Hysterical Literature: Session Four: Stormy
Bret Easton Ellis tweeted this a few days ago and I just got around to watching it. It is quite literally a woman (a burlesque performer named Stormy Leather) reading a passage from his novel, American Psycho, and having an orgasm. It’s not because the text is so hot; she’s part of a video art series called “Hysterical Literature,” wherein a number of women are filmed in black and white reading from books of their choosing while they are pleasured by a vibrator under the table.
The idea is really reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s work, and in the FAQ, the artist, Clayton Cubitt, mentions Warhol’s “Screen Tests” as being a sort of inspiration for the piece. The Screen Tests were supposed to be moving portraits so they don’t have much action. They are also in black and white, fairly repetitive and boring (though, I suppose, slightly more interesting than NON-moving portraits). Cubitt also did a series of moving portraits, though they were filmed in color.
Hysterical Literature also calls to mind another Warhol piece, the 35-minute film Blow Job in which a man is fellated by an unseen party. It’s silent and, again, black and white. The camera never leaves the receiver’s face.
I think this is a really interesting piece and I love that it’s on YouTube with no disclaimer whatsoever. It’s not pornographic at all (no nudity, for starters), but I still would think YouTube would consider it “mature” content.