Larry Sultan, The Valley
Inkjet on watercolour paper
90 x 60 cms
Anyone who has watched a pornographic film may wonder about the location, generally a suburban house, in which the action takes place -- Larry Sultan's photographic essay, The Valley, answers this question. His essay depicts the stars and the camera crews at work in houses, usually in the San Fernando Valley (sometimes disparagingly called Silicone Valley), rented for the duration of the shoot. Much of the impact of the photos comes from the strange dissonance between the banal domesticity of the locations and the scantily clad, or naked, actors waiting to perform while the crew members set up the equipment, or take a nap between takes.
Without visible clues such as lights and cameras to provide context, this re-imagining becomes cryptic in meaning, and darker in mood. Although this was not the outcome I necessarily sought, it did not bother me because I quite liked the result -- even though it doesn't really reflect the intent of the original.