Urine Mate 2

© Aline Bouvy, Urine Mate 2, 2016. Photo: Isabelle Arthuis

Urine Mate (2016) is a series of photographic compositions of nude male bodies and natural linoleum adopting the format of a large painting. In Urine Mate 2, wildflower stems in the foreground camouflage the bottom of a naked body in a crouched position. The Urine Mate series questions the representation of naked men in a dominant patriarchal system.

The body depicted in Urine Mate 2 is deliberately non-gendered. Intermingled with weeds, it plays with the connotations of "wrong gender". This painting evokes “cruising”, a practice of wandering exploration characteristic of the queer community, reserved for public places in the margins like woods, transient neighborhoods, or vacant lots, allowing for both encounter and discretion. By stepping out of the frame and drawing flowers on the wall, the artist pollinates the exhibition space with her non-conformist ideas. By representing spaces of potentiality open to everyone, Aline Bouvy echoes the work Cruising Utopia by Cuban theorist José Esteban Muñoz, advocating the need for utopian thoughts to deconstruct heteronormativity and radically change the world.

Urine Mate II is also distinguished by the way Aline Bouvy handles the raw material. For other pieces, the artist has used her own urine as a binder for plaster sculptures, which can be seen in some of the photographs. Linoleum, a cheap natural material commonly used to cover floors, is here used as an inlay replacing paint. Blending fine and decorative art with  interior design, Urine Mate II also challenges modern standards that traditionally categorize what is and what is not in good taste.