Adapted from historical texts, the narrative in the two-channel video artwork Super Taboo came from a pornographic publication, which was previously known as “a small book” (xiaoben), with the same title. In addition to illegal copies of pornographic photos from Japan and Western countries, the undisguised description of erotic scenes is now a mesmerizing vernacular Chinese literature. In this video, the renowned actor Chin Shih-Chieh guides the viewers into a surreal erotic scene by playing the role of an urban white-collar worker who mutters the plots of the “small book” in his hands.
Through the work Super Taboo, Su Hui-Yu leads us back to the 1980s when he was an adolescent in Taiwan. Pornographic content was then edged to the periphery of the audio-visual system and merely tolerated by late night shows, secret rooms in video rental shops, or inconspicuous corners in bookstores. However, banned pornographic content tended to put greater erogenous temptation in our way than that freely accessible to us did. Pornographic content holds its allure at the expense of being salacious, nasty, and immoral. Su’s fascination with this subject matter is reminiscent of Georges Bataille who was interested not so much in the pleasures of the flesh but what is classified as ‘dirty’. Physically pleasant sensation seems to be perilous and ergo requires the endorsement by the transcendental love or a social context as the foundation. As shown in the vintage pornography displayed in this exhibition, the pink fellatio image is accompanied by the true confession: “we are fellows who suffer in the society where people are snobbish and indulgent in unbridled desires, which is why we should feel mutual sympathy and take care of one another.”