In Clayton Cubitt’s video series “Hysterical Literature”, a woman sits at a table , states her name & the title of the book she will be reading from, then begins to read. I know. Sounds rather lackluster but there is a twist. Underneath the table, the reader is being manually stimulated by an unseen vibrator. Gradually, the reader’s slight squirms and hand tremors turn into more obvious signs that the women isn’t just really appreciating the word quality of the book she’s reading. She’s having an orgasm.
Cubitt said in a Salon interview, of his “artistic vision” for the series:
The title is a winking reference to the quack Victorian medical theory of “hysteria” in women, and the vibrators and hydrotherapy treatments used to “cure” them. On an individual level, I’m interested in the battle the sitter experiences between mind and body, and how long one retains primacy over the other, and when they reach balance, and when they switch control.
On a larger scale, I’m interested in how society draws a line between high and low art, between acceptable topics of discussion and taboo ones, between what can be worshiped and what must be hidden.
This project touches on all these themes, while also just being really fun to watch.
Stoya, the reader in Session 1, says, “I went with the Necrophilia themed volume because I’m currently in an oddly non-morbid obsession with something triangulated by the way an orgasm affects brain chemistry, the reasons behind the french nickname of la petite mort, and why my mind goes completely blank when I’m at the height of a sexual experience.There’s something in there, death and sex, maybe change or growth, and I’ve been focused on it since shortly before I posted “Touch.” Sometimes I can brush this concept with my fingertips, but I can’t grab hold and inspect it yet. The only way to understand is to wallow in anything that might hold a clue until it all clicks together (or am distracted by something shiny… but it would have to be *really* shiny.) Tl;dr: That’s the book that felt right.
The author of Stoya’s chosen reading has some eloquent thought on the video here.
The reader in the Session 2 is Alicia, who chose Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass . Disappointingly, no online contribution from Alicia as to her thoughts on the experience while making the video.
It rather soul baring to watch a woman have a honest orgasm on camera , not in the context of porn. I’m a lover of both books and orgasms . I’m a fan of celebrating orgasms as a natural thing that women shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about. I’m definitely a fan of orgasms representing art. This is my kind of porn.
[via Book Porn ]