These two videos are part of series called “Mature Female.” Through these videos I merge the tropes of pornography with the traditions of ceramic craft as a way of exploring how historical knowledge and normative expectations inform both sensuous and symbolic material experience. If one were searching for a porn with my body in it, would be listed in the category of ‘Mature Female’. Both of these videos reference the masturbation scene specifically, where the performer is manipulating their own body as a material, and the viewer is a spectator of the physical transformation that takes place during sexual arousal.

How have cultural constructions of the body, sexuality, and intimacy influenced your creative practice?

Absolutely–As a social human body, I am an ever-changing and mutable material, but the meaning of that material is always subject to fashion, history, culture, power, etc. Acting as my specific body, I am aware of the assignment I have been given through my natural attributes such as sex, race, capability, but also how those are rooted in my developed socialization and desire. As the mental steward of this body, I am responsible for operating this material within human relations, as well as maintaining and transforming that material to reflect my beliefs and preferences. Similar to the human body, clay is a material from the earth that has specific attributes, and humans have manipulated it for thousands of years to operate within a collective exchange. In these videos, I am giving the viewer explicit scenes of that material being transformed in the studio. Rather then present an end result or ideal form, these videos unfold the intimate material process. My body as material works on the clay, but the clay also works against my body with its own material agency.

What have you learned from creating these films? How are you hoping to repurpose these ideas into future work?

Bodies are fragile and meaning is fragile. Moving forward with my work, I am interested in the possibility of forms falling apart, changing, and how that shifts their meaning and function. I have been experimenting with making larger installations with unfired clay that contain loss of quickly made forms. These have the potential to crumble and break, but can also be reconstituted into wet clay material for re-use.

Wet and Dirty MF w/ Clay Materials from Liz McCarthy on Vimeo