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Life, Pleasure, and the Reading Room

Multi-media installation with printed books and single-channel video, 2017

This episode brought by artist Su Hui-Yu focuses on the so-called “small books” (xiaoben), a type of pornographic materials that had been the major gratifier for the erotic desires of Taiwanese heterosexual males until the video home system (VHS) had achieved a supreme dominance in the 1980s under the martial law. “Small books” used to be cheap and easily available for juveniles and the lower-middle classes. To preserve the collective memories, the artist sets up a small reading room where this dying-out type of vintage pornography can be available for public reading. The reading room will not only provide a unique atmosphere congenial for public participation without intruding readers’ privacy, but also build a bridge reconnecting people with the past.

俗稱「小本」的這種色情刊物,是戒嚴時期以及家庭錄放影機(VHS)普及前的1980 年代,台灣異性戀男性最主要的慾望出口,供應青少年與普羅階級便利且低廉的情色產品。藝術家蘇匯宇透過設立一座小型閱覽室,將這類逐漸失傳的老派黃色書刊予以保存並提供閱覽,為現在與過去搭起一座時空橋樑,透過閱讀這些失效的甚至顯得可笑但又風韻猶存的煽情文字以及姿勢過於矯飾的性愛圖片,人們得以將自己帶往一個異度時空。《人生・享受・閱覽室》將以簡易的分類如「言情」、「硬蕊」、「寫真」、「教育」、「科學」與其他等項目向觀眾展示上百本藏書,並在展示期間中,由藝術家與參與者在閱覽的過程中進行更細緻的考掘,從其中流露的意識型態與科學知識之考察中,進一步將這些文本提煉成為更有趣的觀念素材。