Ian Isiah’s sensual video for “Mindfvck” premiered over the weekend, and it’s already gotten taken down from YouTube. We’ve had a lot of experience switching video formats over here at VMagazine.com, considering the seedy content we can’t seem to leave alone. But we jest. There’s an argument to made here for artistic integrity, and it’s place online. Although the internet is used mostly to generate pornographic material (that’s a statistic—it is what it is MOSTLY used for), much of what is banned from high-traffic video feeds is not marketed as porn. Rather, it is packaged as expression. Sometimes this expression is sexual in nature, sometimes even offensive (but what isn’t, to someone?). We say, if it's amazing content, up to our own visual and sonic standards, send it to press. For example, we premiered Robin Thicke’s explicit version of “Blurred Lines” and Reptile Youth’s “Morning Sun” videos on VMAN.com, which were each banned momentarily after they were published.
And perhaps we should have assumed this would happen—nudity is the brightest red flag in social media censorship discussions. But perhaps we had a little more faith in the way the world wide web works, what with its biggest pie-piece being a free-for-all of sexual deviation. Let’s pause for a minute, and think about every “is it art?” debate we’ve had since that first Art History 101 lecture that made us say, for the first time, “IDK.” And then there were all the times throughout history that art galleries and magazines (and V would know) got called out for making something not up to someone’s artistic standards involving an almost-naked body, and the malaise we sunk into, getting over the debate and into the idea that the arguments, although important, can’t be resolved.
Honestly, we didn’t expect that something as democratic as the internet’s social media platforms could be given enough agency to actually make this decision, but so far, they pretty much have. This is how the world sees the world: through what comes up first in a Google search, or on a video playlist. It's too bad so much of the original content representing a concept can't be at the start of these loops, but we're determined to make it our jobs to point these buried works out when they first surface. Here, for now, is nudity in art, in public—and searchable on Vimeo.
And see Hedi Slimane’s photo of boychild (who is featured in this video) for V82 HERE