On the morning of August 11, , I was anxious, drinking strong coffee and refreshing Twitter every few minutes to see if there was an announcement from Amnesty International. Delegates of the venerated organization were meeting in Dublin to vote on whether or not to endorse the decriminalization of sex work as a matter of human rights policy. When the announcement came that Amnesty had voted to fully endorse decriminalization, I jumped up and down, then tweeted effusively. I thanked Amnesty for their bravery and wished that I could celebrate in Dublin, stout in hand, with some of my favorite sex-worker friends.
This Exhibition Celebrates the Role of Queer Sex Work in Art
Sex Workers' Art Show Tour Reunion! | Indiegogo
Around images, from the 70s onwards, are used to show how art and activism have existed alongside sex work. The exhibition also features film stills by gay film-maker Bruce LaBruce from his short film Refugees Welcome, alongside his photos of Canadian trans performance artist Nina Arsenault, as well as Hanky Panky, a painting by Patrick Angus from , showing a group of men in a pornography cinema. His work is a sort of diary of memories, depicting gay life in New York, from burlesque shows to revues and scenes from Times Square bathhouses. Annie Sprinkle , the San Francisco-based feminist artist and former porn star, is showing ephemera from her extensive sex work career; from contact sheets to jewelry, business cards and Polaroid photos. Sprinkle broke new ground with her first one-woman show Post Porn Modernist in the late s, when she let the audience view her cervix with a flashlight. There are also photographs by Leon Mostovoy, a transgender artist who photographed lesbian strippers for his Market Street Cinema series shot in San Francisco in the s. In fact, women in control are not something people to want to see, not then, not now.
When sex work and art work collide
However, his sex work unquestionably influenced his later exploration of the precariousness of queer lives, as well as the comfort and intimacy of same-sex desire. Curated by independent curator and social worker Alexis Heller, the show features artists, like Wojnarowicz, who engaged in sex work, alongside others who are closely allied with the sex worker community or use pornography as source material. Heller combines this artwork with archival materials related to sex work activism, the effect of which reflects the critique inherent in its title. As our culture continues to put marginalized populations at risk, On Our Backs celebrates the radical, empowering, and often invisible labor of sex workers.
Use of the term spiked significantly in s Los Angeles, its increased popularity a reminder of how the dehumanization and criminalization of sex workers and other marginalized populations is consistently enforced, normalized, and upheld by the interlocking injustices and oppressions of capitalism, racism, White supremacy, imperialism, settler-colonialism, nationalism, borders, carceral and police states, patriarchy, xenophobia, transphobia, homophobia, and gender-based violence. The phrase has since been used by numerous artists, activists, filmmakers, scholars, and writers across media, literature, and research to illuminate and bring awareness to targeted forms of violence. No Human Involved speaks to dehumanizing socio-political systems and cultural conditions through the artistic voices and viewpoints of sex workers themselves. Curated through a competitive, international open call, multiple works by 15 artists span installation, video, photography, new media, sculpture, drawing, painting, printmaking, and performance.