Exhibition ‘Porn, pulp and literature’ in the Heritage Library

Porn, Pulp & Literature

 

Hereitage Library Hendrik Conscience, Nottebohmroom

Antwerp, Hendrik Conscienceplein 4

06/12/2019 – 14/02/2020

Heritage Library Hendrik Conscience

The new exhibition in the Heritage Library Hendrik Consciencehas already been in the news, literally. Porn is not directly a topic that you expect in the age-old library in Antwerp. But sex and porn are of all times. The heritage library wants to draw attention to this concealed part of Flemish literature and cultural history. You can always say that you are coming for the room, because the Nottebohm room is still just as beautiful.

Porn

The word porn only came into existence in the 19th century, before there were other terms to indicate erotic literature: gallant letters or highly realistic literature. For centuries there was also censorship on these books, also in the library. In the Heritage Library, such a type of book was entered in the register with a red indication ‘The Hell’.

The exhibition focuses on pornographic material between the 1950s and 1970s. During that period, the Dutch came to Flanders to buy ‘dirty books’. The production center was in the Netherlands around the 1970s and Flanders had to cross the border. In the exhibition there are interesting stories from Flemish publishers of porn stories.

Sekual taboo

At the end of the 1960s, sex also penetrated the ‘mainstream’ culture. Important literary authors wrote explicitly about sex, such as Louis Paul Boon and Jef Geeraerts. There was therefore a response from the church and the state. For example, ‘Black Venus’ by Geeraerts was seized while it also won a literature prize.

At the end of the exhibition, there is a look at the contemporary range and what the differences and similarities are with the erotic literature from 50 years before. Also go into the cabinet, where film pieces are shown. A nice nod to the busts in the hall, their eyes are covered, you never know …

Guided Tours

You can ask me as your guide for this exhibition. I had one tour that you could register for individually, but it soon became full. It is the first exhibition here with an audio guide, so you also get more information than with the normal descriptions. But also read the small texts that you find next to the cupboards, they are usually pieces from the books.

Porn, Pulp & Literature

 

Heritage Library Hendrik Conscience, Nottebohmroom

Antwerp, Hendrik Conscienceplein 4

06/12/2019 – 14/02/2020

More information (only in Dutch)

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