Kiss: an essay in exchange


"In Kiss: an essay in exchange (1973) I was photographed kissing the lips of a large billboard reproduction of Sophia Loren being surveyed by Peter O’Toole (as Don Quixote) appearing that year in the film Man of La Mancha (1972), this was then projected with a tape of a woman (my wife Pauline) reading a section on women and property from Mary Douglas’ book Purity and Danger.

In a way this work exists already continuously in daily life. Think of men or women kissing photographs or paintings of loved ones who are often temporarily absent or dead. But Kiss is so context dependent that a contemporary reproduction would either be another work altogether or a quotation (critical reinterpretation/revision) of the original, which, in effect, was also mine—of Rodin, Brancusi, Picasso—and the host of other artists captured by the Pygmalion effect.” - from an interview with Emma Bugden (2006), RM Gallery


Video by Bruce Barber
Photos by Colin McLaren
Performers: Bruce & Pauline Barber with Carlo Ponti look alike