-the man receiving sexual gratification holds the camera herself
contemporary art exhibition curated by Lucy Ayliffe & Phoebe McElhatton
P.O.V-Point Of View describes a genre of pornography in which sexual acts are filmed from the male’s point of view on a handheld device. Project 78 Gallery showcases nine contemporary artists from different stages of their careers whose works interrogate the current state of sexual politics from an alternative point of view.
P.O.V invites the viewer to reconsider the endemically sexist and objectifying culture in which we live but have become inured to. In popular culture women are often presented as highly sexualised decorative objects that are invariably pouting or smiling, and almost always docile, submissive and unthreatening. P.O.V challenges this degrading representation of women offering a different perspective through an alternative critical lens.
Phoebe McElhatton and Kate Davis have worked in collaboration to produce a video piece that pokes fun at mainstream heterosexual pornography and perfected artificial romance that is a product of capitalist consumer culture.
Artist researcher Lucy Ayliffe investigates how explicit online pornography has shaped attitudes towards women and modern day perceptions of female beauty. ToyBoy, 2016 confronts the viewer with SuitSupply’s spring/ summer advert campaign and is overlaid with an unnerving audio comprised of Lucy’s research archive and her interviews with focus groups asking about their pubic hair removal regimes.
Natasha Caruana’s photographic series Married Man documents her 80 encounters with married men, which she organised through online dating apps specifically designed for marital affairs. Natasha’s motivation was to ‘explore the narrative of what infidelity looked like today’.
Evie Hatch’s Wish You Were Here, a series of automatic orgasm drawings on postcards, uses drawing as a performative way of articulating female pleasure. The work’s title sarcastically subverts the expectation that an orgasm is ‘done’ to a woman, a notion that denies her an active role in sexual intimacy. Kate Davis her print series Logging on to Love is an exploration into the development of sex robots and cybersex. This body of work encourages the viewer to question how technology impacts human interaction, intimacy and relationships.
Sophie Bates’s video Gushing and Gardening, 2015 presents research on female ejaculation and draws attention to the lack of knowledge and myths that still surround female sexuality and pleasure.
Paola Ciarska’s small-scale detailed paintings explore what it is to be a 21st century woman. The paintings depict private habitats and the acts that go on within them. Paola comments on her paintings ‘I wanted to create a self-portrait that would also function as a mirror to whoever laid eyes on it.’
Vanessa Marr’s work Women and Domesticity showcases an ongoing project in which she invites women to stitch their relationship with domesticity onto dusters. This exhibition will feature embroidered dusters created by Vanessa and a selection of other artists who have contributed to the collection. The project questions whether the expectations of women within the domestic sphere have really changed or progressed
Kari Robertson’s TOTAL CONTROL/FLATLAND/FLATPACK explores mediated forms of subject- and object-ivity through a meditation on 2d ‘flatness’, the digital and the embodied. The work is absent of any actual bodies but is a interplay between a number of agents; a torchlight, acousmetric voices, an animated mouth performing phonetics diagrams and a selection of mass-produced personal objects that spin, or dance, autonomously.