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Beasley, Juliana

Code 2391
ISBN: 9781576871393
Publisher: Power House Books


During much of the 1990s, there was a hidden voyeur in the strip clubs of the East Coast tristate area: a stripper with a camera. A graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and an assistant to Annie Leibovitz, Beasley danced and stripped for $20 a lap. While trying to save up money, and avoid exhaustion and arrest, she turned her camera on fellow dancers and the customers who paid for them. More than 150 of her full-color photographs are gathered here, none altered, capturing everything from hilariously subdued patrons to wryly mocking workers in various states of undress. Over nine years, Beasley's camera acquired a kind of nonchalance that avoids oversensationalizing the clubs. Men stare at dancers like deer in the headlights; dancers take smoke breaks while clad raffishly in (recently acquired?) men's underwear. Every sort of awkward, lurid position people get into in strip clubs is unblinkingly revealed in a brash layout of full-page photos, while occasional and commentary by dancers, patrons or Beasley herself are moving and honest. Beasley notes that many patrons were pleased with the role reversal, with being objectified -the kind of paradox that makes this book a luridly shrewd pleasure. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. Book Description Determined to supplement her meager income as a novice photographer, Juliana Beasley embarked on an eight-year odyssey as a professional nude dancer, specializing in lap dances, where a woman dances above a seated customer, erotically brushing against his body. From New York to Reno, Beasley worked in over two dozen strip clubs, dancing for twenty dollars a song, experiencing the rewards and pitfalls of the profession: variable income, flexible schedules, emotional and physical exhaustion, sex industry camaraderie - and an arrest for prostitution. Though she was a professional dancer, Beasley never forgot the purpose of her studies in documentary work. Along with negligees and stilettos, she regularly brought a camera to the clubs, and began recording testimonies from the managers, dancers, and patrons. The result is Lapdancer, an inside look at the world of professional nude dancing. Culled from thousands of photographs and hours of interviews, Beasley documents an oft-derided but rarely understood culture - one tightly codified by rules and behavior, and peopled with characters from a David Lynch film. Through these pictures and interviews Beasley, a sex industry Virgil, guides us through the erotic dancer circuit, detailing its ruthlessly economic underpinnings and the intimate, anoymous currency between dancer and customer. Here, at what was once society's fringe, Beasley depicts mainstream culture's new evolving definitions of sexuality, gender politics, capitalism, therapy - even love.