Bound together

Leather, sex, archives and contemporary art

By Andy Campbell

Bound together


  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4283-2
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £19.99 (incl. VAT)
  • Published Date: December 2019
  • BIC Category: Art History, HISTORY / Historiography, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Sexuality (see also PSYCHOLOGY / Human Sexuality), ART / Criticism & Theory, Society & social sciences / Sociology: sexual relations, Humanities / Historiography, Society & social sciences / Material culture
  • Series: Rethinking Art's Histories


What are the archives of gay and lesbian leather histories, and how have contemporary artists mined these archives to create a queer politics of the present? This book sheds light on an area long ignored by traditional art history and LGBTQ studies, examining the legacies of the visual and material cultures of US leather communities. It discusses the work of contemporary artists such as Patrick Staff, Dean Sameshima, Monica Majoli, AK Burns and AL Steiner, and the artist collective Die Kränken, showing how archival histories and contemporary artistic projects might be applied in a broader analysis of LGBTQ culture and norms. Hanky codes, blurry photographs of Tom of Finland drawings, a pin sash weighted down with divergent histories - these become touchstones for writing leather histories.


'Sex is good to think with, but Andy Campbell's leathersex is even better. This exuberant, challenging, perceptive, cleverly crafted and generously illustrated study explores the role of BDSM in visual and material art, performance and archival practice - while, in the process, becoming its own sexual archive. A new kind of art history, Bound together transforms our comprehensions of sex and apprehensions of the archive.'
Professor Barry Reay, author of New York Hustlers and Sex in the Archives


Andy Campbell is Assistant Professor of Critical Studies at USC Roski School of Art and Design


1 Introduction: bound together
2 The work of the master's hand
3 How to talk about Tom
4 Yellow, or reading archives diagonally
5 Numbers
6 'Clubs that don't exist anymore'
7 Attached to history
8 'Deep fist at the modern'
9 Conclusion: surrogates, envelopes

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