From Emily Colucci’s in-depth article and interview with Pacifico Silano’s for Vice Magazine:
New York–based photographer Pacifico Silano’s stunning and devastating exhibition “Against Nature,” on view at ClampArt until February 14, explores an often overlooked and frequently forgotten period of LGBT history: the persecution—and eventual slaughter—of gay men by Nazi Germany. The title is a reference to Joris-Karl Huysmans’s infamous novel, as well as the phrase in Paragraph 175 of the German Criminal Code that both rendered homosexuality illegal and equated it with bestiality.
This show mines the same vein as his previous photographic series, “Male Fantasy Icon,” which examined the gay communities decimated by the HIV/AIDS epidemic through the figure of Al Parker, a 1970s gay porn star who died from complications from AIDS. In “Against Nature,” Silano uses archival sources from World War II and the earlier German Naturist movement to not only assert the importance of remembering the gay victims of the Holocaust but also explore the latent homoeroticism inherent in the Nazi’s idealized vision of the Aryan male.