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Cock, Cock… Who’s There? review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘fascinating and unsettling’

Cock, Cock... Who's There? Cock, Cock... Who's There?
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Five years ago, Finnish-born filmmaker Samira Elagoz was raped by her then-boyfriend. In the aftermath, she records conversations with her friends, mother and grandmother about the incident (referred to as a “force-fuck” by the perpetrator).

She also sets about studying men’s reactions to her, reversing and recording the male gaze by filming first encounters with strangers, arranged via an advert on Craigslist in which she seeks subjects for a documentary about how people get to know one another. The resultant cinema-verite-style footage, as well as Elagoz’s explanations of events and findings (she notes that these men often wanted to present her with a skill, with seemingly low levels of success) form the basis of Cock, Cock…Who’s There?.

Part video art, part lecture – it’s a deeply troubling, thought-provoking show that offers no easy answers in its questing subversion of victimhood. Almost everything about Elagoz’s approach – her apparent fearlessness in the face of potentially dangerous and pervy internet strangers, her archly sexualised femininity – engenders discomfort and forces us to question our own prejudice.

It’s a study of power and the politics of intimacy that dredges sexuality and the online world. The resulting show is fascinating, complicated and extremely unsettling.

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Verdict
Complex and disturbing mix of lecture and performance art about the aftermath of rape
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