Monday, April 18, 2011

The "Art" of Exploitation

I have a new post up at the Ms. Magazine blog:

I consider myself fairly liberal when it comes to some of the most controversial 21st-century debates about sex. I’m not anti-pornography or sex work, as long as they are properly regulated, include health care for workers and require explicit consent of all participants. I also think that erotically charged art can be very compelling, provided it goes beyond prurient sensationalism. So it’s pretty impressive, though not in a good way, that French artist Antoine D’Agata’s photographs of himself having sex with Cambodian sex workers piss me off so much.

D’Agata, whom Flaunt magazine calls a “provocative social documentarian,” revels in the controversial nature of his art practice. He has expressed hope that the photos–which depict him engaged in a variety of sex acts with young women in brothels–might somehow bring light to the plight of sex workers in Cambodia.
Read the rest here.

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