All images © Julia Riddiough
Website by Sam Nightingale
Peepers & Punters
Drawing on her personal collection of TART CARDS artist Julia Riddiough delves into the world of illicit advertising exploring secrecy, stigma and how the consumption of intimacy are all played out in the sex industry. Original material has been gathered from men who are seeking company, enquiring about what is on offer, explaining their particular needs, agreeing forthcoming services and appointments.
While TART CARDS are illegal they are now recognised as an art form, collected in archives worldwide; from the early days of the handwritten index card offering ‘French Polishing’ to the glossy printed images CARDED into telephone boxes today. Authenticity and authorship come into play as the images are clearly labeled GENUINE PICTURE, but is often not the case creating a visual pun and critical viewpoint all at once; the placing of censorship ‘stars’ seems quite absurd and out of place and time in these images.
As this type of advertising moves online and telephone boxes are removed (or ironically turned into cash points with the use of mobile phones, that are in turn used at these sites to ‘Call Girls’) these snapshots of a particular social history, will soon disappear as we continue on and on to mediate our lives through the screen, yet again once or twice removed. The printed card will no longer exist as an object itself along with the clandestine nature, suggestions and double meanings that are all part of the chase and excitement in this world. A ritualistic process occurs when sneaking into a phone booth; looking at the cards, picking one out and making the call; then the fantasy begins.
Peepers & Punters (2017)
Colour / Sound