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Running Till November 30: Pornotopia Film Festival Emphasizing Power of Porn

New Mexico- This year’s Pornotopia extended its vision into an art show at the Stove Gallery.

Organized by Matie Fricker and Molly Adler, who own the sex shop Self Serve, last weekend’s Pornotopia film festival at the Guild Cinema emphasizes using porn as an art form and screening it in public theaters.

Fricker said she and Adler were prepared with legal backup this year after last year’s controversy surrounding the Guild showing porn films.

Stove co-organizer Creighton Burson said last year’s censorship and threats from the city against the Guild gave the Self Serve girls initiative to intensify the festival with the art show.

“We thought it was great because we like to do different kinds of art,” Burson said. “And especially when it comes to expressing your right as an artist, whatever venue or whatever ideas you want; this is that kind of place where there’s that freedom of expression.”

The show will run through Nov. 30 at 114 Morningside Drive N.E. They’ve got photographs (some come with 3-D glasses), paintings, terra-cotta sculptures, prints, woolen snowflake nipple tassels, and a drawing of people having sex during wartime.

“A lot of it isn’t really porn,” Burson said. “As far as intercourse pieces, there’s that and then the statue. Otherwise, it’s mostly nudity.”

One of the most powerful paintings in the show, “Little Death,” is of a black-and-white naked man lying on the ground, with a colorful hummingbird sipping at the tip of his penis.

“‘Little death’ is the French term for orgasm,” artist BillyJoe Miller said. “The hummingbird, in Spain, represents death. And I’ve always been fascinated by hummingbirds just going into the flowers and having sex all day…. The male figure becomes the flower. The hummingbird, if you look really close, its actually drawing the color out of the man. It’s very subtle, but the same color that’s in the bird is in the man. You can see him almost drawing nectar out – just the way that energy is drawn out of them after climax.”

Burson said “Little Death” gets a lot of viewer attention.

“Because, it’s like, why is that hummingbird doing that?” she said. “It’s such a small penis, though. Maybe that’s his little death. I don’t know.”

Fricker included a yellowing montage of figure drawings that her mother, Lucille Livingston-Fricker, did in college. Her mother was a Republican hippie and the first woman in her family to attend college, Fricker said.

“By 1968, she was spending weekends in the Summer of Love in San Francisco,” she said. “She took part in the very first love-in, and at the same time was working for Reagan. But she was working for Reagan on youth initiatives. She’s got this idea, and I love her, that the Republican Party was and should be about people being able to be who they are and that Lincoln freed the slaves and that there’s a grand old tradition of the Grand Old Party of giving people access to rights. She writes very angry letters these days.”

Fricker said she would not be running a sex shop in New Mexico today if it wasn’t for her mother’s positive attitude toward sexuality.

“She asks the waiter if he masturbates regularly,” she said.

Megda-lyn Freestone, who also works at Self Serve, made three prints of layered colors over the image of a nude girl sitting. They’re about women’s sexuality and femininity – being feminine can make you look weak, Freestone said.

“Being feminine is really hard, ’cause the men on the planet don’t take you seriously, and even the lesbian or gay community – being feminine, they think you’re straight, so they don’t give you any power to your words or your actions,” Freestone said.

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