Sophia Giovannitti presents Working Girl: On Selling Art and Selling Sex, in conversation with Tiana Reid

June 8th

McNally Jackson Seaport
RSVP Required — see below

The portrait of a young artist making both a living and a life.

"Between the sex worker and art worker is a tension that defines the contemporary commodification of bodies, genders, time and desires. Working Girl documents Giovannitti's critical and creative interventions into this fraught and fascinating zone. She invites us to be more than voyeurs, and to think with her what is at stake in the art of sex and the sex of art." —McKenzie Wark, author of Capital is Dead

As a young artist trying to make a living in New York without sacrificing all her time to paying rent, Sophia Giovannitti turned to sex work: first, telling herself it was part of her art, and then quickly accepting it as simply the way to make the most money in the shortest possible time. Weaving between the art world and the sex industry, she learned how much the two markets have in common: both built on the buying and selling of creativity and desire, authenticity and intimacy. The power of each lies in believing—or pretending—they can provide meaning outside of monetary exchange.
In this searching and provocative work, moving from the author’s own experiences to political analyses and the workings of the contemporary art world, Giovannitti asks how we might face the great dilemma of the art and sex industries head on: what happens to desire, beauty, creativity, and autonomy when everything is a transaction? Giovannitti finds a way to commit her life to art, to intimacy, and to freedom on her own terms.

Sophia Giovannitti is a writer and conceptual artist based in New York. She has written on gender, sex, and labor for The New Inquiry, n+1, Document Journal, and SSENSE, among others. Her videos and performance-based studies have been shown at Recess, the Athens Biennale, Duplex, and PPOW, among others.



Tiana Reid is a writer and scholar who lives in Toronto. She is an assistant professor in the Department of English at York University. A former editor of The New Inquiry and Pinko: A Magazine of Gay Communism, her writing has appeared in Artforum, The Nation, the New York Review of Books, and the Paris Review, among other publications.



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