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A conversation between Martin Eder and Laura Liliyana- Raffaella Cogoni


Photo – LL-RC

I might start shrieking. I don’t know yet.
The last thing I remember is a CD he gave me last year of his band, ?Ruin & Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop and so that is what I ask him when he arrives.
He tells me he has been making face masks to go with the music that resemble multiple scrotums.


“Oh its fine. I’m more of a Sunday painter. It’s a hobby.” He replies.

I need the loo. I get up.
When I return we start talking about a poet called George Bataille. And a poem entitled ‘The skinned rabbit’s running nose’, based on my idea of this poem.

See below my research on slow slicing.

Slow slicing (Lingchi) (simplified Chinese: ??; traditional Chinese: ??; pinyin: língchí, alternately transliterated Ling Chi or Leng T’che), also translated as the slow process, the lingering death, or death by a thousand cuts (simplified Chinese: ???; traditional Chinese: ???) or “????”, was a form of torture and execution used in China from roughly AD 900 until its abolition in 1905. In this form of execution, the condemned person was killed by using a knife to methodically remove portions of the body over an extended period of time. The term língchí derives from a classical description of ascending a mountain slowly. Lingchi was reserved for crimes viewed as especially severe, such as treason and killing one’s parents. The process involved tying the person to be executed to a wooden frame, usually in a public place. The flesh was then cut from the body in multiple slices in a process that was not specified in detail in Chinese law and therefore most likely varied. In later times, opium was sometimes administered either as an act of mercy or as a way of preventing fainting. The punishment worked on three levels: as a form of public humiliation, as a slow and lingering death, and as a punishment after death.

According to the Confucian principle of filial piety or xiào to alter one’s body or to cut the body is a form of unfilial practice (see Xiao Jing). Lingchi therefore contravenes the demands of xiao. In addition, to be cut to pieces meant that the body of the victim would not be “whole” in a spiritual life after death. This method of execution became a fixture in the image of China among some Westerners.[1]

We should eat, I say.
I really like your new work. I tell him how much I like when things look like what they are and they aren’t made to look any worse or better than they are or should be.
His bum photographs (below) he did as an experiment.


“Its just a regular ass. Its supposed to be grotesque, but its not. How can normality be grotesque. That’s wrong.”

Martin Eden is a Berlin based painter, represented by Hauser and Wirth.

“Sexism VERSUS Eroticism. I paint in water colours and I always get accused of porn. Women’s liberation was bigger in the sixties. The presence of the internet over the presence of pornographic material looked like liberation but instead was like prison.”

OBEY “Its like the Olympics in bed.”

HAHAHHA. Sounds good. How?

“Well, you have to do certain things, perform a certain way and function at a certain level. It’s all three times a day, Viagra and duration.”


We’re at The Wolseley. I choose a treacle tart for desert.

“I’m fantasizing constantly, he continues. I wanted the arses to show the fat. I got the models to rub oil all over themselves. I mean, oil just gets absorbed so we had to do layer on top of layer.”

We start talking about how Caravaggio murdered someone. I couldn’t believe that. But alas the good old Google has proved this correct. It was over a game of tennis. That Caravaggio had a right temper on him then.

We have the same colour blazer on and it even has the same coloured lining, I say.

“So we have, hold on do you have a broken toe?”, he replies.

No, why?

“Well because I had some spare paint the other day, so I painted a pentagram on my big toe. Then out of nowhere an anchor fell on it and broke it. Then I looked up and said, Thanks God.”

Do you believe in God?
“No, I was joking.”

What’s your favourite song off your album?
“Satan Comes, Satan Leaves.”


Words: LL-RC



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