DEMIMMONDE is a platform exploring desire, eroticism and space.
DEMIMMONDE draws its name from demi-monde, a term used in the nineteenth century to designate artists, women and other characters on the fringes of respectable society.
DEMIMMONDE focuses on all dirty matters in architecture and beyond.
For all their lovers, suitors, friends, sweethearts, concubines, darlings, admirers, flirts, crushes, DEMIMMONDE is throwing a night of performance, screenings and music in the former swingers club La Porte des Sens - a space of sexual and social transgression, and a metaphor for promiscuous interdisciplinary couplings.
The evening program is going to unravel in three chapters: La Porte de l’Impudence, with works presenting radical perspectives on eroticism and sexuality; La Porte de la Dissidence featuring dissident artistic practices that break with hegemonic narratives; La Porte de Non-Sens, delving into the humorous and surreal aspects of sex.
DEMIMMONDE’s inaugural event on St. Valentine’s day teases and mocks the highly ritualised system of swinging culture and romantic anniversaries’ celebrations. By introducing classical music and references to surrealism, DEMIMMONDE reclaims these ‘high’ cultural expressions and presents them alongside the hedonistic pleasures of burlesque and techno music in the weirdest queer contemporary art event of all times.
DEMIMMONDE is an online project on Instagram, Facebook and Tinder. It reflects on the disappearance of physical queer space by using a dating app to invite people to a live event in the ruins of a sexual heterotopia. Spawned by the dreamlike interiors of La Porte des Sens, DEMIMMONDE subverts the classic tropes of swinging culture and opens the door to new ways of experiencing spaces designed for sex.
Brussels, 14th February 2019
The project was developed during a residency at Hectolitre in Brussels during January/February 2019
Ceci n’est pas un DEMIMMONDE
Part of DEMIMMONDE's online project of still-lifes of swingers' items by Serena Vittorini Swingers are usually straight couples in their thirties and forties, white, from the upper-middle class. Just like the Surrealists, they advocate liberated and non-conformist ways to live one’s own sexuality from an overwhelmingly white, bourgeois and hetero male perspective. Sherlock Holmes would call it a two-pipe problem: we love Surrealists’ risqué humor and swingers’ twisted sexuality, yet we acknowledge their problematic background.
You either know DEMIMMONDE or you don’t
by Anna Wintour
Since DEMIMMONDE is a project dealing with space, sexuality and queerness I thought its merchandise should do the same. That's how I came to the handkerchief code, a queer fashion fad of the 1970s that gained popularity among gay men and BDSM practitioners in search of sex in public space. Back in the pre-dating app era wearing a handkerchief in the back pocket (right - bottom, left – top) one could subtly communicate their sexual preferences according to a shared colour code (black – S&M, dark blue – anal sex, light blue – oral sex, grey – bondage, orange – anything goes, purple – piercing, red – fisting, and the list of colour shades and practices could go on).
Fifty years have gone by since the days of this technicolor gay subculture and contemporary queer identities are even more pigeonholed according to dominant models, sexual practices, aesthetic categories and fashion choices. Such classifications feel limiting, even though somewhat comforting. DEMIMMONDE's hanky does not follow a given colour code, the meaning of its different shades can be personal and even erratic, decided at the moment of wearing it or agreed with others. Styling, aside of back pockets, comes to encompass much more varied uses: gagging, sneezing, tablecloth for picnics, blindfolding, blowing nose, wiping sweat, tying, waving at your sweetheart at the train station, and everything else you can think of. DEMIMMONDE's hanky stands as a widely multipurpose garment, a flirtatious conversation starter, a performance in urban environment, a piece of queer fashion, an ambiguous cruising tool.
DEMIMMONDE's first fashion shooting is set in Urania, an anarcho-queer squat orbiting in the countryside around Florence. Special thanks to all Uranesse, fierce alien creatures that put aside their Versace handkerchiefs to wear this.