SHORT STORY: Rear-ended by Pontšo Mpholle

Our next story from Ba re e ne re‘s recent “Freedom of creative expression” writing contest is the provactive Rear-ended by Pontšo Mpholle. This was another one of our 3 contest prize-winners. Enjoy!

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So, my nudity makes you uncomfortable? Good. That is the whole point of art, to make people uncomfortable; to evoke-provoke-invoke emotions and incite cognitive tumult (this is what happens when word-inventors get too excited). If not then I might as well call myself a hippie. Which I’m not by the way. But I wouldn’t mind being one, because I’m essentially pro-freedom-of-everything; freedom of speech, freedom of free Wi-Fi and freedom of exposed butt cheeks now, too. To me everything alludes to art somehow. I arduously ensure this through my lifestyle.

Art is everywhere. It is definitely in the Louvre or maybe in your pocket because your pen has vomited a tiny ink blob of the Mona Lisa. I’m basically a conspiracy theorist of art, always scrutinising, over-analysing and probing life’s simple situations and blowing them out of proportion as though they hold more meaning than they actually do. If my strawberry-vanilla ice cream tragically fell off the cone, I’d probably drone on about how I see rivers and hills, maybe birds too and little people waving, in the frozen heap because . . . conspiracy theorist.

I recently exhibited a performance art piece I’d cheekily titled Breaking Bound-Rears, solely centered on butts. Yes, butts. If Kim Kardashian can break the internet with hers, then why can’t I break something with mine too? For thirty whole minutes, I stood stark naked facing a large projector screen with my butt to the audience, completely still. Scenarios of great historic events were projected on to the screen and I stood strategically so that my body blended into the frame and looked less Photoshopy. There I was bare-skinned facing Neil Armstrong when he plonked himself on the moon, at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as South Africa’s first black, democratically-elected president and when the Berlin Wall finally fell. I’d thought to play Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back for humour’s sake, but decided against it. This was actually a very serious exhibition.

Why an ‘assxhibition?’ Because for a long time it seems freedom of creative expression has been rear-ended by overly-zealous-about-conservatism folk always readily waiting to clip its wings before it can attempt to take its first flight. I can’t narrate to you this awesome story about how I wrote an impressive satirical piece about a prominent political figure, for fear that he’ll get his butt hurt and probably throw a legal hissy fit. But I just told you, and I did write it.

There exists a general fear to express one’s creativity because someone out there doesn’t understand the art within it or any art at all, for that matter. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t advocate nonsensical humiliation conveyed as art. Then again, all artists have their own evoke-provoke-invoke perspectives. So, who am I to label their art as nonsensical humiliation, really?

Just as I’d expected, some verbose journalist bloke from some newspaper went on a rant about how vulgar-blah-blah-blah the exhibition was. How are buttocks vulgar? I don’t get it. But true to provocation, I aroused a torrent of emotion in him. Which is good. Imagine a life where art gets neutral reviews. That would be the death of me. Ironic isn’t it that my exhibition showcased the rear-ending of creative expression, and the Mr. there at the newspaper aptly spearheaded my argument.

From what I gathered in his article, he was fuming over the fact that I was “demeaning women,” by letting an audience behold my bum, which thanks to emergency Pilates happened to be fairly firm. However, I fail to see debasement in showing my exterior. Michelangelo’s David is all butt and everything else, and is one of the most notable pieces of art in history. So, I refuse to let my rump be diminished to nothing more than a cluster of cells and twine of muscles.

All this talk about how my bum looks is beside the point. My exhibition was a success. Much-needed light was shed on how the suppression of freedom of creative expression is restricting genius minds from creating what could be boundary-breaking, genre-altering and mind-blowing art because someone else feels uncomfortable. Instead of all this butt-hurt rubbish, art should be appreciated for what it really is; a tangible extension of one’s imagination.

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