Yayoi Kusama
For a brief and very specific moment in time, ‘love’ and ‘beauty’ were foremost in people’s minds when it came to group sex.

Yayoi Kusama’s 1969 tabloid, Orgy, contained 24 black and white pages and one colour cover dedicated to the subject/the way of life. At the time of release, copies retailed for 35 cents.

Designed to celebrate and document art, sex and love, the paper was released at a time when artists were heavily concerned with changing the way society viewed sex – thereby seeking to influence our understanding of love, relationships, the human body and ourselves. Sex and nudity came to be synonymous with protest and upheaval, a literal way of breaking with restrictive social norms (clothes and, presumably, chastity.)

For Kusama, the power of sex does not exist simply in the realm of the physical. The kind of sex Kusama preaches is trascendental – an experience on par with something supernatural. For further proof, another notable work from the 1969, held in the sculpture garden of MoMa, was titled Grand Orgy to Awaken the Dead.

 
But, of course, certain traits of the orgy pervade even the most artistic of renderings. The black-and-white images in Orgy are often more funny and absurd than they are sexual. The paper is dramatic, insistent; a dated, peculiar and beautiful artefact.

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