Barbara Nitke: American Ecstasy

Posted by Fabio 3 April 2014

One Eyed Jacks Gallery is pleased to announce the UK debut of American photographer Barbara Nitke. The show’s title American Ecstasy is taken from her recently published series of behind-the-scenes photographs of the American porn industry in the years 1982-1991. Featuring famed stars such as Ron Jeremy, Vanessa Del Rio and Nina Hartley, this series of intimate photographs embraces Nitke’s longstanding fascination with human sexual relations, a subject she has explored in numerous televised debates. Nitke is a devout defender of freedom of expression, and in 2001, filed a lawsuit, along with co-plaintiff the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, challenging the constitutionality of the Communications Decency Act, a federal statute prohibiting the publication of obscenity on the Internet (Nitke vs. Gonzales).

The result of 12 years work as a set photographer on in the industry, American Ecstasy allows us a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse at this pre-Internet ‘Golden Age of Porn’, which Nitke describes as: “the most exciting, boring, stomach-turning, splendid subject I could ever hope to photograph.”

Post-1991, after the hardcore porn business moved to Los Angeles, Nitke began shooting on the New York sets of fetish and S &M movies and has since been hailed by The Village Voice for her quest ‘to find humanity in marginal sex.’ Nitke has exhibited across the USA, published two monographs, has been featured in countless books and publications, and numerous panel discussions on subjects of sexuality. Nitke was born in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1950 and grew up in Virginia and Alaska. She is currently a fashion/art photographer, and is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Barbara Nitke
American Ecstasy
One Eyed Jacks Gallery, Brighton.
April 4th – June 4th 2014