Cum As You Are

You have to hand it to the subjects of Giulio Sciorio’s “Faces of Ecstasy: Real People, Real Orgasms” exhibit, which has been claiming column inches all over the country for some little while now. The men and women, some depicted as couples, were all photographed fully clothed while having an orgasm. It’s difficult to imagine a more intimate context for a portrait (seated on a toilet? while in stirrups at the gynecologist’s office?), but there the subjects are, their faces pulled into various interpretations of rapture for all of us to ogle.

There are no Photoshop tricks or fancy lighting arrangements here; these straightforward portraits draw on personality and intimacy to tell a larger and very public story about the private ways in which people are very much alike. Sciorio’s exhibit is an ongoing project; the photographer will continue to add new images to the show as it tours the world. He’s gathered faces from all walks of life -- actors, mill workers, teachers, bankers, even Phoenix’s own Chuey the Rock n’ Roll Midget -- in what one critic called “a collection that’s simultaneously alarming and deeply moving.”

Fri., May 2, 6 p.m.-midnight; Fridays, 1:30-7 p.m.; Fri., May 16, 6-10 p.m. Starts: May 2. Continues through May 31, 2008
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela