What do invisible people look like when they're having sex?
Wait! This isn't a joke....
Artist Jon Haddock culls pornographic digital pictures from the internet --
then digitally removes the people. "What's left is empty
rooms with a faintly tawdry air," writes the
Seattle Post-Intelligencer's art critic, "cheap furniture with indentations in
the cushions. The results are oddly affecting, as if ghosts engaging in carnal
acts left traces to tantalize us."
Two American art galleries displayed the mind-fucking photos in 1999. Is it
making a statement, imagining a sad world where naked people can't be seen or
displayed? Variously titled "Internet Sex Project," or simply "Not There," the
pictures are just part of a series of exhibits questioning the way
meaningful subjects get represented by mainstream culture. "Haddock also
makes tiny, creepy stage sets with toy people on them," the Seattle Post's art
critic notes, "each famous to anyone following the crime news in the last
decade." But the digital representations of assassinations and military
represession are mixed with images taken from the mass media. Rodney King,
Mary Poppins. Jack Ruby, The Sound of Music.
Pigdog's Johnnie Royale suggested the alternate title, "When Sims Go Bad."
Seeing a 72 dpi represention of Ted Kaczynski's cabin blurs the line between
news and creation, while another line is emphasized with the "Internet Sex
Project." Pornographic pictures without the people are eerie -- yet nudity is
precluded by law from our public television networks. Is it the images that are
disturbing, or the world they represent?