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“Empty Porn Sets” by Photographer Jo Broughton

Shot over the course of a decade, London-based photographer Jo Broughton’s “Empty Porn Sets” offers an insider’s behind-the-scenes look at the fantasy landscapes of porn. After accidentally landing a job as an assistant at a porn studio during her early college days, Broughton worked on and off in different roles for the studio, even living there for a period.

While working as a cleaner, she photographed at night, documenting the empty sets nearly devoid of any indication of their daytime use, save for a few small clues: underwear haphazardly strewn to the side, the occasional sex toy or pornographic magazine, visible lighting at the edges of the frame. Without bodies present, the images pull back the curtain of suspended disbelief, making obvious the fabricated reality of the entire porn experience.

“As a cleaner I saw the sets in the cold light of day and picking up and cleaning the mess was a bit like being in a crime scene”, Broughton explains. “Dealing with the inevitable bodily fluids made me feel my own humanity and then the vulnerability of the models who had performed for the camera that day. In the end, though, I was learning my craft, trying to understand light and how to photograph really well.”

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