About

Between poetry and pornography

By challenging the boundaries between poetry and pornography, I try to push the established borders – even within the LGBTQI+ community.

When I was a child, I wanted to be a circus performer and an illusionist. To learn to pretend, to see beyond appearances. Although it is believed to capture slices of life, photography is infatuated with illusion. Who still takes its word for it? My work is about construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction of the self-image. Between fantasized reality and admitted fantasy. Imagination is often more subtle than the front of what is believed to be the truth. By choosing a framing, the photographer separates his work from reality. As he does so, he sometimes makes it more interesting.

I’m not aiming for institutional recognition, academic status, or corporate partnerships. This allows me to make no compromise and to go my own way. This freedom means a lot to me.  with a big brand. So I don’t make any concessions and I go where I want to go. I enjoy this freedom. I have often found the people from the BDSM scene to be more genuine and generous than those sticking to vanillas sex or taking shame in their sexual practices. I take pride and joy in drawing attention to sincere people. I can’t imagine I’ll ever find them ridiculous. Even though the rules of ambient morality blame them. People with bad reputations excite me. If at all, I’ll make fun of the prevailing hypocrisy.

When you look at it, our time is one of harsh sexual regression. Today’s cultural scene is extremely inhibited. There is no way you’ll put sex into a project without it being considered inappropriate and obscene. The social media reflect the strength of puritanical values and political correctness in the US. This has led to an ubiquitous (self-)censorship. Porn, with its rough edge, has inspired my sensitiveness as an artist. I don’t dissociate masturbatory support from intellectual masturbation. In my eyes, they get along fairly well. Unfortunately, we consider sex to be an individual matter instead of looking at it from a political perspective. Staging non-hegemonic sexualities is a strong political act, politically. From my point of view, pornography is also a political weapon, an under-exploited cultural resource. Poetry in in porn is a beautiful topic to fight for.

Marc Martin (1971) is a French photographer and video artist. He lives and works in Paris and Berlin.
Latest book releases (selection):

Beau Menteur
, Agua 2021.
Les tasses, Toilettes publiques – Affaires privées, Agua 2019.
Fenster zum Klo, Agua/ Schwules Museum, 2017.
Fallos
[feat. Arthur Gillet], Agua 2016.
Dur Labeur, Agua, 2015.
Latest exhibitions (selection):
Beau Menteur, Nov.4 2021-Jan.6 2022, Eisenherz, Berlin.
Beau Menteur, Sep.8-Oct.10 2021, Galerie Mille Lieux, Paris.
Les tasses, Sep.18-Oct.3 2020 LaVallée, Brussels.
Les tasses, Nov.19-Dec.5 2019, Point Éphémère, Paris.
The Eroticism of Things, May2-Aug.18 2018 (collective), Museum der Dinge, Berlin.
Fenster zum Klo, Nov.16 2017 – Feb.19 2018, Schwules Museum, Berlin.
Forbidden, June 16-18 2017 (collective), Leslie-Lohman Museum, New York.
Dur Labeur, Dec.2 2015 – Jan.30 2016, Au Bonheur du Jour, Paris.
Dur Labeur, Sep.11-Oct.24 2015, Galerie Koll & Friends, Berlin.
Things that stink, Sep.5-Oct.5 2012 (collective), WasserGalerie, Berlin.
By challenging the boundaries between poetry and pornography, I try to push the established borders – even within the LGBTQI+ community.

When I was a child, I wanted to be a circus performer and an illusionist. To learn to pretend, to see beyond appearances. Although it is believed to capture slices of life, photography is infatuated with illusion. Who still takes its word for it? My work is about construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction of the self-image. Between fantasized reality and admitted fantasy. Imagination is often more subtle than the front of what is believed to be the truth. By choosing a framing, the photographer separates his work from reality. As he does so, he sometimes makes it more interesting.

I’m not aiming for institutional recognition, academic status, or corporate partnerships. This allows me to make no compromise and to go my own way. This freedom means a lot to me.  with a big brand. So I don’t make any concessions and I go where I want to go. I enjoy this freedom. I have often found the people from the BDSM scene to be more genuine and generous than those sticking to vanillas sex or taking shame in their sexual practices. I take pride and joy in drawing attention to sincere people. I can’t imagine I’ll ever find them ridiculous. Even though the rules of ambient morality blame them. People with bad reputations excite me. If at all, I’ll make fun of the prevailing hypocrisy.

When you look at it, our time is one of harsh sexual regression. Today’s cultural scene is extremely inhibited. There is no way you’ll put sex into a project without it being considered inappropriate and obscene. The social media reflect the strength of puritanical values and political correctness in the US. This has led to an ubiquitous (self-)censorship. Porn, with its rough edge, has inspired my sensitiveness as an artist. I don’t dissociate masturbatory support from intellectual masturbation. In my eyes, they get along fairly well. Unfortunately, we consider sex to be an individual matter instead of looking at it from a political perspective. Staging non-hegemonic sexualities is a strong political act, politically. From my point of view, pornography is also a political weapon, an under-exploited cultural resource. Poetry in in porn is a beautiful topic to fight for.

Marc Martin (1971) is a French photographer and video artist. He lives and works in Paris and Berlin.
Latest book releases (selection):

Beau Menteur
, Agua 2021.
Les tasses, Toilettes publiques – Affaires privées, Agua 2019.
Fenster zum Klo, Agua/ Schwules Museum, 2017.
Fallos
[feat. Arthur Gillet], Agua 2016.
Dur Labeur, Agua, 2015.
Latest exhibitions (selection):
Beau Menteur, Nov.4 2021-Jan.6 2022, Eisenherz, Berlin.
Beau Menteur, Sep.8-Oct.10 2021, Galerie Mille Lieux, Paris.
Les tasses, Sep.18-Oct.3 2020 LaVallée, Brussels.
Les tasses, Nov.19-Dec.5 2019, Point Éphémère, Paris.
The Eroticism of Things, May2-Aug.18 2018 (collective), Museum der Dinge, Berlin.
Fenster zum Klo, Nov.16 2017 – Feb.19 2018, Schwules Museum, Berlin.
Forbidden, June 16-18 2017 (collective), Leslie-Lohman Museum, New York.
Dur Labeur, Dec.2 2015 – Jan.30 2016, Au Bonheur du Jour, Paris.
Dur Labeur, Sep.11-Oct.24 2015, Galerie Koll & Friends, Berlin.
Things that stink, Sep.5-Oct.5 2012 (collective), WasserGalerie, Berlin.

GALERIE SUZANNE TARASIEVE

Prix Sade 2020 du livre d’art

Prix Sade is a French literature prize awarded yearly to « genuine liberals who, beyond the vicissitudes of the Revolution and the grip of the moral order, managed to break the shackles of literature and politics ». The 2020 ceremony took place at Galerie Susanne Tarasiève in Paris. Marc Martin’s Les Tasses – Toilettes publiques, Affaires privées was awarded the prize for Best Art Book by the jury chaired by Emmanuel Pierrat.

 

LES TASSES, THE EXHIBITION

Virtual 3D tour

Les Tasses has been displayed at LaVallée-Bruxelles, a former industrial laundry facility converted into an alternative Center for contemporary art. The exhibition, supported by Schwules Museum Berlin, RainbowHouse Brussels and JCDecaux, was captured in 3D. Click on the picture to start the virtual tour.

GALERIE SUZANNE TARASIEVE

Prix Sade 2020 du livre d’art

Prix Sade is a French literature prize awarded yearly to « genuine liberals who, beyond the vicissitudes of the Revolution and the grip of the moral order, managed to break the shackles of literature and politics ». The 2020 ceremony took place at Galerie Susanne Tarasiève in Paris. Marc Martin’s Les Tasses – Toilettes publiques, Affaires privées was awarded the prize for Best Art Book by the jury chaired by Emmanuel Pierrat.

LES TASSES, THE EXHIBITION

Virtual 3D tour

Les Tasses has been displayed at LaVallée-Bruxelles, a former industrial laundry facility converted into an alternative Center for contemporary art. The exhibition, supported by Schwules Museum Berlin, RainbowHouse Brussels and JCDecaux, was captured in 3D. Click on the picture to start the virtual tour.

INTERVIEW AVEC LOU TSATAS

Fisheye Magazine

« Installation sanitaire construite à l’heure de l’hygiénisme, lieu de rencontres lubriques, où les corps s’abandonnent et les fantasmes se construisent, espace symbolique de la libération d’une communauté LGBTQ+ oppressée… La pissotière s’impose comme un emblème des pratiques sociales et sexuelles des 19 et 20e siècles. Une invention que le photographe Marc Martin place au cœur de Les Tasses, Toilettes publiques, Affaires privées. Un ouvrage encyclopédique, récompensé par le Prix littéraire Sade 2020, rendant hommage à ces temples de perdition, où l’odeur âcre humaine se mêle au tabou du désir. »

QUOTIDIEN DE YANN BARTHES

La Chronique de Maïa Mazaurette

« Public toilets are creativity boosters, they can also harbour fantasy and bordeline adventures since privacy is often shared there. As shown in the book Les Tasses – toilettes publiques, Affaires privées. Photographer Marc Martin shows how the anonymous promiscuity in public urinals has made it possible for gay sociability to emerge there. »

INTERVIEW AVEC ASTRID VAN LAER

Konbini News

« La folle histoire des pissotières parisiennes : Fétichisme, messages codés de la Résistance ou encore rencontres homosexuelles : l’artiste Marc Martin nous raconte la folle histoire des pissotières parisiennes, surnommées les tasses. »

INTERVIEW AVEC PATRICK THEVENIN

Les Inrockuptibles

« Un livre et une expo dévoilent les secrets des pissotières : Français vivant à Berlin, Marc Martin s’intéresse aux sexualités en marge et aux interstices de la culture LGBT. Via un livre érudit doublé d’une exposition au Point Éphémère, à Paris, il explore son dernier sujet de prédilection : les pissotières, surnommées “les tasses”. Une plongée fascinante dans les vestiges de la sexualité gay. »

Exhibitions

DISCOVER (in French)

Publications

DISCOVER (in French)