"Rape representation"

Australian artist films herself having sex with a stranger for piece on sexual violence

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In what she calls a “rape representation,” Australian artist Sophie Hewson filmed her face — eyes staring directly into the camera — as she had sex with a stranger. Hewson says that the three-minute piece, called Untitled (“are you ok bob?”) and currently on display at Melbourne’s MARS Gallery, is an exploration of the connection between patriarchal power and sexual violence.

“The raped woman is nearly always depicted with her face downcast and her eyes averted,” explained Hewson on her website. “The most confronting aspect of Untitled (“are you ok bob?”) isn’t watching as a woman is struck or penetrated, it’s seeing her look back out at us from the experience.”

Hewson said she wanted to emphasize that rape is “more than an unwanted sexual act, that is the foundation of the entire institution of the patriarchy.” And while she concedes that the video might provoke a “horrified reaction,” she emphasized that “it’s essential to the patriarchy that rape is taboo, because demystifying the act challenges shame and erodes the fear that is needed to suppress the majority.”

Read the full story at The Independent.

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