January 8, 2010

Laurenn McCubbin: Shaking it Up in Sin City (artfully, of course)

I am 90% happy that I am not in Las Vegas this week at the Adult Entertainment Expo. I do not miss the endless walking and leg ache of the convention hall, I do not miss the inevitable reminder that most of the porn industry isn’t at all like the feminist queer bubble I exist in. I do, however, miss hanging out with my friends and especially chowing down at the Grand Lux Cafe and having weird moments. But I can certainly make my own weird moments here in NYC.

The thing I feel most bummed about missing this year is something happening outside of AEE – the fabulous Laurenn McCubbin is producing an art piece on Saturday, January 9th that just looks so awesome.

Here’s her press release, and an awesome sample of one of the cards she’s made:

ladybiz.jpg Artist Laurenn McCubbin aims to uncover some of the roots of the hidden economic exchange between sex work and the Las Vegas economy, and what better time to highlight it than during one of the largest conventions in Las Vegas – the Adult Entertainment Expo? Taking place from January 7-10, this convention brings in upwards of 30,000 convention goers and will bring in untold money to Las Vegas’ struggling economy. But how much more money will be paid into Las Vegas’ “underground economy”, and to the sex workers who keep the “sin” in Sin City?

McCubbin has created her own array of illustrated “hooker cards” featuring actual Las Vegas sex workers, that mimic the advertisements passed out on the Strip by escort agencies. Accompanied by the same workers that the agencies hire, she will be passing these cards out in front of the Venetian Hotel & Casino, right around the corner from the Sands Convention Center, which is hosting the Adult Entertainment Expo. As well as the hooker cards, McCubbin has created her own rolling billboard (sponsored by Vegas Mobile Media) that will be trolling the Strip during this performance. By recreating what is admittedly a common occurrence on the Strip, the artist hopes to draw attention to the contradiction of Las Vegas – a city built on sin and sexual excess that keeps prostitution illegal, while maintaining a financial relationship that continues to make sex work a viable and profitable economy.

The secondary part of this project will take place off the Strip, via the phone number and website that McCubbin is promoting on the mock hooker cards – (877) LADY-BIZ and www.vegasladybiz.com. These multimedia presentations go live on Saturday, January 9th, and include audio and video interviews with the sex workers depicted in her work.

On February 5th, at the Grant Hall gallery at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, McCubbin will be presenting photo and video documentation of this performance in a gallery setting, as well as pieces involving giant sized hooker cards, a memorial wall of custom made hooker shoes, and a burlesque performance.

For more information, please call Laurenn McCubbin at 702.524.5676, or email her at laurenn@laurennmccubbin.com

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