Dorian Wood is more than an experimental musician with a message—he's a performance artist able to thread together difficult concepts into moving tableaus. Just check out his video for his latest song "La Cara Infinita" (featuring Eddika Organista), which includes a naked Margaret Cho and some full-frontal male nudity—all ratcheted up to epic scale despite the relative simplicity of the setting. We caught up with Dorian Wood to figure out what exactly was going on in this beautiful (if disturbing) masterpiece.
Out: There's an intense, somewhat abusive, scene between two nude men, along with the figure of Margaret Cho standing naked, what compelled you to make this video with so much exposed skin and rough play?
Dorian Wood: I drew aesthetic inspiration from one of my favorite films, Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom. That film makes a strong statement against fascism. In my video, the nude women are portrayed as strong, almost otherworldly beings who transcend sexuality.
What was it like working with Margaret Cho on the project?
Margaret was hugely inspiring to work with. Her quiet strength speaks volumes in the video. As women have so often been portrayed in an exploitative fashion for centuries, it was my intention to portray nude men in this light. This included full-frontal male nudity, a senseless Western taboo. I've appeared nude several times in all forms of visual art. I see my own nudity as a fancy suit I wear on special occasions. It's been a rocky road to get to this point of comfort with myself, and my friends who appear nude in the video are each comfortable with their own bodies in their own way. Overall, the censorship of nudity, male or female, is a most glorified tool of oppression. I even toyed with the idea of putting out a censored version, but what kind of message would that convey? There is no shame in what we've done here, and the full video is still up as of right now, so no harm done, apparently.
Can you explain the deeper meaning of the lyrics and what you wanted people to take away from this song and video?
"La Cara Infinita" tells the tale of a large group of women who escape captivity and vengefully join forces to form a gigantic face in the sky, which brings about the apocalypse. Sadly, I did not have the budget to create this visual! Instead, I felt it necessary to present a sense of unified panic, in which sexuality and gender ultimately have little meaning when the end-times quickly approach and all these things happen in this tiny room, and you wonder if your fears are yours, or perhaps collective, and how important it is to never feel alone in your personal struggles, because everyone has personal struggles, and what is the end of the world to you, in fact, is just a bump in the road, and your life still moves forward. Also, it is very OK to dance your ass off to this song!
Any negative or positive reactions so far? Anyone reach out to tell you what it meant to them since it's been available online?
I acknowledge that the message is not immediately clear. But I'm delighted that people have actually asked questions, and the general feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Only one reviewer said it was "gross." I think they were referring to my ugly toes.
Watch the video below: