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Robbie Handcock: Indecent Literature

Robbie Handcock: Indecent Literature

Sorry this event has been and gone


  • Wed 31 May ’17, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
  • Thu 1 Jun ’17, 11:00am – 6:00pm
  • Fri 2 Jun ’17, 11:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sat 3 Jun ’17, 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • Wed 7 Jun ’17, 11:00am – 6:00pm
  • Thu 8 Jun ’17, 11:00am – 6:00pm
  • Fri 9 Jun ’17, 11:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sat 10 Jun ’17, 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • Wed 14 Jun ’17, 11:00am – 6:00pm
  • Thu 15 Jun ’17, 11:00am – 6:00pm
  • Fri 16 Jun ’17, 11:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sat 17 Jun ’17, 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • Wed 21 Jun ’17, 11:00am – 6:00pm
  • Thu 22 Jun ’17, 11:00am – 6:00pm
  • Fri 23 Jun ’17, 11:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sat 24 Jun ’17, 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • View all sessions


Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Level 1/147 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission


Enjoy Website

Opening: Wednesday 31 May, 5:30pm
Artist talk and screening of 'Pink Narcissus' (1971): Thursday 8 June, 6–8pm

“[d]rawing’s second-class status increases its eroticism. The more “pathetic” an erotic practise, the more I esteem it. The more “pathetic” an artistic medium, the closer it resembles my ideal sexual underground.” - Wayne Koestenbaum, 'Contemporary Erotic Drawing', 2005

Beginning with film stills and photographs from 1970s gay cinema and print erotica, Robbie Handcock’s paintings explore historic depictions of gay sexuality in order to consider contemporary queer existence.

'Indecent Literature' comprises a suite of works that revisit canonical North American examples of gay media including the film 'Pink Narcissus' (1971) by James Bidgood and 'Physique Pictorial' - a quarterly magazine produced by Bob Mizer which featured young muscled men in bodybuilding poses, passing off the erotic as an interest in fitness in order to evade the period’s censorship laws.

By re-working the visual imagery from these sources through casual sketches that become the basis for each painting, the artist acknowledges the social and historical contexts of a particular kind of gay underground aesthetics.

Engaging with the idea of a queer utopian memory, these works present a framework for looking back to moments of “sexual possibility” in order to invoke utopian visions across intergenerational divides. Through revisiting the past, 'Indecent Literature' explores gay sexuality, its ability to reimagine and restructure notions of intimacy, and its role in resisting gay assimilationist narratives.

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