Heterosexual Cultures, 2017
Pressboard, petri dishes, found images from Harlequin novels, laser prints, vinyl, adhesive, wall hook, lab coat
In 1515, Albrecht Dürer created a woodcut of a rhinoceros. Although he had never actually seen one himself - and his rendering was wildly inaccurate – the print he created was widely distributed and believed to be a true representation of the creature. It shaped public perceptions for more than two centuries.
My grandmother read over 500 Harlequin Romance novels in the last 30 years of her life. Represented on those book covers are rituals of romantic attraction, desire, and courtship - particularly, acts of physical connection. These scenes are mesmerizing - part sensational performance and part meticulous didactic, reproducing and propagating notions of possession, control, and uncontrollable lust. I study these images with a pseudo-scientific curiosity.
In this work, I sorted, categorized and documented a taxonomy of heterosexual behaviours, gazes, kisses, and physical touches.
I detail an imagined beast.