Q/A Wayne Koestenbaum

What is the porn punctum?

"In a porn photo, the punctum is the detail that does not arouse. It neutralizes desire, and by that act of clemency, of numbing surcease, surreptitiously reinstates and intensifies passion. As devotees of porn, we request the real, not the fictive; we want to verify the depicted scene. The narcotic bath in which we steep, while “enjoying” a porn photo, consists of non-sexual details that are concupiscence’s underpainting, the unsuspected colors (ultramarine, burnt umber, alizarin crimson) that secretly give the gure its conspicuous liveliness…"

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WAYNE KOESTENBAUM is a New York-based poet, critic, artist, performer – has published eighteen books, most recently Notes on Glaze: 18 Photographic Investigations (Cabinet Books, 2016).