milk it, baby, from my throat
milk it, baby, from my throat - is a story photographed by Anna Butenin in a collaboration with an artist, singer, performer, and androgynous model Pat Dudek, both based in Warsaw, Poland. The title comes from the closing lines of the song by Milkbaby, Holymilk, “milk it, baby, from my throat // or milk it from my slimy heart.” The story of the shoot is inspired by Milkbaby audiovisual, music project and dances around the idea of what is the meaning of being the true self in eastern Europe. It is a redefinition of the performing arts today, the redefinition of identity that seeks to present the society with the differences and similarities characteristically and visually. This is a cry for freedom, for equality, for acceptance, and creativity.
Romantic and bold, sensual and edgy, the dance occurs on the stage with the square mosaic floor and heavy deep blue curtains that resembles the aura of the Twin Peaks.
Anna Butenin and Pat Dudek studied at the Warsaw Film School.
"The main inspiration for the shoot was my upcoming audiovisual/music project Milkbaby".
What was the main inspiration for the shoot?
Pat: I'm a musician (vocalist and songwriter), director and performance artist. The main inspiration for the shoot was my upcoming audiovisual/music project Milkbaby (Pat Dudek, Manoid); the photoshoot refers explicitly to the last half-music and half-theatrical live performances I took a part in (e.g. at Warsaw MoMA and some art festivals). It can also be considered as an announcement of upcoming shows.
What material did you use to distort the appearance of the facial features and what is the idea behind that solution?
Pat: Milkbaby isn't Pat - it's an independent character, the evolution of stage persona. As an artificial being, It has an artificially created face. Our intention was to give It a plastic-bionic complexion to associate It with a cyborg, on the one hand, and with the unwrapped product, on the other. Aleksandra Piotrowska (our make-up artist) made it from plastic. Milkbaby is, in fact, the unwrapped, bionic, non-binary product inspired by sex robots and referring to objectifying and fetishization of the human body in the music industry/show business. To be sexy, to be welcome.
"Milkbaby is, in fact, the unwrapped, bionic, non-binary product inspired by sex robots and referring to objectifying and fetishization of the human body in the music industry/show business".
"We wanted strong erotic tension mixed with the Milkbaby's mystery".
The editorial is shot on stage with a Twin Peaks like floor and heavy deep blue curtains. What is the location?
Pat: This is a burlesque club in Warsaw. We wanted strong erotic tension mixed with the Milkbaby's mystery. The combination of an infamous vision of nightclubs only for adults and the 'uncanny valley' effect radiating from the characters can be associated with David Lynch's films or some Tech-noir aesthetic. But we were also inspired by Lil' Kim's videos and Aeon Flux, the 90s avant-garde animated series by Peter Chung.
Tell about the process of working together, directing the frames and the strong postures?
Pat: The process of taking pictures lasted 15 minutes, everything else was an idea and preparation. This was a second photo shoot we did together with Anna Butenin, and I hope that we'll have many more to come. The dresses and shirts designed by Hubert Kołodziejski are wonderful. Aleksandra Piotrowska is unlimited, we've been working together on Milkbaby for a long time. And so is my model-partner Karolina Szlupowicz, a visual artist and a sculptress (she did/sculpted her headpiece by herself). You can certainly call it a fully collective work.