Have you ever sent a dirty picture to someone from your phone? It’s ok, you can be honest. Was it to your boyfriend or girlfriend? Was one of you out of town, or were you just bored one day? Or was it to someone you just met last weekend? (You floozy, you.) What were you wearing? More to the point: what were you not wearing?
Perhaps you find these questions intrusive coming from a stranger such as myself. What if I asked you to show me the pictures? What if I asked you to let me present the pictures in a gallery for the public to gaze at and scrutinize at their own leisure?
Don’t click away just yet.
3rd Ward, that wonderful Greater Bushwick arts center, wants your erotic cell phone art. Their upcoming exhibition, "Sex Cells" (pun!), is open for one more week of submissions, and if the press coverage so far has been any indication of what the public interest will be, one might be wise to reconsider if they have hesitated for reasons of shyness. Who wouldn’t want their most private, intimate, sexy moments projected onto a wall, for Brooklyn (and quite beyond that, it seems) to see?
3rd Ward is banking on it, anyway. In fact, they will take it a step further, as their marketing director Nikki Bagli tells me. "The cell phone seems to inspire the same uninhibitedness as a chat room…Since we all do it, and we all know that everyone’s doing it, there’s a lot of fascination with Sex Cells. We’re calling a spade a spade." But what of those who may be slightly uncomfortable with baring themselves publicly like this? Nikki encourages boldness: "We’re also asking people to step out from behind the curtain (or the cell phone) to share ‘their work’ with the public. For some people this will be a bit of a departure from the very thing that makes them feel ok with sex texting."
Inescapably, first opinions will arise at what 3rd Ward is calling an "intersection between art, sexuality and technology" long before the gallery opens for business on June 12th (running through July 5th). Are you intrigued? Aroused? Or do you find the whole thing unartfully exhibitionist? Maybe you’re shaving those legs right now, getting ready for your close-up, and a chance to be the object of your own art?
Whatever your reaction, it has been anticipated, welcomed even. "This is just a chance to look at ourselves — to put sex texts in a fish bowl," Nikki says. "The work will inspire giggles, disgust and definitely arousal." Quite similarly, one can be sure, to the varied reactions those pictures generated when initially received (even if it was to your boyfriend). And what could be more intriguing artistic transference than that?