2014 - 2016
“But let me state for the record: sometimes I look from the outside onto myself and wonder, what are you doing here, what are you trying to accomplish? Is this worthwhile, is this meaningful? Is this changing the world? I mean, why are we queers making all this porn? If we’re feminists why aren’t we working in a rape crisis center, why aren’t we assisting women jailed, detained and enslaved?
“Yet I keep making porn, as many in my community do, with the blind faith—an intuition, I would call it—that this is important work for us to do as feminists, as queers. The closer I get to the truth (my current truth, for what it’s worth), the more clearly I see what I am (becoming), what I am arriving to, in my personal process of empowerment, the more painful it is to realize that there is anything at all still hidden. I feel as though I am meant to explode onscreen/onstage as a sexually free creature, and yet offstage I am expected to be content with the order of things—the continued male dominance of the work space, the underlying heteronormativity, the sexism within which I am forced to operate. Queer porn says no to all those things.”
-Mad Kate (2011)*
'what we do in the light' is an exploration of the motivations behind queer and feminist pornography; it focuses on the individuals who make porn happen and the “whys” and “hows” of pornography. Through portraits, images of sex and on-porn-set photography, the project challenges the viewer’s ideas of what porn is and what porn means.
The work doesn’t pander to stereotypes of pornography. Gone are the clichéd images of women on their knees, cum shots and degradation. Instead, Vachon focuses on the people – their personalities, their desires, their motivations – to show what pornography can mean. In her images, Vachon explores the themes of intimacy, bodily autonomy and gender identity. Her unique approach skirts the delicate balance between vulnerability and confrontation, honesty and deception.
*Mad Kate, integral to 'what we do in the light,' is a multifaceted performance artist and musician who plays with the politics of borders between bodies. Integrating improvisational movement, text, and sonic experiments, she pioneers a performance genre that is outspokenly feminist, queer and honest.