This Friday, Schwuz is hosting its now-infamous party PLASTIC, a queer celebration of pop culture. Cherry on top, this will be the third edition of QueerPornScreening by Plastic. This time our favourite curator Pierre Emö has selected a program of six films including Doll Parts from Four Chambers. For this occasion, we got a inclusive interview with Vex Ashley who performs, directs, edits and produces the Four chambers project in collaboration with apartner and the performers.
KALTBLUT: Can you let us know what hides behind the enigmatic name Four Chambers ? Vex Ashley: It’s based loosely from the author Anaïs Nin’s collection of her diaries called The Four Chambered Heart and adapted to reflect the idea that each film we make is like a chamber that you open a door into, no real beginning or end or resolution, a new, strange world you can exist in for a moment and then move onto the next.
KALTBLUT:What were your desires when you started the project ? Vex Ashley: I wanted to see if I could put the same focus on aesthetics and concepts into my film with sex as I was doing in my art work, I felt like there was a gap – I didn’t see porn as a creative medium for ideas being explored.
KALTBLUT:Most of your films are experiments, you’re using sometimes a vertical frame, but also draw your inspiration from poetry, Ancient Greece culture or even B-movies. What is your background and where does your inspiration come from ? Vex Ashley: I love how everything can be connected, porn doesn’t have to be separate from culture, it IS culture and with Four Chambers we try and use fucking as a way to explore how sex can intersect with other art, writing, ideas and parts of human experience. Symbols tell stories and have meaning and I like telling stories. I’ll always be a pretentious art fuck at heart but I’m also a pervert and I don’t think those things are mutually exclusive.
KALTBLUT: Would you be interested in a long feature form ? Vex Ashley: Weirdly, I actually think there’s a special magic about a short film. It has less space for narrative and explanation so watching you are thrown into a world where you have to work out for yourself what you think is happening, it requires your imagination to fill in the gaps. Sex for me is at it’s best when it engages your brain as well as your body and doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, leaves you wanting more – so for now I think I’m happy with short films.
KALTBLUT: All of your films are available through your website, but they’re also screened in many festivals. What would you say is the best way, situation, for a viewer to enjoy them ? Vex Ashley: That depends on the film, Sometimes I love to see them on the big screen because the sounds and the visuals are especially visceral but we have to be real that for most people, how we consume porn is on a device that fits in our hand watched privately, so instead of fighting that I want to harness it, fuck with it, use it as a tool. Although, I do love to see people showing them on projectors at orgies and in their rooms while they fuck, that might be my favourite.
KALTBLUT:Is there anything in porn you enjoy at the moment and you’d like to recommend us, some director, performer, collective ? Vex Ashley: Honestly, the most exciting thing for me in porn at the moment is coming from performers making their own content. I love intimate, dirty, grainy phone videos > highly polished perfume advert porn. I love the work that Max Disgrace and Lina Bembe are making in collaboration, I also love Jo Pollux and the Meow Meow collective’s creativity and vision. It’s an exciting time to be making DIY porn.
KALTBLUT:How can a project like Four Chambers can subsist financially ? How can a viewer support that content ? Vex Ashley: Honestly, like most other creators, artists and musicians the way to help keep the porn you like alive is to give what you can and share what you like. Look beyond the first page of Porn Hub. Porn doesn’t have to generic and watching it doesn’t just have to be a solo, private, shameful experience – dig deep, support and talk about it!
Plastic – a queer celebration of popculture: Partykids, this one is for you. A multiorgasmic, ecstatic, creative extravaganza on three floors combining the best and brightest the queer Berlin subculture has to offer. PLASTIC brings communities together to celebrate all aspects of popculture. Passionate music nerds meet everybody who is anybody in pop and trash. Their kisses taste of the underground and look like the purest form of love. PLASTIC is just under the radar, where art meets pop and all the new pretty things grow into the light. Life in plastic, it’s fantastic.