For 18s and over: Sex exhibition at the CMAG

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IT’S a bold suggestion, but, setting politics aside, the Canberra Museum & Gallery says that since the 1980s Canberra has been synonymous with sex in the minds of many Australians—and they’re out to prove it.


Twenty years have passed since it became legal to sell X-rated videos in the Australian Capital Territory and the adult industry has gone through periods of growth, boom and, many would argue, bust. This exhibition explores the evolution of the local sex industry.

Curated for CMAG by Rowan Henderson, the show is titled “X-rated: the sex industry in the ACT,” and there’s a serious side too, as it explores the legislative and social history of the sex work industry, the pornography industry (production, distribution and sale) and associated industry bodies including the AIDS Action Council, Sex Workers Outreach Project (ACT), Scarlet Alliance and the Eros Association.

The exhibition draws on CMAG’s considerable collection as well as loans from the National Film and Sound Archive and private individuals.

CMAG_XRated_047The public program for “X-rated” includes the following events:

On Wednesday, April 15 from 1-2pm curator, Rowan Henderson, will provide a guided tour of “X-rated” and give viewers an insight into the works and stories featured.

On Saturday, May 30 from 2.30–4pm there will be a screening of the film, “Scarlet Road”. Australian sex worker, Rachel Wotton, who specialises in working with clients with a disability, will introduce this documentary film about her work and also tell the story of Touching Base, a charitable organisation she has helped establish to assist people with disability and sex workers to connect with each other.

“Scarlet Road”, (M) Sexual references, coarse language and nudity]. Free, but RSVP by Thu May 28 to 62073968, as places are limited.

“X-Rated: The sex industry in the ACT” at Canberra Museum + Gallery, Cnr London Circuit and Civic Square: Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Saturday – Sunday 12 to 5pm, until September 20.


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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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