Glory Hole is a crack in its simplest sense. The term originates from the furnaces used in glass-blowing and surface depression in underground mining but in sexual slang, it points to the holes drilled for anonymous sex or mutual masturbation. In this context, it becomes a naughty playground for those who take their pleasure dry, without a side of communication, intimacy or responsibility. It also expresses an equal division of power on the part of both the watcher and the one being watched. It’s an observational tool that makes ambiguity and misconceptions possible because it allows parts of the whole to be seen from different angles at any given moment. It is a reminder of how much we desire to see what’s on the other side of the hole, how willing we are to surrender to our curiosity.
George Orwell paints a dystopian picture in his classic masterpiece ‘1984’: “Always eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you. Asleep or awake, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or bed – no escape. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters in your skull.” In contemporary society, we are witnessing the rise of a hedonistic and glamorous culture of exhibitionism and voyeurism just as intense as the darkness of this envisioned pressure. In this day and age when we are used to having a presence in social media where we volunteer to show our fictional or real lives to onlookers and ‘followers’, willingly giving countries permission to scan our retinas for travel visas, consuming popular culture products to infiltrate our psyche and surveillance cameras that claim to serve and protect us, we propose to expand the idea of the Glory Hole.
-Hande Oynar, Curator