SULTAN, Larry. The Valley.

(Zurich): Scalo, 2004. First edition. Oblong quarto. 127 pages. Introductory text “Nature is Strange in the Valley” by Larry Sultan. Illustrated with full page colour photographs capturing the milieu of the San Fernando Valley porn scene. The volume, however is by no means a documentary on porn filmmaking. Rather, it is a dense series of pictures of middle-class homes invaded by the porn industry. Sultan’s lens focuses on pedestrian details–a piece of half-eaten pie, dirty linens in a heap, “actors” taking a break–that offer clues to a bizarre other-world. The lush and intricate images adroitly play with artifice and reality, adding up to rich, elliptical narratives that circle around the concepts of “home” and “desire.” These images of homes and gardens, porn actors and film crews, studio and location shootings are an ambiguous meditation on suburbia and its trappings, family and transgression, loss and desire, the utopias and dystopias of middle-class lifestyle. A very good copy in dust jacket.


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