is an essential difference between queer-sexuality and normative-sexuality.

Patricia: And I think that's the queer shortcut. The queer shortcut immediately picks up on which  aspects of sexuality function like a readymade. Do you know what I mean?
A.K. Burns: Yeah. And as a homo you may reenact such behaviors. Such as dyke porn where there's a butch with a dildo fucking a femme. That can be a fun option, it's fine, but it's actually a fairly alienating normative image that has little to do with my own sexuality. And it re-inscribes the old idea that the phallus is required for sexual pleasure, but that has so little to do with what women need/want to get off.

Patricia:  So, we're back to the cucumber…
A.K. Burns: Haha, we're always returning to the cucumber! 

Patricia: Well, only because that sort of penetration has become this signifier, or actually, this validator of the sexual act.
A.K. Burns:  It's mostly absurd, and brings to mind the notion that one could be a virgin or not a virgin. As if there is a before and after in sexuality that is delineated by a unidirectional type of penetration. Instead, I see a continuum of desire, pleasure and exploration.



In addition to the current show at ICP, and an upcoming solo show at Callicoon Fine Arts in September 2013, you can view more of A.K. Burns's work here: 

Alchemical at Steven Kasher Gallery in New York, July 10th - August 10th 2013

Fight Repression of Erotic Expression: A public conversation/screening in conjunction with Free to Love: The Cinema of the Sexual Revolution, at the Ibrahim Theater, International House Philidelphia, PA. Wednesday, July 31st at 7:00 PM