The City Is Abstract

02.06.2016 | Art | BY:

In her latest work, photographer Sarah Piantadosi documents the brief but intense relationship between performance artist Emil Bognar-Nasdor and writer and dominatrix Reba Maybury – who are New York and London-based respectively. The result is The City Is Abstract, a powerful zine which explores the themes of distance, lust and wanting.

This show follows on from the success of last year’s Milk Jagger, which was a study in “hyper-masculine, eighties homoeroticism”. The City Is Abstract gallery show opens with a private view (7-9pm) at Ditto in London this evening, so we caught up with Sarah to delve a little deeper into the concept.

How did the project come about?
I saw Emil playing in his band Dawn of Humans, on stage he’s naked with his cock and balls tied up, covered in paint and screaming. Its a visceral and unique experience to say the least! I invited him to come to my studio to take pictures, and Reba came along and spontaneously joined in which brought the pictures to a different level entirely.

Do you have a favourite element of it?
There is a rawness specific to both Reba and Emil. An openness and fearlessness.

Do you think desire can really overcome the obstacle of distance?
I’m not sure… This zine is a meditation on the moment and also a reflection on the past. It’s not for me to say how people should organise their relationships.

city abstract

This is your second event of this kind, does it feel different to Milk Jagger, of last year? If so, how?
This zine feels totally different to Milk Jagger. With Milk Jagger, Michael B. Wallace and I were expanding on an alter ego. It was a fantasy character and a lot of fun to mould and shape into a narrative for the zine. The City is Abstract feels more raw and real. Its portrays two unique artists, who at the time of shooting were in a relationship. Because of this the pictures are really personal to them and at times painful. I’m usually in a position to make a subject feel great about themselves, there are aspects of this project that won’t fulfill that goal and it sits very uncomfortably with me.

What did everyone involved bring to the table?
Reba and Emil have such specific styles. Emil has honed this painted primal look with Dawn of Humans. Reba has a particular look with her lips painted into pointy arches, and her way of carrying herself. They both inspire me a great deal and this zine would never exist with different individuals. Jamie Andrew Reid art directed this project and brought a visual style to the zine thats different and exciting for me. Ditto gallery have also been incredibly supportive, I owe them a big thanks.

What’s next after this?
The City is Abstract is all black and white and quite dark and fetish feeling. I’m really excited to try something very colorful and for the next zine… I have a few ideas up my sleeve but cant share just yet!

The City Is Abstract runs from 2nd – 10th June, 2016 at Ditto (4 Benyon Road, London N1 5TY). For further information click HERE.

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