Jo Broughton is an professional fine art photographer based in London, UK. Jo received her MA in Fine Art Photography from the Royal College and BA in Fashion and Advertising Photography from Kent Institute of Art and Design. For his new series “Empty Porn Sets”, Broughton captured the space left behind after the human activity, the work makes a strong statement against a voyeuristic or judgemental look at the processes of making porn, withdrawing from any moral discourse. Jo was a cleaner at a porn studio, she photographed balloons, dildos and shagpile in apartment interiors.
Jo Broughton’s Empty Porn Sets are a typical example of circumstance and serendipity influencing an artist’s output. She grew up in Essex “in a semi-detached house, with detached parents and disaffected siblings”. Then, at a young age, she ran away “to live with white witches”, applying through Thurrock College for work experience as a photographer’s assistant. Little did she know it was at a porn studio and the man who ran it was to become her mentor, tutor and—in effect—guardian, providing her with a place to stay, a job, training in photography and the content of this exhibition.
Jo started making these images in 2001, whilst at the Royal College of Art, funding the work and her education by employment as a cleaner at the porn studio. When all was quiet and the bodies had gone home she would photograph the aftermath of the day’s shoots. The resulting works have a stillness to them in complete contrast to the frenetic industry of which they are the traces.
These are playgrounds of cheapish fantasy which are left like historical documents to the sex act. At first they have the appearance of a show-home in questionable taste. The colours are vivid and the structure at once basic and commercial looking. Then you look again and see the clues… a bottle of lubricant, a dildo, lights at the edge of the frame, glimpses of the studio beyond. It slowly becomes apparent that these are fantasy landscapes, rude pictures without the nudity. Jo took her environment and used it as inspiration and subject for her work.