sex have been accepted throughout history and across cultures, from Japan’s
17th-century Shunga prints, India’s erotic temple art to Gustave Courbet’s 1866
closeup portrait of a vagina, “The Origin of the World,” or Picasso’s 1907 “Les
Demoiselles d’Avignon.” In the 1960s, Tom Wesselmann’s flat, affectless
paintings of hard-nippled, open-mouthed women lying on their backs were Pop Art
pioneers. Andy Warhol’s “Blue Movie,” featuring extended sex scenes by the
performers Viva and Louis Waldon, received theatrical release in America in
1969, blurring the line between art and erotica.
Art is defined as the
expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in
a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated
primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
According to Rudolf Arnheim, cinema’s essence
lies in its ability to transform images into meaningful and significant forms.
If cinema were simply an automatic means of duplicating the world, then it
could not count as art. Arnheim set out to show that cinema, like painting,
entailed choices about how to represent the world, and this gave artists the
power to creatively ‘mould’ images.
With the advent of modern technology
artists from all over the world are trying to redefine the classical definition
of art. This is done through writing, drawing, creating films or even using
their own bodies to dismantle the traditional concepts of how people perceive
art. And one such method is the use of pornography in unconventional settings,
genres and styles.
Four Chambers is one such project, born from a global
community of social media which is part art and part erotica cinemascope. The aim is to make
interesting, aesthetic content that subverts an established archetype of what
videos featuring sexuality should be.
It exits alongside a new wave of creators making contemporary pornographic
work from a new perspective and is a part of the growing decentralization from
traditional adult industry practices. The project explores themes of
technology, symbolism, mythology and alchemy and their intrinsic intersection
The artistic components that the
project makes use of:
Sounds can vary from natural to manmade sounds. Four Chambers focus on
sounds produced by musical instruments, natural sounds like leaves rustling in
the wind and human sounds like laughing, panting etc. The use of these
unconventional sounds throughout the length of the video lends it a rustic and
There is a direct relationship between the voice and the images being
shown on screen. It adds another layer of meaning to the images being shown.
The use of a particular type of music or tune for a certain clip helps the
viewer to analyze and make a connection between what he/she is watching and
what he/she is listening to.
Example: In the video ‘Crucible’, the use of instrumental tunes as the
background score lends an atmosphere of interest and a complex undertone to the
Creating the title for any film or video clip has been an essential part
in the process of movie making. It is an art form of its own.
Four Chambers mostly makes use of one word titles, with unfamiliar terms
and use of foreign languages. This forces the viewer to find out the meaning
and background of the term even before watching the film and thus without using
the help of a synopsis, the creators provide a brief explanation about the film
by inducing the viewer to find out the meaning.
L’appel du vide
French word meaning “the call of the void”. It is significantly used to
describe the instinctive urge to jump from high places. The movie addresses human
The process of reducing something’s strength or effectiveness through
sustained attack or pressure. In the context of the film, it is related to
sexual violence. It shows the act of weakening and exhausting a person by
constant harassment, abuse and attack.
central to theories of film as art, language and medium. It informs
communicative, psychoanalytical, and cognitive approaches to film theory. In
the context of art criticism, the camera plays an ambivalent if not paradoxical
role. The camera lets us glimpse the inner nature of things.
Chambers utilizes the various aids provided by the digital technology. The crew
makes use of not just DSLRs and film cameras but webcams on laptops and mobile
phone cameras. This gives different qualities to the same video, which gives a
dynamic and rustic edge to the film. The
use of shallow focus draws the eye across a shot, so that not everything is
clear all at once is one technique that Four Chambers utilizes often.
performers are asked to shoot themselves or their partners while on camera,
thus performing the dual role of the performer as well as the director. This
gives the perspectives of the different actors as well as lends a true
authenticity to the movie. Camera
Extreme Close Up: Emphasizes a small area or detail of the subject, such
as the eye(s) or mouth. Four Chambers use this technique to capture powerful
and bold shots that often seem to communicate directly to the viewer.
Close-Up: Fills the screen with part of
the subject, such as a person’s head/face. Framed this tightly, the emotions
and reaction of a character dominate the scene.
The lead of Four Chambers, Vex Ashley is
self taught in editing and
videography. The motto of Four Chambers being more visual, more creative and
conceptual it means the delivering of visually and artistically appealing films.
Playing with retiming, slowing or speeding up in post production
makes movements seem more fluid and organic. Some of the editing techniques used are:
It can use
the overlapping layers or dissolves to show multiple stories or scenes
happening at once but shot at different times.
shots that take viewers away from the main characters or action. They give
extra context to the scene, and can create more tension and foreshadowing.
transition between two shots during which the first image gradually disappears
while the second image gradually appears; for a moment the two images blend
in superimposition. It
is sometimes used to suggest hallucinatory states.
exposure of more than one image on the same film strip. To express subjective
or intoxicated vision or simply to introduce a narrative element from another
part of the diegetic world into the scene.
Textures can be manmade as well as
natural. From sticks and rocks to oils and paints different substances produce
different textures which in turns impacts the viewer’s visual interpretation.
Four Chambers mainly concentrates
on textures of the body related to nature. The team focuses on highlighting the shapes of bodies in a more organic,
abstract way over just purely graphic depictions. The textures used vary from
graphic textures created by graphic design software’s as well as to making use
of everyday materials like sand, milk, mud, sugar, paint etc. The play of
shadows and lights is one of the other techniques of creating textures.
of the films, nature is given more prominence than the actors. It can be even
be safely assumed that the humans are merely props in such movies. These films
shows the intricate relations between human beings and nature
Use of Symbolism
Chambers takes inspiration from Christianity, Greek Mythology and other
mythological and historical sources. Symbolism allows the viewer to take away more than the
immediate surface. The nature of a short film means that the team gets a small
amount of time to tell a story and they try to give a slice, leaving more space
for imagination to create the rest of the narrative, subjective to each viewer.
In the film
flowers are used as a female sexual metaphor.
illustrates the story of the Tree of Knowledge.
There are more than a few well known self styled indie porn directors whose
work can be unmistakably said to be art. These directors include:
Erika Lust, who makes use of wide
camera angles and voiceovers to bring a mixture of subtlety and intrigue into
her films as well as bring forth stylistic points. Aesthetics is one of the key
elements guiding her movies.
Nuria Nia, a Catalan independent film director, she believes in visually
representing the body, the elements, the textures, the senses and linking that
to a sexual side that all humans have in cinematographic formats. Her film El
Pescador Y Su Mujer displays and concentrates on the scenic beauty of nature
and the relation between man and nature.
Bruce La Bruce, his works can be said to be political, artistic,
controversial, sensitive and confrontational. His film, Refugees Welcome, is a
social commentary that talks about humanity and human connection. He is
interested about social issues and about the deepest universal human feelings.
From observing the above mentioned people and their works it can be
unmistakably stated that independent
pornographic directors are striving to break the stereotyped notion of porn and
changing it into a genre that is artistically, aesthetically and intellectually
intriguing. People are not only being entertained but informed and this is one
the key purposes of any works of art; to entertain, communicate and stimulate