Interviews with Feminist Porn Filmmakers

Lora Hristova

Interviews with Feminist Porn Filmmakers

2015, colour, sound, 27′

19 July – 25 July 2016

Interviews

 

Interviews with Feminist Porn Film-makers is the final film in Carroll / Fletcher Onscreen’s Young Film-makers season – Holly Antrum, Margaret Haines, Lora Hristova, Cristina Picci, Lucy Parker and Jessica Sarah Rinland.  Filmed during the 2014 Berlin Porn Film Festival, Interviews with Feminist Porn Film-makers takes an impartial look at the motivations behind the work of ten porn film-makers  – Maria Bala, Pandora Blake, Lucie Blush, Alyx Fox, Audrey Fox, Shine Louise Houston, Jiz Lee, Petra Joy, Yvette Luhrs and Ms Naughty.

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Biography

Lora Hristova (b.1987 Sliven, Bulgaria) works across mediums including video, text and collage to explore ideas around identity and human sexuality. Feminist theory and psychoanalysis inform her research into universal experiences of shame and desire. Much of her past work has appropriated from mainstream pornography and considers the cultural, psychological and social impact of the sex industry. In July 2013 she led a reading group called ‘The Price of Sex’ at Carroll/Fletcher gallery which discussed sexual politics, prostitution and human trafficking. After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2009 she has exhibited across Europe and was invited to a solo show at The Zabludowicz Collection as part of their emerging artists ‘Invites’ programme. She was also part of ‘Feminist Practices in Dialogue’ exhibition at the ICA in London in 2016. Recently she has shown her work in the context of porn film festivals, with ‘Mouth Piece’ being nominated for the Short Film Competition at PornFilmFestival Berlin 2015 and ‘Feminist Porn Filmmakers’ winning Best Documentary Short at Cinekink 2016, New York. Her work is part of The University of the Arts Collection, The Zabludowicz Collection and private collections in London including those of Les Mes and Tracey Emin.

Artist website: http://lorahristova.com

Artist’s research archive: http://lorafound.com

Artist’s cv: http://lorahristova.com/exhibitions.html

 

Credits

Produced & Directed by: Lora Hristova
Filmed by: Lora Hristova & Kit Oates
Featuring footage from: Blue Artichoke Films, Blush Media, Bright Desire, Dreams of Spanking, DUSKTV!, Foxhouse Films, Pink & White Productions, Toytool Commitee
Music: “Unconquered Lands” written and performed by Natasha Gilbert, Produced by James Routh, “Cling to You” by Bear Beats & Stray Dog
Filmed on Location at: PornFilmFestival Berlin 2014, Kino Moviemento
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Why Do Porn Films Suck?, Petra van Brabant and Jesse Prinz

“When an item created using a traditional art medium incites strong emotions in us, that indicates, all else equal, that it is an artwork, and, indeed a good one. The capacity to arouse strong feelings is generally regarded as a mark of artistic achievement. Pornography is arguable more effective in inducting strong feelings than almost anything lining the walls of a typical museum. Pornography might even be said to elicit wonder, fear, and exhilaration. Its raw carnality takes us out of our comfort zones. It thrills, excites, and surprises. If these emotions are a strong indicator of the artistic, we should be disposed as well to see pornography as art. In fact, we should regard porn as good art, since it is extremely evocative.” (p.165)
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“The offensiveness of porn stems from the fact that most of it is still produced for male consumption, and, in a male dominant society, that often involves depicting women in demeaning and objectifying ways. In addition, the production of typical porn often involves the subjugation of women, and consumption of it may cause societal harm by promoting harassment, domination, and violence.” (p.176)
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“We have suggested that there is a double dissociation: an absence of artistic pretention in porn films, but also a neglect of pornography in art films. This is perhaps regrettable. The exploration of the artistic or aesthetic dimensions of a screening of sexual experiences can enrich or make our sexual gratification more complex. The result could be more layered sexual gratification.” (p.184)
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“Standard pornography is excruciatingly formulaic. It has no more invention than the scratching gesture we use to remedy a passing itch. A good porn director, like a good lover, breaks from routine sexuality… adding emotional complexity, imposing a distinctive style, and violating genre conventions.” (p.184)
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“Artistic porn is less morally problematic that conventional porn. First of all, it gives voice to sexualities that have been deemed deviant and silenced. Second, it would be less objectifying for performers… those involved can see themselves as part of the creative process rather than as a mere means to gratification. Third, to the extent that viewing conventional pornography promotes mistreatment of women, viewing art porn might help promote more progressive attitudes, by, for example, reversing traditional gender roles or otherwise complicated gender dichotomies that fuel patriarchy.” (p.188)
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“We think the intersection of art film and pornography is underexplored, and that art and porn could be mutually reinforcing. The creativity associated with art could make sexual content more exciting and affecting, and the transgressive carnality of pornography could amplify artistic intensity and impact.” (p.189)
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Carroll / Fletcher @ Close-Up Cinema – Sex: Work & Play

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 11.54.55 1 (1)

Image courtesy of Melanie Bonajo and AKINCI Amsterdam

Interviews with Feminist Porn Filmmakers was screened as part of Sex: Work & Play at Close-UP Cinema on 12 July.

Night Soil: Economy of Love, Melanie Bonajo, 2015, 33′

The second film in Boanjo’s Night Soil trilogy, Night Soil: Economy of Love portrays a Brooklyn-based movement of female sex workers who regard their work as a way for women to reclaim power in a male-dominated pleasure zone, their mission being to rearrange sexual conventions and ideas about intimacy itself. In the Night Soil trilogy, Bonajo documents phenomena that exist outside of, and act against global capitalism, and that suggest alternative, currently illegal, ethical models. The first film in the series, Night Soil: Fake Paradise, explores the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic plant ayahuasca. The third film, currently in production, Night Soil: Nocturnal Gardening questions the role of radical agriculture in a world of dwindling natural resources.

Horny Lil Feminist, Ann Hirsch, 2015, 10′

A series of five short films, “[to the Star Trek theme tune] Art, the final frontier, these are the voyages of the horny lil feminist, my continuing mission to explore internet feminisms, to break down existing stereotypes by suggesting new modes of representation, to boldly go where no horny little feminist has gone before…” Ann Hirsch.

Interviews with Feminist Porn Film-makers, Lore Hristova, 2015, 27′

Filmed during the 2014 Berlin Porn Film Festival, Interviews with Feminist Porn Film-makers takes an impartial look at the motivations behind the work of five porn film-makers  – Pandora Blake, Lucie Blush, Audrey Fox, Jiz Lee and Ms Naughty.

Followed by a discussion between:

– Lora Hristova (artist);

– Petra van Brabandt (philosopher);

– Stacey Clare (the Ethical Stripper)

Melanie Bonajo

http://www.melaniebonajo.com

“Melanie Bonajo is an artist working with performance, installations, music and photography. Her works address themes of eroding intimacy and isolation in an increasingly sterile, technological world. Her experimental documentaries often explore communities living or working on the margins of society, either through illegal means or cultural exclusion. Her work has been exhibited and screened internationally, from De Appel Arts Centre and Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam to the Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, the Moscow Biennial, the Berlinale, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and Treefort Film Festival.” Courtesy Wikipedia.

http://night-soil.tumblr.com

http://www.zazazozo.com

Ann Hirsch

http://therealannhirsch.com

“Ann Hirsch is a video and performance artist, who examines the influence of technology on popular culture and gender. Her immersive research has included becoming a YouTube camwhore with over two million video views and an appearance as a contestant on Frank the Entertainer…In a Basement Affair on Vh1. She was awarded a Rhizome commission for her two-person play Playground, which debuted in the US at New Museum and in the UK at South London Gallery. Recent solo shows include MIT List Visual Arts Center and the New Museum’s online project space First Look.” From http://therealannhirsch.com.

Stacey Clare

http://ethicalstripper.com/site/the-collective/stacey-clare

“Stacey has been stripping for almost a decade, and has mastered the art of pole dancing. Before stripping, Stacey was a political rebel fighting for social justice and experiencing every protest/direct action as a performance. Her anarchist roots have led her to apply her political views to her choice of work. She believes that stripping is legitimate work and deserves to be regulated and protected as such. She is tirelessly campaigning with the ELSC to challenge stigma and stereotypes about strippers, and to start empowering dancers by bringing them together to self-organise and create their own working conditions.” From http://ethicalstripper.com/site/the-collective/stacey-clare

TED Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZQkIw1MH3E

Petra van Brabandt

Petra Van Brabandt currently teaches care ethics at Ghent University and semiotics, art theory and cultural criticism at St Lucas School of Art and Design, Antwerp. Her research interests are in social and moral philosophy, David Hume, feminist philosophy, art and society, and art and pornography. She writes on David Hume’s ‘A Dialogue’, care ethics, pornographic art, narrativity in art and female artists. Van Brabandt co-wrote with Jesse Prinz Why do porn films suck? in Art and Pornography, OUP, 2012.

 

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