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The Barbican Masculinities Interior Audio Guide - Transcript

An audio transcript of The Barbican Masculinities Interior Audio Guide from the Masculinities Community View. 

This is 'Untitled, Pissing', made in 1995 by Norwegian artist Knut Asdam. It is a silent video which plays a series of 50 to 70 second sequences in a loop lasting 30 minutes, displayed here on a small monitor. The work shows a single colour image of a male crotch. The frame of the image is fixed and fills the whole screen. The only action that occurs in the film is a growing damp patch caused by the protagonist urinating.

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This is 'I'm Too Sad to Tell You' made in 1971 by artist Bas Jan Ader. It is a silent film lasting 3 minutes and 18 seconds. Shot on black and white 16mm film now transferred to digital media, it is here displayed as wall projection. The work shows the artist weeping uncontrollably in front of the camera, often breathing deeply and wiping his eyes with his hands. Despite the deliberately ambiguous title, critics have speculated that the artist's reason for crying in the film was related to his father, who was executed by the Nazis for harbouring Jews during World War Two.

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This photograph titled Forte da Casa, Portugal, May 20 2000, is taken from the series Bullfighters 1994-2000 by Rineke Dijkstra. The colour photograph is a portrait of a young man wearing a white shirt, red tie and floral pattern jacket. The boy has short hair, blue eyes and is smiling casually at the camera. His face, shirt and jacket are smeared with blood in a rough way, and he has a large plaster under his chin. The series documents Portuguese bullfighters, fresh from their fights. The bullfighters work in teams of eight their success depending on camaraderie and synchronisation.

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The final work is from the photographic series titled 'The Return of the Prodigal Son', created in 1982 by Duane Michals. The series consists of five gelatin silver prints with hand applied text. The black and white photographs show a cinematic frame by frame narrative of a son returning home to his father. At first, the son is naked, holding his head bowed in shame. In the subsequent photographs, the father gets up from his newspaper, removes his clothes and gives them to his son. In the final photograph, the two men embrace holding each other's heads and upper bodies as the father stands nude and the son now fully clothed. In this photograph both men's heads and are now bowed and obscured by each other's embrace.