The selected docArt of the month December 2020 is an exhibition view of documenta 9 (1992), photographed by Renée Pötzscher (born 1945). The diapositive is part of the photographic collection of documenta archiv and shows an installation by the artist Charles Ray (born 1953) at the Museum Fridericianum. "Oh! Charley, Charley, Charley, Charley..." is a group sculpture consisting of eight life-size wax figurines. The figurines have the artist's. Thus, the work is both an homage and a self-orgy.


This artwork was inspired by the sculpture "The Kiss" by Constantin Brâncuși (1876-1957), artist of documenta 2 (1959) and documenta 3 (1964). According to Ray, the sculpture "The Kiss" shows in an impressively smooth way how two entities become one in physical union, the act of sexual intercourse. Shaped from one solid block, Ray imagines that the two lovers will return to this single object, their mutual attraction creating a primitive cosmic unity. The work "Oh! Charley, Charley, Charley, Charley..." was also inspired by sexual attraction, but from a different perspective. If you look at it from this point of view, from the other side of the coin so to speak, Brâncușis cosmic sexuality is turned around and it is revealed that the lover is only a projection of himself!


The sexual act is reinterpreted as an act of self-love. Ray stated about the work that, at first glance, it may seem as if he has revealed everything about himself. But the multiplication of identity prevents an actual revelation, the sexual act remains a masturbation, the artist's fantasies remain securely locked in his imagination.


After all these shifts in perspective and switches in identity, certain questions remain open: Who are the "others", do they even exist out there, do they matter at all – or do we all end up circluding* ourselves again and again?


Michael Gärtner





* Circlusion: In a 2016 Missy Magazine article, Bini Adamczak presents an alternative term for penetration to inspire a new way of speaking about sex and sexuality. (Source: