Visual Orgasms 视觉高潮
Filmic media has put pressure on sex to be visually consumable. Actors perform for a camera and an audience, for maximum visibility rather than pleasure. As a result, pornography is often brightly lit, performed in “unnatural” poses, and, most infamously, ejaculation almost always occurs externally as if to prove that some gratification was attained.
Hollywood, too, has faced this problem of visualization but for the opposite reason: restraint and censorship. After the Hays Code was put into place in 1930, sex could only ever be implied, never depicted. Thus, a close-up of a kiss might dissolve into two characters smoking cigarettes or, on the campier end, a train going through a tunnel or fireworks being set off. Although the Hays Code was abandoned in the late 1960s, its legacy left a stylistic mark.
Visual Orgasms exaggerates this mandate to ‘make-visible’ by creating excessive moving image collages that depict metaphors for orgasm with no actual depiction of sex.
Faith Holland is an artist and curator whose practice focuses on gender and sexuality’s relationship to technology. She received her BA in Media Studies at Vassar College and her MFA in Photography, Video, and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts. Her work has been exhibited at Elga Wimmer (New York), Axiom Gallery (Boston), the Philips Collection (Washington, D.C.), DAM Gallery (Berlin), and File Festival (São Paulo). Her work has been written about in Artforum, The Sunday Times UK, Elephant, Art F City, Hyperallergic, The Creator’s Project, and Dazed Digital. She was a 2014 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Finalist in Digital/Electronic Art. She had her first solo show at Transfer Gallery in 2015. She is currently an artist-in-residence at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning and Harvestworks.