Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Juan Yactayo Sono, Coto de Caza (Hunting Reserve), Pegueño Pato, Lima, Peru, 2017, 1st edition.

Presented in a smart silkscreened box (not like the damaged one I have here!), are 5 double-sided accordions with photographs on each side, 1 small book with short snippets of conversations in Spanish, and a smaller one with the English translations of these negotiations for sex.

Sono is our guide as he takes us into the 'hunting reserve' of illegal cruising places in Lima, where people are engaged in having anonymous sex, and the 5 accordions record the darkened places where these men have these sexual encounters. There's a real charged feeling to these accordions, and the depictions of these darkened places immerse the reader in what Sono describes as places of "pleasure, darkness, fear, tension and loneliness."

In the final page of both books is a statement by Sono that very eloquently summarizes his experiences of these erotic and sexually charged locations:

Perhaps for many people the anonymity of these cruising spots is the only way to come out and interact with other gay people. For others, maybe, it can mean the search for a sexual freedom that is not outside, because outside one must behave in certain ways. Even these places may not be charged with any prejudice, and just be places where you can go to have sex. Regardless of the reasons that attracts us to these spaces, once inside there is no judgement. We are all the same. Finally here I can be whoever I want to be.

The 5 accordions are the same sizes and length, and individually each is comprised of 6 pages with a total of 12 images, and each individual page is 4"(h) x 5.5"(w), and when fully opened each accordion is 2ft 9".

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