BOY WOLF: A Prophet of Pleasure
It isn’t everyday that you witness someone fuck themselves with a horn nor bathe and quench their thirst by pouring milk all over their body. Is this shock value, avant garde pubescence or simply how life is in a certain realm of thought?
Performance artist Paul Leopold’s Boy Wolf is the alternative answer to Generation Y’s America. Through spoken word, song, poetry, movement, video, myth and ritual, Boy Wolf invites his audience of peers to join in on the enchantment of his story, self-described as “a suburban prince’s fall into urban decadence, told as an orgasmic bacchanal drenched with animal sexuality”. Yet, it can also be aptly described as a prophecy of ultimate (and libidinal) pleasure through a queer lens. He is not concerned with the functions of capital America because he seems to have fallen out of that black hole with his first nocturnal emission; he is overwhelmed by the beauty of the pleasure that is excavated within parameters of sexual taboos.
Boy Wolf’s rituals seem to separate his work into a series of liberations. Boy Wolf, clad in meat and saran wrap, frees himself from the skin given to him by our world by cutting it off to reveal himself nude, or his natural state of another dimension. He liberates himself from the world of known reality while paying respect to it by binding himself with tefillin, which is used within the Hebrew faith to remind observant jews of god’s role in the exodus of Egypt. He adapts a new skin of latex and further cleanses himself in a shower of milk and ingests his own “meat” to pay respect to his earlier self. Boy Wolf then invites the audience to celebrate his Peter Pan-like pubescence through communal dance and song whilst protecting the energy Boy Wolf has shared with them.
Boy Wolf, as a product of the American Dream, refuses to wear the crown of the appropriation of dishonest diversity, the consistent yearn for attention of simple doings, the divine power of fiscality and, most importantly, the condemnation of the human body’s natural desires, which rings true as the Millennial American Dream. While the audience may feel shocked, it is a desire for true freedom that hooks them.
- Ryan Streit
- Photos by Tinker Coalescing for MIX NYC