Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Marks thoughtfully captures the endurance of tattoo and tradition

(Abridged version published in The Conversation 03/07/2019) The Immigration Museum’s new exhibit, Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Marks, explores the contemporary form of Polynesia’s ancient and embedded tatau alongside the equally potent tattoo tradition of Japanese irezumi. Complimenting the two photography exhibits are four installations – curated by Stanislava Pinchuk – that offer a view of tattoo beyond the limitations of tradition.

Read More

Tools for torture: meet the dominatrix using tattoo and body modification experts as instruments for pain

(Published in VICE 12/06/2019) With the brutal chaos of blackwork tattooist, 3Kreuze, and meticulous manipulation of pioneering body modifier, Yann Brenyak, Feris Tergo sessions are designed to explore the murky and macabre space between what unites tattoo, body modification, and BDSM.

Read More

The untold story behind the "father of contemporary body modification" is one of racial exploitation

Body modification is more visible and ubiquitous than ever before. Many have traced the Western inception of this phenomenon to the iconoclastic spirit of one individual—Fakir Musafar, and the contributions he made to pioneering extreme body modification in the 1989 publication, The Modern Primitives: An Investigation of Contemporary Adornment and ritual. This article takes a critical look at the problematic elements permeating Musafar's legacy of prescribing "primitiveness" for Western malaise.

Read More

Radical Physiognomies: Meet two tattooists taking their face tattoos to the next level

London based tattooist Eli and Polish-born tattooist Adam Curly share their respective heavy blackwork journeys: “I’ll never be same again after this—tattooing solid black is a very spiritual thing, for me anyway. It rips apart from emotions. The pain in some parts is unbelievable and leaves you speechless for days sometimes. You can feel sick, faint, or you can feel happy and blissful. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Read More

(NSFW / TW) “Today, I will suffer for your art”: meet the nihilist going beyond the intersection of kink and body modification to produce traumatic works of art

(abridged version published in VICE, 19/03/18) JILF, a self-described nihilist and practicing dominatrix, orchestrates painful and subversive acts with her partners with the aim of eliciting trauma and embracing disgust; her partners regularly refrain, “today, I will suffer for your art.”

“One of the things I love the most is I’ll play with my partner and do things to her that evoke disgust. She’ll be covered in filth, her mouth full of tampons and blood, she’s covered in shit and her heads all wrapped up; she’s crying, and she’s distraught, and everything’s so disgusting—everything’s just out. That blows my brain.”

Read More

Brutal Black Project Participant Interviews: "My face was double its size, I had black eyes like I was beaten"

Although tattoos in the West are becoming increasingly mainstream, the pain accompanying a session usually remains something to be tolerated at best, or completely mollified through the consumption of analgesics at worst. So when people began actively seeking out the painful ritual of a Brutal Black tattoo session, I contacted them to find out more about why they chose to engage with amplified tattoo pain.

Read More

Introducing the Brutal Black Project: “No Compassion. No Scruples. No Empathy.” This is where mandalas come to die

(VICE online 25/04/17) This is one of the most brutal experiences one can imagine in the field of tattooing, where wills are either broken or solidified. This is the Brutal Black Project, and they’ll “ruin your life”.

Read More

(NSFW) Is that Saline in Your Balls or Are You Just Happy to See Me? *full version

(Things & Ink, issue 12, abridged on VICE online) What began as an intellectual interest in body modification within the context of BDSM ended with 250mls of saline infused into my scrotum and 500mls infused into my girlfriend's breasts.

Read More

Flesh Eating Body Modifiers

(Things & Ink, issue 9. Republished in Melbourne Permanent, issue 1) ‘Since putting the photo on Instagram, I was like, “Wow; I didn’t realise it would become such a thing”. Someone put it on Facebook, and it turned into this big thing with over 200 comments, and everyone was thinking I was a total freak. I guess I took it a bit lightly and didn’t explain myself, it was just like “RAAAAAHHH; I’m eating my own head!”

Read More

Hanging with Badsville: hook, line, and body modifications

(Things & Ink, issue 6. Republished in Melbourne Permanent, issue 1) "When you’re getting them pierced, it feels pretty brutal. So you can understand the heightened response your body and mind are having to the pain. This automatically triggers a reaction within your brain, and it compensates by flooding your body with adrenaline and all kinds of delicious endorphins. At this point I’m very happy, welcoming the old feeling of this incredible buzz within my system..."

Read More