Archiving the fetish desire of an Italian gay man


  • Luca Cavallin Independent scholar



paper ephemera, archive, social sciences, pornography, fetishism


Starting from a small amateur archive of erotic images collected over time by an Italian homosexual man from the fetish world, referred to as E., a theoretical and visual research has been developed that covers aspects of fetish and the associated visual culture. ARCHIVIEROTICA investigates this independent archive by combining text and graphic reworking, accompanying each paragraph with a selection of images from the said collection, repurposed as a new source to be reactivated. By exposing the archive, this article aims to demonstrate how a spontaneous practice conceals a subversive force that clashes with the power-institution it mimics. The paragraph entitled FETISH will define this concept and locate the chronological references found in the archive, while the second, SENSITIVITY, will navigate between analogue, digital, and the synaesthetic image that depicts the fetish; the following, COMMUNITY, starts from a conversation with E. and considers the image-for-attracting and the precarious digital archiving modes; the fourth paragraph, PUBLIC, will deal with the digital censorship of sexuality and (queer) rage that can be reclaimed.



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How to Cite

Cavallin, L. (2024). ARCHIVIEROTICA: Archiving the fetish desire of an Italian gay man. Whatever. A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies, 6(1), 109–164.



Performance, subversion, relation: tracing queer in BDSM