This is an archive of the ArtCat Zine, 2007-2009. Please visit our new project, IDIOM.
Screening: Forward and Backward Pam and Tommy.
Friday, February 27, 2009 - 12–5 pm, reception 5–9 pm
Envoy Gallery - 131 Chrystie Street
Does the arrival of the celebrity sex-tape signal a new era in cultural production - or merely the making public of what has been the dominant currency all along? In either case, it is remarkable is that the distinction between celebrity sex-tape and pornography has somehow remained in place. Thus Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian ought to be considered pornstars, seeing as how they're famous entirely because of their performance in works of amateur pornography. Yet they have been able to retroactively claim celebrity status, making their infamous work into 'sex tapes' rather than adult film. The work in question becomes of them but not by them, they are some kind of victim, perhaps, but definitely not authors, and as such can claim a distance from the industry of pornography while still capitalizing on the powerful engine of its widespread circulation.
This flip side of this coin is the historical use of personal nudity by female Disney stars to recast themselves in the public eye or, in one recent episode, in an effort to escape from one of Disney's famously Faustian contracts which, amongst other indignities, demandsparticipation in unlimited sequels, In this case, sex is leveraged against Disney's brand identity, while in the case of celebrity porn, sex is used as a sort of scaffolding, propping up a fledgling brand until it can be safely secured by a string of reality TV-shows. This Friday, artist Chris Bors takes us back to the original celebrity sex tape, that of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, in order to investigate how this whole unfortunate situation got started.