previews

  • Larry Sultan, Sharon Wild, 2001

    Larry Sultan, Sharon Wild, 2001

    Larry Sultan

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
    151 Third Street
    May 8–August 1, 2004

    Curated by Sandra S. Phillips

    Is there realism in porn films? While the sets of these movies are part of their artifice, the shoots often occur in rented suburban homes. Larry Sultan’s recent photographic series “The Valley” makes these locations his subject, and the trappings of middle-class life are everywhere evident: manicured lawns, family photos, dolls in a little girl’s room, and, for Southern California, the requisite pool. But instead of splashing kids, Sultan’s large-scale color photographs show us lights, cameras, performers, and crew. Senior curator of photography Sandra S. Phillips has chosen fifty-three of these behind-the-scenes peeks, which are revealing of both American domesticity and how the adult-film industry mirrors a site viewers either recognize or desire—where fantasy and the everyday are entwined.