Thursday, October 13, 2011

Porn Star Screen Tests

When I think of porn and art these days, I find myself thinking of Billy Watson. Mostly, because the man does things like this:


You might say, "What's the point?" or "OK, so he's copying Warhol, but with porn stars. Whatever." or "Why would I spend 3 minutes not watching Ginger Lynn fuck? Why should I spend 3 minutes not watching her do anything?" or "Violet Monroe creeps me out with the staring."

I remember watching Dali's screen test years ago. Dali, more than any other artist besides well, Warhol was known as much for his persona as his art. As time ticked, you watch as he got bored, ansty, unsure. And by the time it wrapped you saw, for a flash, the mask drop. Here was an old man. Talented, eccentric, but a real person, not a persona. Not DaliTM. And it hit me. The point of it all: a moment of realness on film.


When you think about it, almost nothing we see on television is real. Certainly not Reality TV. The news, more often than not, has to fit in some pre-conceived narrative. Everyone, whether they are conscious of it, raises a mask when a camera is pointed at them.

I remember reading somewhere, probably in a David Foster Wallace essay, that porn stars should be respected more than any "legitimate" actor, because what they portray is true emotion, whether it's pleasure, pain or vulnerability. And what is more private and you than the way you look when you have an orgasm?

Now, to be sure, porn stars have personas (I'm looking at you, Sasha Grey), and not every orgasm is real (far from it), but you can concede that these women often girls in their early twenties by just being naked on camera for literally the world to see are revealing more of their real selves than most of us ever would.

Who could be a more natural subject for a screen test than a porn starlet?

And what else could it be that art does than reveal reality?

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