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The Smallest Gallery in Soho Explores 'Pornosophy' Through the Eyes of Porn Star Spurt Reynolds

Gallery reveals the challenges faced by Spurt as he is asked, in his own words, ‘to compare philosophical questions with the everyday porn life’

The Smallest Gallery in Soho Explores 'Pornosophy' Through the Eyes of Porn Star Spurt Reynolds

The Smallest Gallery in Soho presents a new video installation by public artist Martin Firrell titled ‘Pornosophy’. Pornosophy interprets the work of the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) through the eyes of porn star Spurt Reynolds (b. 1971).

Before 9pm, ‘The Making of Pornosophy’ reveals the challenges faced by Spurt as he is asked, in his own words, ‘to compare philosophical questions with the everyday porn life’.

After 9pm, Pornosophy presents aspects of Kierkegaard's philosophy combined with Spurt Reynold’s performance, offering an accessible and stimulating way of engaging with challenging philosophical ideas.

The term ‘pornosophical’ was first coined by James Joyce in Chapter 15 of Ulysses. 

The Oxford English Dictionary gives its meaning as, ‘of or relating to the philosophy of the brothel’. 

Inspired by this Joycean turn of phrase, public artist Martin Firrell created ‘Pornosophy’ for the Smallest Gallery in Soho. From 9pm each night, Dean Street sees porn star Spurt Reynolds grapple with the metaphysics of the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855). 

Kierkegaard is notoriously difficult to understand but, at the same time, he is regarded as one of the 19th Century’s most important thinkers about the human condition. 

Spurt Reynolds offers his own easy-to-understand, and often touching, commentary on Kierkegaard’s most important ideas including the nature of anxiety, despair, existence and passion. Through Pornosophy, serious philosophy is explored and illuminated. 

In Pornosophy for The Smallest Gallery in Soho, Firrell draws on the aesthetics of Ed and Nancy Kienholz’s The Hoerengracht, the much-admired 1980s installation recreating Amsterdam’s infamous red light district. 

"When I was asked to contribute a work for the brilliant The Smallest Gallery in Soho, I wanted to recreate something of Soho’s colourful, sexy past. At the same time I wanted to highlight serious philosophical ideas about how to live richly and well when we are all only simple, flawed human beings with all the challenges that implies," comments Martin Firrell.

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