Did you know that the word ‘tutu’ first arose from the seats at the front of the Parisian theatre? Glancing up at the stage, audience members could peep at the ‘cul cul’ or bottom of the ballerina and eventually, one thing led to another and the word tutu emerged to describe the skirts they wore. Galerie Pompom are cheekily exploring this theme in their upcoming show, featuring artists Samuel Hodge, Leo Coyte, Emma Thomson and Samuel Quinteros.
The brief for the show was simple. Tutu was all about vantage: the place “where people sitting in the front seats could see up the skirts of the ballerinas [and] get these titillating glances,” says Sydney and Berlin-based photographer Samuel Hodge. The result is a particularly naughty show, featuring some acclaimed Sydney artists glancing up at something they maybe shouldn’t and poking fun at the art world and its trappings.
“It’s the first time I’ve actually created works specifically for a show,” Hodge reveals, and with Tutu the inspiration came from the internet. “I had a lot of people stealing the images on my website and re-blogging them. Everything just went crazy, on Tumblr especially…and then I saw a lot of my images had made their way on to gay porno blogs.
“I decided to go through all these blogs and started stealing my favourite images back, then re-shooting, re-appropriating [them]. The plan is exhibit them and put them back on the internet and they will go again on their merry way!”
Of course, this has all been done in distinctive low-key and highly collectable style. “I shoot on film, and my camera is from the 60s. I’ve had this camera for 10 years and I have no idea how to use a digital camera!” he laughs.
Hodge’s work sits alongside painter Leo Coyte and photographer Emma Thompson, two members of the Pompom stable, as well as young painter Samuel Quinteros.
Tutu opens at Galerie Pompom on July 24 and runs until August 18.