Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Friday, 20 May 2016

Bed sheets

Girl Sets Up And Films Her Own Rape In The Name Of 'Art'

The Debrief: Sophia Hewson from Melbourne, got a stranger to come into her house and have sex with her and filmed it to undermine the 'ultimate weapon of male domination'.

In extreme news today, a Melbourne artist has orchestrated her own rape, and filmed it for an art project.

Sophia Hewson, a 31-year-old artist filmed herself in a 'self-orchestrated rape representation' for her new work are you ok bob?

Sophia, who lives in New York, arranged for a stranger to come to her house and have sex with her. The film focusses on Sophia's face and only 'Bob's' arms are seen.

'Are you ok bob' were the first words she said to the stranger when he finished.

According to Sophia, rape is the 'ultimate weapon of male domination' and by focusing on the woman's gaze in the film (because women are usually shown to be raped with face downcast and eyes averted) the film 'undermines male weaponry' and 'threatens our assumption that man's power is insurmountable. And in the ideology of patriachy that is the deepest offence possible.'

The work is meant to address a number of questions Sophia says. Questions like 'How much do our social constructs contribute to (and perpetuate) the trauma of women post rape?' And 'Is "victim blaming" an embodiment of what we expect emotionally from women today, that they carry an unwarranted amount of the emotional burden?' And 'Why do we equate penetrability with vulnerability? Is it possible to disempower the perpetrator?'

Sophia has recieved plenty of backlash so far. Notably from rape victim Katrina Keshishian who was gang raped in Sydney in 2008 and who fought for six years to get compensation from the government to help pay for her recovery. 'I personally find this offensive' She said to News.Com.AU.

'Being raped shouldn't be made in "art" for people to applaud' She continued. 'I am a feminist too, but I don't believe this is the right way to be advocating for rape victims. Her fear could not possibly have been real. The fear from having sex with a stranger isn't the same fear as being raped. She was a willing participant, rape is being taken forcefully.'

The show opened yesterday, Sophia is doing a talk on the piece next week.

You might also be interested in:

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Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

Tags: Artists, Rape