Artist Filmed Her Own Fake Rape for Art

Project Casting

Sophia Hewson, is an Australian based contemporary artist, who has made international headlines with a movie she’s calling a “rape representation.”

Currently on view at Melbourne’s Mars Gallery and titled “are you ok ‘bob’?, the three-minute movie shows the artist staring directly into the camera while “Bob,” a fake name, hits her during sex and attempts to force her head to one side. Hewson, who wears a white t-shirt, pushes back each time and confronts the viewer.

There is no nudity in the video, and all we see of “Bob” are his arms and hands.

“The raped woman is nearly always depicted with her face downcast and her eyes averted,” Hewson, 31, writes in her artist’s statement. The most challenging part of the piece “isn’t watching as a woman is struck or penetrated, it’s seeing her look back out at us from the experience.”

From The Daily Beast:

Reached by The Daily Beast via email, Hewson explained that in cinema and in art, representations of raped women “are often patriarchal depictions,” and that her work “pays homage to a long line of women artists whose calculated use of their bodies as deliberately vicious and referential tools enabled them to destabilize the institution.”

Hewson clarified that she did indeed have sex on camera, though the viewer does not see much beyond her unrelenting gaze.

She also explained in her email that she solicited “Bob,” a stranger, to engage in sexual activity while being filmed—and that she purposely targeted an older man whom she was not attracted to.

This video has sparked controversy online. Many people took to Twitter to bash Hewson’s performance art.

The video can only be viewed at Mars Gallery in Melbourne. But, you could probably find a copy of it on YouTube.

While we would like to separate the film industry and art, it’s important to remember that filmmaking is still an art form. But, can art go too far? Louis C.K. says nothing is off limits in comedy but, are subjects like rape and inequality off limits in the film industry?

Via The Daily Beast

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