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 Linder, Oranur Experiment, 2011
“Oranur Experiment”, 2011Artwork by Linder Sterling

How a feminist icon inspired a new world of indie erotica

Softcore magazine TALC explain how Linder Sterling inspired their racy aesthetic

Taken from the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of Dazed:

Softcore indie mag TALC is a tantalising mesh of curves and colour. Initially intended as a racy response to the lad mag’s demise, it’s become known for its punchy collage aesthetic – something editor-in-chief Edward Vince is quick to credit to cult feminist icon Linder Sterling. He explains how the punk artist inspired his longstanding lust for erotica.

What made you decide to start up TALC?

Edward Vince: TALC was a long time in the making, mainly because our reasons for creating it changed over time. It was originally inspired by the death of the lad mag around 5 years ago and also the sexualisation of mens magazines, often in a homoerotic way. We saw a gap in the market for a new magazine for modern men. It evolved again to eventually become an 'adult design magazine' and for everyone, not just men, and this was because of what we were calling ‘the pornification of culture’. By that we meant the potential to be aroused or excited by a piece of furniture or a work of art as much as you would be by the naked female form. It was a term we came up with after witnessing an online culture of blogs dedicated to anything from footwear porn to architecture porn and everything in between, and also the increase in nudity witnessed in mainstream design magazines. This is obviously something that Linder always did in her work, sexualising everyday objects by montaging them with pornographic images so it all becomes the same thing.

What do you think her intentions are?

Edward Vince: I guess her intention was to shock and provoke people into reconsidering the representation of women in media. It’s really interesting that she collected her images from both mens and women's magazines during her early work in the 70’s noticing the common denominator was the commodification of the female form. She wanted to draw comparisons between these two seemingly opposing worlds and by doing so she pointed out their similarities.

“Linder was a punk in all meanings of the word, she interrupted the conversation and truly had her own agenda” – Edward Vince

What does her work say to you personally?

Edward Vince: Her work has really made me consider the intention of the artist and the difference between that and the consumers perception. This has proved to be incredibly inspirational for us as we have a female editor and most of our content is photographed or produced by women and so we really enjoy playing with our readers perception as to what TALC’s intentions are and who it is made for. We also really enjoy the huge female following that we have.

She's known for having quite a radical sensibility. How has that informed yours, and TALCS, views?

Edward Vince: To be honest there is probably nothing particularly radical about TALC when you put it next to her work, but the main thing she has really made me think a lot about is intention in image making and also about the importance of context in fully understanding a piece of work. I have also learnt to enjoy and even exploit the grey areas that exist between intention and perception.

What similarities do you hope to draw between your work and Linders?

Edward Vince: There's a definite aesthetic similarity, a montaged approach to creating something, be it literally or conceptually, but there is also a desire to create a conversation, to make work that is beyond a commercial artifact and something that aspires to more than just an object of consumption. I mean Linder was a punk in all meanings of the word, she interrupted the conversation and truly had her own agenda. Artists like her have really helped make TALC possible.

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