Still from Meiro Koizumi, The Angels of Testimony , 2019 3-channel video installation: colour, sound; archival materials, duration and dimensions variable

“What we could do with, I think, is more immoral art; which is to say, difficult work made by artists who are willing to challenge or simply disregard conventional morality in some way. Throughout the twentieth century, artists were known for rejecting the social norms of their times. Think of Georges Bataille, Pierre Klossowski, André Masson, and co. forming the heretical secret society Acéphale and planning a human sacrifice in the 30s; or, in later decades, the Viennese Actionists smearing themselves in blood and shit and cum, or Robert Mapplethorpe’s homoerotic S/M photography; Adrian Piper riding the subway after soaking her clothes in a foul miasma of vinegar, eggs, milk, and cod-liver oil for a week, Pier Paolo Pasolini filming Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, or Vito Acconci masturbating underneath the floor in a gallery while vocalising his sexual fantasies. Society is far more diverse and permissive now than it was then, so why would some of these endeavours now be deemed so provocative as to be beyond the pale?”


– This text appears in Spike #60. You can buy it in our online shop –