Introducing… Cock au Soleil

Later this week, (We Are) Obscured founder, Johann d’Nale, is attending the Homosurrealism* London event and will be displaying, among other things, Cock au Soleil #4 – here he interviews the zine’s founder, Arthur Dumpling…

How did Cock au Soleil start?
It started as a collaborative project to talk about pain with a gay sex point of view asking friends to share their views using an artistic language.

The work on display at Homosurrealism London  is from your fourth Volume – tell us about the previous three editions.
Each edition, is a theme more or less obvious.

  • #1 was about pain
  • #2 was about hanky codes
  • #3 was about the vintage magazine Jean-Paul and (as) Saint Sebastian

How did volume 4 come about?
The wrapping paper issue was actually a project we had in mind for many years and the opportunity to launch a new issue during the Paris Ass Book Fair couldn’t be missed ! We hope people will use the papers!

Tell us a little about the contributions/contributors?
At first, contributors were friends who agreed to be part of the project. But from the beginning we have welcomed everyone who wants to share their creativity of gay sex/sexuality with an artistic language.

Do you have any plans for the future?
We are already working on a new issue for early 2018… but it’s still a secret. New contributors are welcome, feel free to email us.

How can people get copies or stay in touch?
During events where CAS#4 is displayed (kind of rare and secret), the best way will be to send us an email (unfortunately issues #1 to #3 are sold out)

Cock au Soleil volume #4 – contributing artists

Box by Arthur D, Olive Booger , Eleonore Clara and anonymous.

Want more? View this historic webpage of Le Cock au Soleil.

*We covered Homosurrealism in a previous interview with Jack Sanders. Homosurrealism London is the third queer arts event, following those earlier this year in Hollywood and New Orleans.

#fuckHate Publication

#FuckHate 1.1With hatred seeming to be on the increase as nationalism and a lack of tolerance seems to be stirred around the world 50 gay/queer-identifying artists submitted some amazing work to an open call for written and visual works.

#fuckHate – the newspaper – is the primary output to this response – which is formed of a 32-page tabloid newspaper (29 x 38cm / 11.5 x 15″ approx). This has been printed in a limited edition of up to 100 numbered copies.

You can view the entire publication online on Issuu (however, due to it’s nature, the service will ask you to login).

Gallery of Sample Page Spreads

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Contributors List

Alexandre Copes, Andrea Aste, Arak Edge & Tache69, Bari Goddard, Brendan, Bruce Rimell, Carmine Santaniello, ManBlu, Scrappyboy, Drub, Dylan Thibbert, George Krause, Gregory Forster Bourgoin, Gregory Moon, Hope L’Eye, Qaherabear, Jack Sanders, Javier Reche Garay, Jim Ferringer, Johann d’Nale (But I Like It), John Hopper, John Lee Bird, John Waiblinger, Jonathan Lemieux, Julian Evans, KJWFlawless1, Kevin Moore (Arteo Photography), Khristopher Khrist, Lenair Xavier, Luka Fisher, Manel Ortega, Matt Ryallis, Matthew Papa, Michael Church, Miguel Sanchez Photography, MikeSBliss, Pazsint, Nathan Anthony Taylor, Paul Sargeant, Rafa Maldonado, Raphael Michael Panayi, Robert Siegelman, Shannon Hedges, Stiofan O’Ceillaigh, Peter Jacobs, Trevor Brown, Vasco A Vieira, Wilhelm Vincent, Willem Bone

Anyone purchasing the print edition will also get access to an online gallery which will provide more material related to this and also record any future #fuckHate activity.

Buy a limited first-edition numbered copy of #fuckHate

The publication itself is £18 (excludes signed-for shipping).

All payments are made via PayPal to Strawbleu Editions. If you would like to ship to another destination or have any questions, please contact Strawbleu.

On ‘Hate’

Hate – it’s a word I use every single day.

I use it to describe my relationship with technology, when I’m impatient with the speed of my laptop. Or to express my feelings about an unsweetened cup of coffee someone has dared to give me.

As a 4-letter word, it’s useful. It’s also lazy.

We talk about hate crimes; acts of violence and savagery that leave us shaking our heads and questioning the state of the world we live in.

Hate. In every day conversation, I compare slow broadband speed to people being gunned-down in a nightclub because of who they love. It’s an imperfect word. I use it in connection with my distaste or mild inconvenience. That feels wrong somehow. But the problem with language sometimes is it can feel hollow and inadequate. Especially when we are expressing something that it is almost impossible to comprehend.

For every atrocity, we have a list of words we reach for to talk about them. Words like;

  • Shocked
  • Tragedy
  • Saddened
  • Grief
  • Outrage
  • Condolences
  • Sympathy

It feels like, in our current world, we call on this vocabulary with depressing regularity.

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This year in the U.K. since the result of the EU referendum, there has been a sharp increase in reported hate crime. Not hugely surprising given the language of intolerance and bigotry that was the backbone of the ‘Leave’ campaign. In effect hate speech has gone mainstream.

I have no idea what happens next. We have reached a point where, if what the mass media reports is to be believed, talking about tolerance and embracing diversity is once again a minority point of view.

The public conversation has moved quickly to one that has ceased to discuss people of different cultures, religion and sexuality with respect. It has been replaced with language that is cruel and ugly.

But though it sometimes feels futile, those of us who believe in some as important as the basic human right to dignity for all people, have to keep talking. Hell, we have to keep shouting. Words do matter.

Because when we feel our voices are silenced and we are too afraid to speak is when the world we are part of will be in far more trouble than it already is.

This article is in response to the current open call for #FuckHate. Submissions close on 31st October – after which a zine / digital publication (with profits going to the NoH8 campaign) will be produced. More here.

Celebrating a year of gorgeous creativity

A few days ago we published the first journal from Obscured – an attempt to condense a year’s amazing creativity down into a few short pages. At the bottom of this page are the links to the journal itself, but first of all a response to the publication by member and contributor, John Waiblinger;

Wow, I’m sitting down this morning with my printed copy of ‘We Are Obscured, Journal – 2014/15’, which arrived in the yesterday evening’s mail. What a joy to peruse the actual print copy rather than just viewing it online. I still enjoy the tactile experience of actually holding and paging through a paper copy of the works I enjoy, and what a wonderful print job it is. The quality of the paper and how the images pop off the page are superb, well worth the small investment of getting the print copy.

The artists included in this first issue are some of my favorites in the ‘Obscured Community’ and it has been a delight and revelation to see their work in a printed format. What I have found most interesting is the written commentary about the artists and their work, provided by both interviews with the artists and Paul Sergeant’s essay on his own fascinating project. To see the work accompanied by the artist’s reflections about their work and ideas is not only informative, but to me inspiring. There are ideas here, and self revelations, that have made me dig deeper into my own process and I will return to these pages for continued inspiration. What more could one ask from an art publication!

I’d like to congratulate (editor), Johann D’Nale on his selection of the art to include – it’s a wide range of styles, yet cohesive in its theme of exploring how we both mask and reveal ourselves in the images we share with the world. And, of course, as a viewer of these same images one gets to explore the meaning of one’s own reactions – I find that process most fascinating. The interviews by both Richard Glen and Johann were most illuminating in deepening that experience for me. And again, I’m just enjoying the experience of holding the magazine and flipping through the pages, back and forth, and then stopping with an image or some words that cause me to think deeper about this whole self-revealing process.

I appreciate the thought and work that went into putting some of the images I’ve enjoyed on Facebook into a coherent, themed presentation that reveals further, and deepens our perspective on, how we both mask and reveal ourselves. Great work, great layout and great cover! If you, too, enjoy the tactile experience of seeing the work in its physical format, getting the print issue is a really affordable way to have that.

We Are Obscured Issue 1 can be view in it’s entirety on Issuu or, if you are so moved, you can buy it in print or digital format on Magcloud

John, along with contributor Chad MItchell has recently published HomoEros: Meditations on Gay Love & Longing, click the link to buy it on Amazon.

For a list of John’s fellow contributors – and their weblinks – visit the contributors page.

We Are Obscured – First Annual Journal – Credits and Links

We are overjoyed to have ‘We Are Obscured’ – our first publication – going out to the world at large – and so I wanted to ensure that all the contributors were properly thanked.

So, ahead of the the announcement and links, here’s all the great creatives who kindly allowed us to reproduce their works in the journal:

Image: Section of cover image, ‘Untitled’ by Gregory Moon