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February 02, 2016

Ever Wondered What An Empty (British) Porn Set Looks Like?

CYBERSPACE—Jo Broughton didn't start out to be a porn set cleaner; it just sort of fell in her lap. Essex native Broughton had enrolled in the Royal College of Art in London to complete her education, but even in England, college students still need cash to survive, so she applied for a job as a photographer's assistant through Thurrock Adult Community College in her own district. She got the job—except that the (unnamed) photog she was assisting did his work on active porn sets, and it turned out that one of her duties was to clean up the set after all the acting—and sex—had been completed. And then she got an idea: Why not document what empty porn sets look like? After all, porn sets are places that virtually no one gets to see over the course of their lives—but as Broughton rightly suspected, plenty of folks are interested in them, perhaps for the same reasons people visit wacky museums devoted to oddly shaped driftwood and the like. "These are playgrounds of cheapish fantasy which are left like historical documents to the sex act," wrote Broughton's associate Toby Clarke. "At first they have the appearance of a show-home in questionable taste. The colours are vivid and the structure at once basic and commercial looking. Then you look again and see the clues ... a bottle of lubricant, a dildo, lights at the edge of the frame, glimpses of the studio beyond. It slowly becomes apparent that these are fantasy landscapes, rude pictures without the nudity." Broughton's photos cover the period 1995 to 2007, and while the study seems to have fascinated her, her remarks indicate that she did seem to have reservations about the subject. "As a cleaner, I saw the sets in the cold light of day and picking up and cleaning the mess was a bit like being in a crime scene," she stated on her website. "Dealing with the inevitable bodily fluids made me feel my own humanity and then the vunerability of the models who had performed for the camera that day ...  At times I struggled with what went on in the space, about the objectification of women ... I hid my association with the porn industry like a guilty secret but without it I may not have been able to realise my ambitions. To this day I cannot say I am comfortable with the porn industry, but I do now realise that there are two sides to every coin, light and dark." For a small sample of Broughton's "Empty Porn Set" photos, click here. Pictured: One of Jo Broughton's "Empty Porn Sets."

 
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