Praha Erotica

What is morality in any given time or place?  It is what the majority then and there happen to like, and immorality is what they dislike. 

 Alfred North Whitehead, Dialogues, 30 August 1941

The Italian cast and the Czech crew have gathered in the front the yard of a gorgeous villa outskirt of Prague, a very quiet neighborhood, sunny afternoon. A Czech actress arrived early this morning from another city in Moravia in six-inch heels sink into the lawn; men push around camera equipment, anxious about losing the light.

They are preparing to film a scene in which a blond and bored housewife in a kitchen are pursued and overtaken by 3 men showed up from her fantasy. In the golden afternoon light the neighbors are having lunch in their gardens and playing football with their kids, while wondering what on earth this group of people doing out there…

According to the papers, the Bohem Production, one of the biggest porn productions based in Prague produces 12 movies on average each year, mostly for export to Europe and the United States. The company, which also runs a job agency for porn actors, has a consistent annual revenue of 10 million Kč ($400,000). “If you look in a store anywhere in Europe and check any DVD, you always find one Czech or Slovak girl in it,” a director mentioned. Czech Republic has certainly been gaining on Hungary as European production capital.

<Praha Erotica> is not a behind-the-scenes story of the porn industry in Prague. With the photographs, I’m questioning the human side of this trade – After all, going to the set and having sex with someone you hardly know as a daily/weekly job is certainly far beyond the imagination of the majority. And yet, all those people in this business have their own family life, they are also fathers, mothers, boy friends, or girl friends to those one who truly and deeply love them as anybody else. How are they joggling between these different roles is the next step which I’m going to follow up in this project.

It’s an underground world underneath such a beautiful city like Prague; with this kind of closer personal contact; I’ve discovered lots of stories which the prejudice of mainstream society tends to ignore. An Italian actor tattooed his both arms with the names of his 2 kids; the moment when he was mentioning them to me, I strongly felt he seems a decent father by seeing his sincere smile with pride and satisfaction shining on his face, but his job is a porn actor for the hardcore videos…For the people who randomly saw him from some website or DVD, he is simply a porn actor with tattoos all over the body not worthy a second glance at all… The human side of this business intrigues me, although most people might wonder if there is any…  

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Simon Chang’s website: www.simon.chinito.com 

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