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Images of sex work in early twentieth-century America : gender, sexuality and race in the Storyville portraits

Author: Mollie Le Veque
Publisher: London ; New York, NY : I.B. Tauris, 2019. ©2019
Series: International library of modern and contemporary art.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Storyville was the infamous red-light district of New Orleans. It was a world where normative social values didn't apply and was shrouded in mystery and myth until the photographs of E.J. Bellocq were rediscovered. Bellocq's depictions of Storyville's sex workers have typically been treated as tragic, ominous and emblematic of New Orleans' singularity. Yet, such interpretations have projected gendered stereotypes of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Pictorial works
Named Person: E J Bellocq; E J Bellocq
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Mollie Le Veque
ISBN: 9781788311786 1788311787
OCLC Number: 1089218774
Description: xv, 202 pages ; 23 cm.
Contents: (Self-)representing Storyville women --
The 'white slave' and the question of ambiguity --
A fog of violence, voyeurism, and crime --
The 'Paris-ification' of New Orleans vice.
Series Title: International library of modern and contemporary art.
Other Titles: Gender, sexuality and race in the Storyville portraits
Responsibility: Mollie Le Veque.

Abstract:

Storyville was the infamous red-light district of New Orleans. It was a world where normative social values didn't apply and was shrouded in mystery and myth until the photographs of E.J. Bellocq were rediscovered. Bellocq's depictions of Storyville's sex workers have typically been treated as tragic, ominous and emblematic of New Orleans' singularity. Yet, such interpretations have projected gendered stereotypes of frailty and victimhood onto the women they portrayed. In 'Images of Sex Work', Mollie LeVeque interrogates these glib readings and argues that sex work was a routine aspect of life in a modern city. She supports this theory by examining a range of cultural forms such as crime fiction, illustrations and paintings from contemporary urban centres like Paris, London and New York. In doing so, she advances the new argument that Bellocq humanised his subjects, de-sensationalised sex work and gave these women the dignity they were all too often denied.

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'For a clear, organized book about the current generation of young feminist artists and what they owe to the previous generations you can't do better than Kathy Battista's new book. Thoroughly Read more...

 
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