//christopherclary/projects/untitled-larry-and-bobby-kissing



Untitled (Larry and Bobby Kissing) is a series of participatory performances that explore queer representation and intimacy through reenacting a 1979 photograph by Robert Mapplethorpe. 2016-ongoing

At the International Center of Photography in New York, Clary collaborated with shawné michaelain holloway over several months to find a way into Larry and Bobby Kissing. She did so as a black, lesbian, leather woman with her boi friend, Paloma Gil. The set-up was a reverse theater-in-the-round — the audience was surrounded by the performers and projections. There was no formal start or stop and everything could be seen and heard from messy tech to their whispers.

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At the Palais de Tokyo for the Paris Ass Book Fair, Clary was Bobby and the public was Larry. Anyone could kiss him. The “studio” was positioned in the back of the auditorium and the live-stream was projected on stage. Those who participated wore a leather jacket and kissed the artist until he felt them pull away. It was dead silent and surprisingly no one sat in the middle aisle between the kiss and its image — intimacy personified.

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The first version of the kiss was part of an earlier series. FkN JPGs was a weekly performance where Clary made himself and studio into a different image from his porn collection and live-streamed the results to a sex chat website. Episode 25, Mapplethorpe’s Larry and Bobby Kissing felt different than the more vernacular images. Clary kissed Paul Soulellis, Rhizome curator, RISD professor, artist and friend. They were invoking history, becoming it and more. 

Mark