What makes things erotic? Is it the explicit depiction of naked bodies and sexual practices? Or is it the implicitly suggestive form, color, and materiality of things themselves? Some things are designated for erotic use from the beginning, others only get eroticized retrospectively. This exhibition builds upon the collections of sexologists Magnus Hirschfeld (1868–1935) and Alfred C. Kinsey (1894–1956) and art collector Naomi Wilzig (1934–2015).
Marc Martin, « En Passant », Installation 2018, The Eroticism of Things, Museum der Dinge.
The locker room, an intense site of collective experience, reeking of work and grime, symbolizes for me the gateway between two overlapping universes. In my imagination, the key to a secret passage concretizes here. Transitory, furtive instants are what open up so many phantasmic possibilities for me, and they’re precious when captured. Like roaming a world of blurring borders under cover – very erotic to me.
The “simple worker” is not primarily an object of seduction. His mission isn’t to seduce anyone, but to do something. Yet the worker in his boiler suit symbolizes the active man in all his splendor. Sweaty from work, always “getting his hands dirty”... That can definitely be arousing, even if (somewhat cynically) at his cost. Simple and unspectacular, the worker’s naked body, posed for work and accessorized with tools, sublimates the daily grind.”
In his work, artist Marc Martin has been studying a relationship with an oneiric fetishism he associates with virility for over fifteen years. The installation “En Passant” is a trajectory between objects that evoke the latent eroticism of a men’s locker room. The accumulation of worn sneakers in different sizes, colors, and materials – with different scents and origins, form different times, illustrates different directions of a fetishistic attachment to an object.