Sperm Weaver

Shine Shivan

26 April 2009

2’ 12”

Shine Shivan’s work investigates the nature of masculinity. Through constructions that are both innovative and inventive, Shivan probes and re-defines the psychological tropes, experiences and roles attached to masculinity. In his works, gender identity and gender typing emerge neither as biologically determined nor inevitable, but as a result of moment-to-moment interactions with the immediate social environment. Inevitably, a spectrum of representations of masculinity emerges –including works that deal with effeminacy, and homosexual and homosocial desires. Masculinity is not just represented as the “simple” opposite of femininity. For instance, his video, photographic and performance works –especially his Sperm Weaver Series– serve to depict an aggressively male, yet gender-bending homoerotic identity. The title references two extremes of gender role-playing. The first word, “sperm”, is a typical male referential, while “weaving” connotes a socialised feminine activity. The artist questions both these extremes of gender stereotyping and everything in-between. In this video, the protagonist swirls naked like a demigod in an endless erotic ecstasy, in white foam that simultaneously evokes the domesticity of a bath and polluted waters; to emphasize that feeling, the sound of streaming water and birds changes into a compulsive rhythm of an industrial site.