The Lustful Gaze

04.10.2023 - 14.01.2024

Image Credits


04.10.2023 - 14.01.2024


03.10.2023 19:00


Folk Life Museum


Peter F. N. Hörz

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About the

The year of the pandemic, 2020, was also a year of pornography and discussions around porn: during the first lockdown, Pornhub was already included, in the business news, among those companies that had profited from the ban on contact with others and general boredom. Eight months later, the New York Times alleged that the platform was ‘flooded’ with rape videos, revenge videos and ‘authentic’ depictions of violence.


The alarm was raised throughout the world. Demands for restrictions grew in volume – raised by feminists, those involved in the protection of minors and fundamentalist Christians. At first glance, the discussions seemed like a new version of the debates of 1980s and 1990s triggered by Alice Schwarzer’s PorNO campaign, translocated now to the age of ‘digital capitalism’ (Staab 2019). On the other hand, what is new is that nuanced points of view also get listened to: for example, in early 2021, Vienna-resident porn producer Adrineh Simonian advocated ‘ethically produced and aesthetically demanding sex films’ in an interview with Falter magazine.

A scientific foundation is lacking when it comes to the public debate on pornography (Erk, 2020). Reason enough, therefore, for a closer, genuinely cultural-anthropological look in recognition of the pop-cultural medium that is pornography.

Further information

Visits to the exhibition are only permitted from the age of 18 due to sensitive content.