Creepshot Disaster collects images from “creepshot” web pages, Google images and 4chan image boards – each photograph represents one individual’s surreptitious, voyeuristic moment; a moment which, before such image sharing services existed, might have remained personal to the perpetrator, but which now results in the victim’s image being viewed by millions online, voted on and rated. Not only are the perpetrators anonymous – the name, history and identity of their victims are also missing. These images are not hidden deep on adult websites – they are available via a single search term, the stolen images viewable directly in the search results. The UK has no specific ban on taking such photos.
Anonymity on the web leads to a freedom from personal responsibility – the act of photographing women without their consent for sexual purposes, or as part of a risky game, becomes an aggressive, fetishised sexual act. People become depersonalised, objectified and commodified.
Sexualizing the absence of consent perpetuates rape culture. It’s impossible to put the contextual truth back into these images. The subjects’ names, histories and personalities are gone forever. Aware of this limitation, Creepshot Disaster is an attempt to add some implied context to the bodies pictured and to spark a re-imagining of character in the mind of the viewer.
Creepshot Disaster is part of Exquisite Corpse. An exhibition I curated for Fuse Art Space which explores female form, self-image and stereotypes from the perspective of eleven female artists. Through video, painting, performance and illustration, the exhibition also considers the potential of contemporary technology as a tool to examine female self identity and evaluates the impact that it has upon constructs of ‘femininity’. It has toured both in the UK (Fuse Art Space) and Germany (Gold + Beton, Cologne).
Internationally acclaimed visual and performance artist Poppy Jackson produced a new performance work commissioned by Fuse Art Space. Based in Toronto, Rupi Kaur found notoriety as the poet who critiqued Instagram earlier this year with her “period.” series – these photographs feature in the show. Delicate and charged illustrations from Sue Williams draw the viewer into a world of provocative sexual politics. The exhibition also includes work by artists from Austria, Russia, UK and US including Anastasia Vepreva, Evelin Stermitz, Faith Holland, Julia Kim Smith, Kate Durbin, Lacie Garnes, Sarah Faraday and Sheena Patel.