Total Abuse: Collected Writings, 1984-1995

Peter Sotos

Reads like an elaborate one-note joke whose aim is to shock, a predictable knee-jerk compulsion to sicken—either that, or a tiring exercise in pushing the limits of the First Amendment. Illustrates the basic shortcoming of any conceptual art, no matter what the discipline—it hinges on a punch line and, as such, once you get it the thrill is over (i.e., the joke ain’t funny the second time around—or the third or the fourth or the thousandth). Sotos’ moronic celebrations of the heinous include accolades to Klaus Barbie, necrophiles, child killers and rapists. He even lacks the peripheral saving grace of presenting a vision that’s distinctly “evil”—his words read like mediocre reportage. Difficult to take seriously on any level—even as a one-note joke it’s not funny, merely pointless. A provocateur for the MTV generation; clearly the product of someone with too much time on his hands. MDG

Publisher: Goad to Hell
Paperback: 240 pages