Sex Workers of Aotearoa: A Day in the Life of
Sex workers and artists have gone hand in hand for hundreds if not thousands of years. Think of basically nearly every nude woman in a classic painting by a white dude, or Moulin Rouge, or ‘Victoria’ or countless other examples and you get the idea. Oh sure, they’re muses. But what if we didn’t centre their experience through the male gaze? What if we actually looked at art by the sex workers, not just about them?
Sex Workers of Aotearoa: A Day in the Life of asks what are our pre-conceived notions of sex workers’ lives.
This exhibition is about sex workers themselves as image makers, as objects makers, sound artists, poets and performance artists; it is about the sex in sex work but is also about the unseen labour involved in being paid for ‘sex’. Through art the subtleties of the profession will be explored; boundaries, connections, pleasures and communication, stigma and stereotypes, bodies and the values we place on them.
This exhibition is an interrogation into the way sex workers are seen, and valued, within both a fine art and wider social context. Above all, it is a refusal to occupy just one kind of representational lane.
Many pieces will be for sale, with a percentage of the proceeds going to The New Zealand Prostitutes Collective.
Check it out at the Wellington Museum from July 4-25.