Page 657 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                637
             style reflects my psychology. My angle anchors my point of view for the
             viewer. I cannot be detached and aloof from the subject because I must
             heat up the viewer to connect to the subject. That’s my job. This is not just
             documentary; it’s erotic documentary. I must become the viewer. I must
             turn his ignition to engage his willing suspension of disbelief that occurs
             when the viewer becomes his voyeurism — and his head and his heart and
             his cock leap up and become one with the screen.
                My photography is the same as my erotic writing: intentionally inter-
             active. In my erotic art theory, on page and on screen, my aim — using
             standard literary devices — is to connect with the readers or viewers in a
             way that causes them to experience orgasm.
                I like my art on page and screen to start in men’s heads and work its
             way down.
                That connectivity is what I hope distinguishes me as an artist who is
             a writer and a photographer from the other artists — the gay-genre writ-
             ers — who are my unthawable peers, but don’t, won’t, can’t compose orgas-
             mic erotica. I mean writers, for instance (and this critique is not meant as
             a pot shot), like the Violet Quill book club of Edmund White, Andrew
             Holleran, Felice Picano, and all the usual suspects who are the pale dar-
             lings of the increasingly bourgeois and totally corporate mega-business
             of the gay establishment made up of professional homosexuals. Who of
             them was writing, and publishing erotica, popular or literary, back in the
             Titanic 70s when wide-open gay liberation would have allowed them to
             experiment any way they were clever enough to pioneer? I would have
             welcomed any of them into Drummer, but none of them was far enough
             along in his writing skills to pen erotica — or ballsy enough, perhaps, to
             come out of the closet as authors of eros. As an objective correlative of this
             sniffy 1970s attitude, I offer that it took until the twenty-first century for
             the Lambda Book Report to dare grant a Lammy Award to — eek! — an
             erotic book.
                Writing is a solitary act and art. Photography is a cooperative act
             and art. One has to be sensitive to the men being photographed out in
             public, who because they are being outrageous in public, become news-
             worthy, and the more outrageous they dress or act, the more newsworthy
             they become. Sometimes they do not know this legal distinction. Public
             behavior determines whether or not a person can be photographed in
             public. The only two restrictions for such photographs is that in the pho-
             tograph or caption the subject is not ridiculed, and that the subject shot
             in public is not used for advertising. A street documentary photographer
             must be ready to handle any response — including a punch in the face.
                I have a relentless camera. As an artist, I have to have. To get mean-
             ingful footage that is not the kind of “tourist footage” that most video

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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