Here is a review of The Naked Truth .
By Janine Noelle
Currently on exhibition at hous projects is The Naked Truth, curated by Ruben Natal-San Miguel. The show presents us with a reflection of the progression of sex and sexuality within the past half century. Flowing through the conceptions around sex, then to the act of it and back again to the desires behind sex, Ruben uses a collection of works by 28 artists to convey to the public what sex was, is, and may be becoming,
The show opens with two works by Bert Stern of Marylyn Monroe. In these images she is playing and seeming unaware of her nudity. What we are being given is the ideal of romance and sexuality in an angelic manner. The works then progresses into the ‘70s and ‘80s with images that allude to the lust for sex and the desire of the body.
Succeeding to the ‘90s, with images by Susan Meiselas and Juliana Beasley, we are introduced to the pursuit of sex through monetary uses. Beasley image depicts her at a time when she was a professional stripper named “Nico”; Meiselas work illustrates a man sitting, waiting at an “adult” lounge.
And with that we enter the new era in sex, which embraces fetishism and voyeurism, the pursuit of sex, and sex as a freedom. We see this in Will Steacy’s work of a movie theatre advertising XXX films; Marla Rutherford’s fetish girls in costume; Phil Toledano’s image entitled “Emma” where we are shown a woman works as a phone sex operator and loves her work.
On the other side of this we see sex as a different type of freedom. There are photographs by Chad States and Naomi Harris whose works display sexual acts being carried out in public settings.
Finally the show leads us what sex is becoming. In Jen Davis’ works she gives us with three diptychs of herself web chatting with a man and we are seeing technology, specifically the internet, as a key player in fulfilling one’s sexual fantasies.
The exhibition’s curatorial process develops the notions of sexual desire in an array of concepts without forcing anything on the viewer.
When it comes right down to it, sex can be the most abstract thing. No one shares the same desires.