Called Erotic Videochat Studios, Hollander‘s photoset shows the interiors of spaces designed to host live streams of models performing the sexual fantasies of a paying client in front of a webcam.
Located in the Colombian city Cali, each studio comprises a series of sets, with intentionally ordinary backdrops created by “non-designers”on a budget.
“Inside of large, nondescript buildings in residential and commercial neighbourhoods, erotic video-chat studios have dozens of rooms equipped with a computer and camera that transmit streaming videos of models 24 hours a day,” Hollander told Dezeen.
While documenting the photoset, he found that the backdrops are typically completed with tacky and dated decor, such as glittery pillows, framed quotes and murals. Although finished differently, each also has “a sweet, innocent, colourful aesthetic” – contrasting the activities for which they are designed.
“The distance between the interior decoration and the sexual activity that goes on within these spaces produces a surreal disconnect,” the photographer said.
“The tacky innocence of the pillows, the wallpaper, the posters and the mirrors, makes it nearly impossible to imagine webcam models performing every kind of fetish and penetrating every one of their bodily cavities with every kind of sex toy on the market on the beds, and therein lies the conceptual base of this series.”
Hollander used a Fujifilm X100s camera and a tripod to capture the backdrops straight-on, without filters or special effects – much like they would be seen on the webcam.
Among the series is a “middle-class teenage girl’s bedroom”, with two unicorn pillows and floral bedsheets, a dentist’s waiting room with bright textiles, and a “swanky hotel”.
Other featured sets include a bed with a golden headboard, which matches the floral gold leaf adorning a bedside lamp, as well as a monochrome space detailed with a fake green wall and a picture of Frida Kahlo.
Erotic video chat is a fairly new phenomenon in the sex industry, but Hollander said that it is particularly prevalent in Colombia. The country is the second largest provider of video-chat models in the world, just after Romania, and Cali is home to the first studio designed specifically for this function, according to the photographer.
“In erotic video-chat, a relatively new industry within the world of commercial sex, Colombian models (mostly women but also men and transvestites) service the sexual needs of clients (mostly but not exclusively men) in other countries (mostly the USA and Great Britain) by performing in front of a streaming camera,” he said.
Hollander happened upon erotic video chat studios while undertaking his Architecture of Sex series, which investigates the design spaces “where people have the most sex” in the Colombian city. He said he found the intentionally ordinary backdrops designed for the live streams the most bizarre of all.
“Of all the places I documented – which included massage parlours, men’s clubs, spas, porn cinemas, swingers clubs, gangbangs, brothels, etc – the most consistently surreal environments were those of erotic video-chat studios.”
Dutch duo Vera van de Sandt and Jur Oster have similarly created a photo series that captures the moods of intimate spaces designed for sex. Called Love Land Stop Time, theirs shows the interiors of Brazil’s “tantalising” motels.
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