Barbara DeGenevieve

SM & Barbara Degenevieve
Barbara and myself in Prague, 2009, photo by Karina Natis

Barbara has been a very important person in my life, and still is. We met in Amsterdam in 2006, at the first Netporn conference. Her presentation (about her pioneering work in Alt porn, the ssspread website and film series) floored me. The next day we had lunch together, which merged into dinner, and a long, dense conversation about many things. The next year, she invited me to teach at SAIC for a semester.

She is a marvelous example of fearless, radical, independent artist and teacher. No wonder many of her students adored her, and as many ex students have aknowledged her influence on their education, and work. She was at the cross of many different cultural fluxes: the Sixties, Contemporary Art, Politics, the 80s fetish gaze, Feminism, Porn - I could go on. She managed to incorporate many aspects of these cultures in her (artistic and educational) work - questioning all of them. Her Art was often unconfortable, deliberately so: she understood that Art happens in the brain of the beholder, and she could certainly make it happen there. She reminded me that my radicalism was a strength, not something to be smoothed out - for anyone. I'll never forget that. Barbara DeGenevieve sadly passed away in 2014.