Monday, May 22, 2006

An Atlas of Depression

more juicy lubricous imagery by crookedletter

I was recently auditioned for a spot in Sampson Agonistes: A Bipolar Hunk Calendar, which apparently is a hot item for next year, following on the popularity of other DSM IV themed calendars, such as Wet Borderline Babes and Narcissistic Kitty. I really hadn’t seen the publication before glancing at the studio (I only became involved in the hopes of further educating the public about mental illness and not out of any selfish reasons): the emphasis in the photos seemed to be on the contrast between the outward physical strength and mass of the models and their apparent inner fragility that few would suspect. The models are hunched over on weight benches, clearly put out by more than their reps, or besmeared in a mixture of grief and confusion working on their neglected muscle cars, the tangle of parts, belts and wiring being a correlative of the tormented mental state of the model. The spring months feature hunks in the rain, or set upon by sprinklers; the drops of water form virtual tears, for it is never clear if the hunk is sobbing or not. The photographer’s compositions seemed informed by a long tradition of grieving or agonized male heroic figures: my pose with the snake recalling the Lacoon group, the Mr. July’s spilt ice cream, the feasted liver of the Titian Prometheus, the beach boy in cut-offs not so much lurching after his frisbee, but recumbent as a dying Gaul. Or perhaps I am reading into this. Anyway, working on the calendar was an emotional experience for me: gazing at our images, we appear massive, heroic, sad and distant, like mountains ranged after each other, the torments of the earth. We mortal icebergs of flesh. We lurching sad dolmens of lats. We ruinous slabs of unhappy beefcake.

now, now

62nd TURN; WEEK: 49; WORDS: 55,717

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