From the scene, for the scene!

Alternative pornographies in contemporary US production

Authored by: Giovanna Maina

The Routledge Companion to Media, Sex and Sexuality

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138777217
eBook ISBN: 9781315168302
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315168302.ch14

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Abstract

The relationship between pornography and alternative (sub)cultures has always been complex and multifaceted, even before the birth of a porn industry proper. During the 1960s ‘postwar American avant-garde’, for example, the work of experimental filmmakers such as Andy Warhol and Jack Smith, among others, ‘camped at the borderlands between art and pornography’, producing oeuvres that ‘engaged the viewer both corporeally and cognitively’ (Osterweil, 2004: 433). 1 The 1970s porno-chic wave was also characterised by non-standard production and distribution practices, experimental ambitions and transgressive political statements, not so different from those traditionally associated with independent and underground cinema (Adamo, 2004; Lewis, 2002); sometimes there was even a downright overlapping of styles, themes and practices between these two seemingly conflicting spheres (pornography and the avant-garde), as can be seen in the arty and imaginative cinema of the two gay-porn pioneers Wakefield Poole and Fred Halsted (Capino, 2005).

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