An argument has been put forth in the art magazine Hyperallergic, to view performance art of the nightlife, experienced in bars, discotheques, lounges, and the like, as genuine fine art. Certainly, this has been true in sex work for centuries, especially since many early stage actresses and dancers often took patrons to supplement their income. Or vice versa, many prostitutes performed as actresses and dancers in order to attract patrons for their main art, that of the eros.
Truly for some of my colleagues, they are performing as escorts; creating a character different from their true selves out of their imagination not unlike an actor or author. That’s not the approach I take to companionship, but there’s nothing wrong with either way. Of course, this can frustrate things for our patrons and clients but ridiculous laws prevent those who do want to put on an erotically interactive show (and those who are looking for such) from saying so without linguistic gymnastics.
I wonder if these performance artists would include strippers and burlesque performers in their grouping of performance art of the nightlife? After all, sex in its many, varied, wonderful forms takes place in these nightlife venues, as anyone who has ever been inside one has witnessed; money exchanges hands in the form of one purchasing intoxicants for another. But too often I’ve encountered artists who are otherwise very liberal rejected their sex working fellows. Such a shame, considering the constant interaction between art and sex and sensuality.
Anyway, an interesting article and one that helps remind the reader that art (and sex) and decadence are never far away from each other.