photo by Matthew Leifheit for CCNY
conversation with Pacifico Silano
Recuperating and reconfiguring icons sliced from pornographic gay magazines of another generation, Pacifico Silano emphasizes the negative space they left behind. He is included in the upcoming second edition of Jen Bekman’s “Hey Hotshot” exhibition, on view April 6th, 2013 through April 21st, 2013.
Opening Reception Friday, April 5th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
at Jen Bekman Gallery, 6 Spring Street NYC
MATTE: How did you become interested ’70s porn?
PC: I have always been fascinated with history and time periods that I have never lived through. In my early 20s I started spending a lot of time in dirty East Village gay bars that would play 70s gay porn on loops. I started to model my own appearance off of some of the men I saw on screen, grooming my mustache and wearing denim/plaid. I was fascinated with the masculine archetypes in the films. I also saw an amazing documentary called Gay Sex in the 70s and it completely changed my life. It struck a strong emotional cord with me and ever since then I have felt a need to talk about a lost generation of gay men.
MATTE: What do you think imagery from this time period can say about today?
PC: Everything old eventually is new again. I think given the current political climate with gay rights and marriage equality, now is an appropriate time to look to the past in order to figure out where we are going as a group of people. Looking at this imagery is a reminder of how much we have lost. I also think that there is something interesting about the desirability of gay porn stars and how disposable they become over time. That factored with the AIDS epidemic makes for a powerful statement.
Where the Boys Are, photo/video istallation 2012
MATTE: How are this new work and your last series, “Where the Boys Are” related? How are they different?
PC: This new body of work is directly connected to the themes I have explored in “Where The Boys Are”. It’s just a little more specific and obsessive. This new work dissects the Al Parker persona. It’s both a memorial/tribute to a person and a commentary on how we consume imagery from the past… it also just so happens to be about one of the most famous gay porn stars of all time.
MATTE: Describe the postcard piece you were telling me about.
“Wish You Were Here” is a postcard I have fabricated of Al Parker & Mike Davis. The two starred in many films together during the 70s and both died from complications of AIDS. I wanted to create a piece that would breathe new life into the forgotten and find new ways to circulate their likeness without the internet. Something that would feel authentic… It’s interesting because the image I have chosen has strong homoerotic undertones. The idea of this imagery being distributed and mailed out is also a commentary on censorship and how far I would like to believe we have come.
-MATTE Magazine for CCNY