NEW YORK—Director Jincey Lumpkin's 2011 release Therapy, from her Juicy Pink Box and distributed by Girlfriends Films, serves as the focus of Brooklyn-based internet artist and designer Jonathan Harris' experimental interactive documentary I Love Your Work.
The project follows the seven stars of Therapy, as well as Lumpkin and her assistant Joy Sauvage, both on-screen and off during the movie's making. The featured performers are Ela Darling, Ryan Keely, Jett Bleu, Dylan Ryan, Nic Switch, Delores Haze and Simone Valentine.
Shot over the 10 consecutive days of Therapy's production in New York City in 2010, I Love Your Work is comprised of 2,202 10-second video clips taken at five-minute intervals throughout those 10 days, totaling approximately six hours of footage.
"The clips are intentionally 10 seconds long," Harris explains on his personal website, number27. "It follows the format used by porn sites that offer free teasers enticing viewers to pay to see more. It provides a fractured window into the realitites of those who produce fantasies—they are partially teasers for porn, but primarily teasers for life."
Commented Lumpkin, "At that point in my career I was not used to being in front of the camera. It made me feel so uncomfortable and self-conscious. Ultimately, what he captured is so raw and intimate. Jonathan has a way of getting under your skin, of removing the mask you show the world and getting to the heart of you. I didn't like being out of control in that way. It actually gave me a lot of respect for my Juicy Pink Box stars. It takes courage to bare you body and soul for the camera lens."
The concept of Therapy places each of its stars on a psychoanalyst's couch, where they relate their thoughts and fantasies and eventually segue into masturbating. "For Therapy, we removed the social formalities of a therapy session," Lumpkin explained. "When patients are confessing a particular erotic memory or fantasy, they are encouraged to go with their feelings, however sensual. The couch becomes a place of pleasure, where each sexy revelation invokes touching. The clothes come off and the stories pour forth, leaving the lesbian patients naked physically and mentally."
She continued, "When Jonathan started creating I Love Your Work during my Therapy shoots, he'd just come from months of isolation in Iceland. I think it was a bit of a shock for him. I remember when he spent the day with Ela on set; he was filming her during her masturbation scene, and his pale face turned bright red. He couldn't even talk afterwards."
In an article for Slate, Harris mused, "When I see porn now, I see real people performing. I think about their lives. The power of pornographic fantasies is diminished for me now, because I understand the role of makeup and lighting and camera angles to convey a certain image that usually has very little to do with reality. And I think this is ultimately a really humanizing thing to realize.
"I Love Your Work is not really porn," he posited. "It's a project about how people live their everyday lives. It's just as much about youth, fame, gender, fear, vulnerability, honesty and privacy as it is about porn and sex. Most of all, it's a rare chance to experience a day in the life of nine different human beings ... it's not like reality TV, where there's some editor with an agenda, manipulating the footage. In I Love Your Work, the editing is totally neutral—entirely determined by the time constraints—and this neutrality gives a feeling of raw honesty and truthfulness."
There is a limit of 10 viewers per day allowed access to the interactive project, at a cost of $10 for each 24-hour "ticket." Dates for access can be booked here. The site also offers a $300 premium package, which includes a limited-edition archival print of I Love Your Work as well as three 24-hour access tickets. A percentage of ticket sales will be donated to the Sex Workers Project, which provides social and legal services to those in the sex trade.
Offered Girlfriends Films vice president Moose, "Therapy is completely unique—it is a raw, artistic and lustful film arousing and engaging the audience. The ability for the performers to expose their intimate parts so readily is what makes this film so captivating. We're thrilled Jonathan Harrs has made Therapy and all of the elements contained within a subject for his own interactive project. It's bound to increase visibility for Therapy, and we are extremely happy."
Image courtesy of ILoveYourWork.net.