Marginalised sexual industries – Joshua Holt

All photographs by Joshua Holt, 2012.

This series looks to explore ways in which the sale of sex and items of a sexual nature seem to have been pushed into peripheral areas largely free of residencies and permanent communities. Sheffield’s red light district, as well as Pulse and Cocktails ‘sex superstore’ and The Crystal Suite massage parlour are located in and around the Neepsend area, which by day is a bustling industrial area and by night is largely abandoned.

It seems that the attitude of those who have pushed such things into these areas is one of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. It is as if the city wants to lodge them far back into its subconcious and avoid dealing with them properly. These images examine the places in which sexual industries (both legal and illegal) must go about their business and the marks left by them.

Joshua Holt, 2012

2 thoughts on “Marginalised sexual industries – Joshua Holt

  1. Interesting. These images reminded me of a photo exhibition I saw in a gallery in Cardiff in the mid 1990’s called (I think) ‘Rape Sites’. That exhibition presented a sequence of photos of very mundane / marginal back-lands. No people or debris of such violence were featured, just seemingly ‘point’less’ shots of mundane empty places. Only the act of curation via the exhibition title made you focus on these banal spaces (edges of playing fields, rear of shopping centres etc etc) as actual/potential places of grave – but fleeting – violence (fleeting for the place; not for the victim). I’ve just tried to find some info about that exhibition but google just gives me predictably unpleasant results (plus some spectacular fields of bright yellow crops to slightly relieve the darkness). Anyway, Joshua’s photos remind me of these ‘ghost’ images of the fleeting footprint of events on place.

  2. These are interesting, but I’m curious as to why the ‘Adult Store’ picture appears more furtive than the others. The sites of encounter that could be categorized as illegal or marginal are photographed in a plain, forensic way (though they have a certain aesthetic), whereas the legal business peeks out from behind a bush (no pun intended).

    I have no idea what this means, but it might be worth thinking about.

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