Magdalena Kita

Porn in the City

By Emmanuel Mir on March 22, 2014

Carnival is just passed. The wild fifth season of the year in which someone is groped on every street corner, dodged in every meeting, and screwed in every pub bathroom, is ended. The animalistic instincts are again subdued. The majority of people still appear ridiculous and grotesque, but now involuntarily so. The public order sets in again. And with it returns her daughter: the censor. She seized a quite harmless and nice exhibit at Karat, the showcase of Yvonne Klasen, Malo, and Paul Leo, and led such a public uproar one could never have expected in this place and time.

In the framework of a shared exhibition with Theresa Reusch, Magdalena Kita showed in Karat a series of textile printings in native style and with pop (with this adjective, the Kölner Express had produced a raunchy pun - we refrain) colors. The scenes depict a Kama Sutra-esque style that an amateur painter on acid and reminiscing the swinging sixties could have painted. Pairs take each other from the front and from behind in front of psychedelic backgrounds; orgies are celebrated and several sex practices are tried out. The ensemble is painted with extreme two-dimensionality, with direct borrowing from amateur painting or Art Brut, recalling a bit of the iconic drawings of George Dunning (the director of the animated film Yellow Submarine) and conforms finally to those passions of decor that we have already gotten to know in Kita’s earlier works. The corpus delicti was for everyone visible and – as one discovers from an official press release– presented near a school.

This is naturally terrible for our youth, Mrs. Kita! She is perverting innocent gazes, she is shocking unsuspecting children, potentially traumatizing their whole existences with her immoral trash! Young parents show their indignation, residents demands a public order office intervene, and hardly 48 hours after the opening, the devil images must be taken down. On which pyre they shall be burned was not revealed. However, the mischievous artist would not let this lie and replaced the textile prints with QR codes that directly link to the pictures. So one must first scan the forbidden material to see it – and so our youth is well protected!


These QR codes are incidentally not only a clever way to avoid the censor, but also create an unavoidable extension of the erotic vignettes. Born out of emergency, these flat patterns of ornamental impetus from Kita are ushered off into a farther dimension and would particularly as autonomous images be conceived. This cunning answer to the censor was the most intelligent thing that the artist could have done in this situation. As is natural in this time of constant availability of information, the moral surveillance of the public room is completely obsolete. When YouPorn plays on the smartphones of 8 year-old schoolchildren and the crassest explicit content can be downloaded everywhere, one cannot worry any more about the nature of an image in the city. Because this image - a poster, display board, decorations, or even an art exhibition - is equally as public and exposed as all images that circulate on the web and are available to everyone. Whoever cannot follow this argument - get tutoring at

The physical distance from images with explicit sexual content is also a desperate and completely inefficient move of the authorities, who helped bring great visibility to a small exhibit. The Karat troupe together with art teachers can thank their censors for the wide forum. And incidentally, as we draw to a close: the pictures of Magadalena Kita are not so explicit. The drawn genitals and prettily colored painted sex scenes are so greatly stylized, so strongly abstracted, and in such an artistic language kept, that the alleged pornography must be observed from a great distance. Who today mistakes the image of an object with the object itself? This is no pipe, Cardinal Meisner – you are the pipe!