TEXTISM

Here we have a typical poster for a party at a gay bar.

Giant headline SKINHEAD, skinhead dude composited onto white background, all-caps type

Here we have a variant where some actual attention was paid. (Designers unknown for both. I suppose I could have gone to Herculean lengths to find out those names, but these guys are too reedy to be Hercules.)

Black-and-white poster has SKINHEAD type in red that spans an arc across model, looking off to the side with fist pensively raised to chin

Quite the gulf between the two layouts, even considering the intrinsically limited visual lexicon of gay skinheads (tautological?). Gay-fetish-party-poster design rivals conservative design in overall tackiness and lack of acumen.

In a class by itself are Nik Dimopoulos’s posters for the Trough and TroughX parties in Oz and London. This would be one of those WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT THIS GUY BEFORE? scenarios.

  • They’re overly posed, with what seems to be a dealbreaker found everywhere in gay “erotic” photography shot by unseasoned and excitable young men – subjects who stare at the camera.

    Man in jockstrap holds a large box and looks at us, while a disembodied arm pokes out from the pink wall with a badminton racquet
  • But everything is so ridiculously overpo(i)sed that the photographs build up a new æsthetic from a huge kit of parts. (Tons o’ props.) Nik follows in the footsteps of Pierre et Gilles and James Bidgood, but instead of dreamy magical realism, Nik goes for tack-sharp Realist Absurdity™.

    Guy in pup mask and jockstrap does double-bicep pose against fur draperies. TROUGH reads the legend in Avant Garde
  • The twee fashion catchphrase colour story applies strongly here.

    Lad in grey jockstrap holds gold-lamé flag on pole across shoulders, with other such flags in background
    Models in gold-lamé jockstraps and gold-foil assemblages on heads have their hands joined together by golden stockings
    Fella in face-covering pup mask and blue plaid vest holds blue dog bowl (with blue border around photo)
    Two pups in face-covering hoods (one blue) sit groin to arse, with blue buoy and ropes nearby
  • As has been true for nearly 40 years, Avant Garde Gothic doesn’t work at all except when it does, at which point how could you have used anything else?

    Guy in pup mask and fake fur kneels on a riser, while another guy in face-covered pup mask and two-foot-long ears points snout at arse

Maybe Gay could survive after all. Naw, not a chance: Trannies will spend the next century rewriting our history, and when our generation and the one right before it die off, gay will be over. But, in our dying days in the 21st century, a couple of lads put together a really smashing set of ad campaigns. They’re just! ridiculous! enough!

Gold-lamé references

  • I dropped Nik and his photographer collaborator Damien Hinds a line. (There are other photographers Nik uses, and he shoots some pieces himself, apparently.) Nik couldn’t get back to me.

  • For posterity, I’ve posted every layout I could put my hands on to my Flickr. (Wouldn’t want these things to just disappear.) You can also watch Nik’s promotional videos.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2017.09.12 14:14. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2017/09/12/troughx/

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