Untitled by Carlo Mollino, 1950s

Most of the photographs and later Polaroids were taken in private environments Mollino called his garçonnières — roughly, “bachelor quarters” — functioning both as photographic studio and erotic milieu of backdrops, curtains, fetish objects, mirrors and assorted trompe-l’oeil mechanics used to create a Lapidus-like “architecture of persuasion.” These interiors, as Benedetto Gravagnuolo has written of those designed much earlier by Adolf Loos, are explicitly meant to “protect the private sphere from public morality.” They are Mollino’s version of a new domestic architecture proposed by Playboy centerfolds of nude women on modernist furniture and in designs for ‘bachelor pads’ published in the magazine, of which Mollino was anavid collector, in the ’50s and ’60s. Interiors also designed to facilitate or stage seduction, the garconierres allow precisely for the type of intimacy that makes Mollino’s erotic photography possible at all. Mollino in fact lived with his mother a majority of his adult life — an irony both Victorian and Warholian in its allusions. The garçonnières rethink, if rather chauvinistically, the place of sexual intimacy in postwar domesticity. The photographs capture this new type of private pace through the technologically mediated seduction afforded by the camera, in particular, the instantaneity of a Polaroid. The ‘tense’ of the photographic event, the staged eroticism in Mollino’s photography, is thus slowed down by technology; these frozen tableaux document intervals of the fl ow of sexual seduction, detaching themselves from the proceedings as an object while also functioning to facilitate them. Mollino himself draws on such an example in his description of the implications of photographic technology: “Once upon a time, when you wanted at a moment to say ‘Stop, you look wonderful,’ you had to place the head of the patient destined to impersonate it in a vice, whileallowing a hazy emulsion and a pedantic piercing lens to take their time; today, that moment lasts thousandths or billionths of a second…”
— João Ribas, Flash Art n. 268, October 2009

Also

Untitled by Carlo Mollino, 1950s

Most of the photographs and later Polaroids were taken in private environments Mollino called his garçonnières — roughly, “bachelor quarters” — functioning both as photographic studio and erotic milieu of backdrops, curtains, fetish objects, mirrors and assorted trompe-l’oeil mechanics used to create a Lapidus-like “architecture of persuasion.” These interiors, as Benedetto Gravagnuolo has written of those designed much earlier by Adolf Loos, are explicitly meant to “protect the private sphere from public morality.” They are Mollino’s version of a new domestic architecture proposed by Playboy centerfolds of nude women on modernist furniture and in designs for ‘bachelor pads’ published in the magazine, of which Mollino was anavid collector, in the ’50s and ’60s. Interiors also designed to facilitate or stage seduction, the garconierres allow precisely for the type of intimacy that makes Mollino’s erotic photography possible at all. Mollino in fact lived with his mother a majority of his adult life — an irony both Victorian and Warholian in its allusions. The garçonnières rethink, if rather chauvinistically, the place of sexual intimacy in postwar domesticity. The photographs capture this new type of private pace through the technologically mediated seduction afforded by the camera, in particular, the instantaneity of a Polaroid. The ‘tense’ of the photographic event, the staged eroticism in Mollino’s photography, is thus slowed down by technology; these frozen tableaux document intervals of the fl ow of sexual seduction, detaching themselves from the proceedings as an object while also functioning to facilitate them. Mollino himself draws on such an example in his description of the implications of photographic technology: “Once upon a time, when you wanted at a moment to say ‘Stop, you look wonderful,’ you had to place the head of the patient destined to impersonate it in a vice, whileallowing a hazy emulsion and a pedantic piercing lens to take their time; today, that moment lasts thousandths or billionths of a second…”

João Ribas, Flash Art n. 268, October 2009

Also



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