cover image Haute Surveillance

Haute Surveillance

Johannes Goransson. Tarpaulin Sky, $16 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-1-939460-00-4

Goransson's latest effort is an underwhelming collection of aphorisms and non-sequiturs that congeal into assemblages of pornography and the daily news. In content and style it resembles the disinterest and disjointedness of late night channel surfing. Goransson (Dear Ra) enumerates various appalling sexual or violent acts in a deadpan and detached manner conveying an endless stream of unrelated instances of sadomasochism, molestation, murder, heaped corpses, and other forms of graphic violence. These acts are shuffled between a set of nameless recurring characters such as the murdered Starlet, the Father Voice-Over, and the Black Man. Into this morass of pulp Goransson incorporates topical references to Fox News, Gaza, and drones in the desert. Unfortunately, the deluge of provocative and raunchy content is exhausted through sheer repetition and drowns out the sparsely interspersed passages that are enjoyable or inventive. Goransson's celebratory and orgiastic barrage of smut reiterates an already exhausted critique of political theater, nihilistic spectatorship, and American popular culture. The shock of this screed is undermined by sheer unrelenting volume making for a cringe-inducing text that feels paradoxically abrasive and cliche. What Goransson has created is a vacuous form of post-modernism that feels more like an exercise in masochism than boundary-pushing experimentation. (May)