Models Say They Were Pressured Into Sexual Act for “Art”

Project Casting

Models say they were pressured into doing a sexual act for a Miami art exhibition in Miami, Florida.

Laura Lima is an artist that is known around the world for pushing the limits. In fact, Lima is known for using naked bodies in her performance art pieces, but two models claim the artist went too far. According to reports, the two models say they felt pressured to sexually violate themselves with a rope as part of a performance.

The participants, wearing dresses designed by Lima, are paid $15 an hour to lie on the floor with their legs through the cutout, with the end of the rope positioned between their legs.

According to the Miami New Times, 24-year-old model, Kayla Delacerda, and another young woman, who wanted to remain anonymous say they felt they were expected to penetrate themselves with a rope. They say that condoms and lubricant jelly were also made available. Delacerda said in the interview that she felt misled and refused to participate, but the other woman says she did on opening night June 3rd and suffered emotional trauma.

According to the New Times, the unnamed woman said, “I thought it would be an honor to participate in the exhibit with the ICA and that I’d be OK. But it doesn’t matter how credible a place or person is; as a woman, you’re always susceptible to this kind of danger.”

Institute of Contemporary Art Director, Ellen Salpeter, defended the exhibit telling the Miami Herald: “ICA Miami is committed to providing an open platform for innovative and experimental contemporary art and artistic discourse. The Inverse is a thought-provoking piece of sculpture and performance that calls into question the relationship between art and the body.”

In addition, Ellen Salpeter says the museum frequently checked on the models during the opening night performance, as well as during three subsequent performances in which she took part, and no concerns were ever raised.
Lima spoke with the New York Times saying, “Given the clear and open discussion we had, which I see as being a fundamental dimension of the final work itself, I was surprised to hear of this complaint. [The anonymous woman who complained] was very enthusiastic and, in her words, ‘committed to the piece.’ 

Lima’s exhibition was called The Inverse and is currently on display through October at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami’s Design District.

Via Miami Herald

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