Two books on sex, originating from the same source:
1. Entsiklopediya intimnoi zhizni [i.e. The Encyclopedia of Intimate Life]. [N.p., 1970s]. 44 leaves. 30x22 cm. Typescript. In owner’s plastic folder. Soiling and deformations of the folder, clean text block.
The Soviet underground translation of an American book from the 1960s. On the title page it’s stated ‘Detgiz’ (main Soviet publishing house for children’s books) in the place where the publisher should be, which is probably an irony by the creators of this samizdat copy. The text is in the form of a dialog between sexologist and married couple. Translation is very interesting linguistically as the Russian language at the time was not very prepared for this topic and sometimes the translator had to look for phrases and expressions that didn’t exist yet. Also unusual is the fact that homosexuality is mentioned but not as a separate topic, but while discussing other matters. The homosexual relationships are mentioned in the neutral contexts, while in USSR at the time the special article of the criminal code was dedicated to ‘Sodomy’ and the homosexuality was often viewed as a mental abnormality.
2. [Kama Sutra]. [1980s]. 92 black and white photos in album. 18,5x14 cm. Handmade album, originally a large quarto notebook, cut to the size of the photos. The leaves glued together, using the cardboard strips between them for solidity. This improvised binding’s rear cover is folded
as a bookmark.
Album without a title. Few photos are montaged during film development to show the positions of the bodies in motion. First photograph is also montaged showing erogenous zones. Occasional handwritten notes naming the positions and describing the emotions of male and female, e.g.: ‘‘Male perceives female in general which works to female’s favour, because in the moment of sexual arousal she becomes very attractive, so male after this won’t ‘stare’ at other females’’; ‘‘classic European position aloud by Queen Victoria, male is trying to stimulate female’s clitoris with his penis’’. It’s our understanding that the album and the book could have been used together.