BFA - Creative Technologies
All In A Day’s Work
When you hear a dead hooker joke, you probably do not realise they are joking about my potential future. I have dead friends — murdered at work — because someone thought, “No one will miss a prostitute”. When a sex worker is murdered the case is classified “No Human Involved”, a term coined by the LAPD specifically to describe the murder of sex workers.
Sex is a multi-billion dollar industry. Sex work is work. Sex workers are quietly present in the story, yet often forgotten in the overall narrative. Charles Baudelaire once wrote in his journal, “What is art? Prostitution.” He was right. We sell our story to clients online through photography, and in person through performance.
You encounter us every day without realising it. We are students, mothers, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, friends, lovers, fighters, artists. We are just normal people with abnormal jobs.
Baudelaire believed that poets were like prostitutes because both sold pieces of themselves. It goes much further than poets — everyone sells pieces of themselves for money. Whether you are selling time staring at a screen, stocking groceries, scrubbing feet, or sucking dick it doesn’t matter — it is all the same. We all sell our most valuable asset to ensure our survival — time. You can earn money selling time, but you cannot extend your life by trading money. We are all the same in that aspect, it is just what we find tolerable to trade for money that varies.
So why do we judge and hold contempt for those who sell sex? Why do we denigrate and devalue their work? Why do we assume something must be wrong with a person for them to be a sex worker? Why do we not consider sex work a valid field of employment when it can be one of the most lucrative careers a person can enter with minimal barriers?
As you ask yourself these questions, I invite you to look at a slice of my life — a day at work with my touring companion on our last pre-pandemic tour. This exhibition offers only a small peek into the upper echelon of in person sex work in the developed world. Most of our day is spent scheduling and marketing on Twitter as we wait for our pre-screened clientele to arrive. I sit in a position of privilege in the industry, and the only viewpoint I can show you is my own. I encourage you to seek out the viewpoints of marginalised workers to see their realities as well. You will find one recurring theme through every story:
Humans Are Involved.