If asked if there is a difference between the Renaissance painting The Birth of Venus (1486) and a Playboy centerfold, most might say it’s no contest: one is art and the other pornography. Are Botticelli and Hugh Hefner really that different?
In , we asked online sexcam performers to replicate iconic works of art.
This piece is an experimental homage to both fine art and the lowbrow internet phenomenon of cams.
Sexcams use webcams and chat interfaces to connect amateur adult performers with an audience.
Users log on to see men, women, transsexuals, couples and groups broadcast their bodies and sexuality live for the public, often performing for money.
To create this experiment in high and low brow media, we assumed anonymous handles and spent a few hours each day for a month asking performers: “Would you like to pose for me? By operating in the language of sexcams, we alter the contemporary ideal of beauty with the ubiquitous display of sexuality online.
We challenge the institutions which enforce false perceptions of propriety—via nudity in classical painting—as the only form of acceptable safe-for-work beauty.Publicly presented traditional paintings and sculptures are prevalent with sexuality and gender politics, and yet the display of nudity online is usually defined as ‘pornography’.Amateur adult broadcasters also resist the popular, contemporary definition of beauty.They are not the typical definition of beauty prevalent main stream media: heavily Photoshopped image in the name of advertising, which destroys self image and confidence while encouraging materialism.Sexcam performers are the apotheosis of the most honest parts of us and yet typically the least valued part of a society.Even though they are transmitted virtually, they are real people and they are beautiful.