Nathaniel Moses Ward

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After the Women of Paradise Road, 2010

Transparency Film, Archival Pigment Prints, Dimensions Variable

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After the Women of Paradise Road examines commodified women in order to better understand the larger spectacle of mass-marketed, socially conditioned, and narrowly defined sexuality. Appropriated from the covers of adult periodicals distributed in magazine vending boxes that line Paradise Road in Las Vegas, the images reveal tropes of marketable desire that include the necessary anonymity of the sexual object, the disposability of desire, a set of clichéd sexual poses, expressions and gestures, and the sectioning of the human body into marketable parts. The weathering, sun bleaching, surface detritus, and amplified layers of separation between the viewer and the women who actually posed for the original photographs speaks to a culture of desensitization to the beauty and value of the women, leading to greater psychological separation in daily life between attraction, sex, sexuality, and emotional intimacy. Further, the act of focusing so intently on these ignored magazine boxes and women, elevates their status from neglected, disposable, objects to a place of considered reverence and beauty.

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