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The Valley

Scalo Publishers
Rare & Out of Print, Contemporary Art, Photography

Since 1988, Larry Sultan has returned time and again to photograph on porn sets in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley—the Silicon(e) Valley of the porn industry. But The Valley is by no means a documentary on porn filmmaking. Rather, it is a dense series of pictures of middle-class homes invaded by the porn industry. Sultan’s lens focuses on pedestrian details—a piece of half-eaten pie, dirty linens in a heap, “actors” taking a break—that offer clues to a bizarre other-world. The lush and intricate images adroitly play with artifice and reality, adding up to rich, elliptical narratives that circle around the concepts of “home” and “desire.” These images of homes and gardens, porn actors and film crews, studio and location shootings are an ambiguous meditation on suburbia and its trappings, family and transgression, loss and desire, the utopias and dystopias of middle-class lifestyle. The Valley and its many-layered photographs outline the complexity of domestic life at the beginning of the 21st century, opening up new perspectives for photography through its innovative combination of staged and documentary photographs.

  1. The Valley 1/2
  2. The Valley 2/2

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