Theatre of Cruelty

Lincoln Clarkes’ heroines is a disturbing article to me. The guy took some fascinating pictures of prostitutes in Vancouver BC, but his outlook appears very twisted to me.

I don’t think prostitutes are “strong women” or “survivors”. Maybe survivors in the sense that someone who’s just been shot and is bleeding to death is currently surviving. I also don’t care for his dumb play on word “heroines”. Plays on words don’t do much for me when they’re about people who are suffering and going to die.

Everything isn’t art, guy. Some things, like young women on drugs, being used by the sex industry, and dying before their time, are real, and it takes more than a spoonful of sugar to make it all better.

8 thoughts on “Theatre of Cruelty

  1. Hey, Lincoln lives the life on these mean streets, he knows these women, and he’s trying to bring the reality of their lives to the fore for people to see. I think what he does is both courageous and admirable.

    1. based on the article I can’t agree
      Maybe he was misquoted or misrepresented in the article. The article itself was very annoying and gave the impression that everyone seemed to think these peoples’ lives were grist for the artistic mill. And I still don’t think that drug-addicted prostitutes are “strong” or “survivors” or “heroines”. I think they’re unfortunate and almost all doomed.
      But not having met the guy himself, I’m willing to believe the Times magazine writer is at least partly to fault here.

      1. Re: based on the article I can’t agree
        You’re reacting to one quote from one guy who happens to own some of his photos. I agree the LA Times article is falls into the clich&eacute of seeing the artwork as romantically heroic.
        But even so, I am not concerned with purity of his intentions or the viewers’. At a level of sheer reportage this story needs telling. I’ve been through (and more frequently, around) the DTES and the article is totally right. Canada’s always wanting to be world-class in something… Vancouver’s found its niche: scenery and self-destruction.
        Frankly I think it exposes the hypocrisy of Canada (at least some regions, like here).

      2. Re: based on the article I can’t agree
        The tone of both the article and his quotes was horribly patronizing. Read ‘s post to see this put better than I can at 0140 🙂

      3. Re: based on the article I can’t agree
        His photos speak for themselves. It is here he is most expressive.
        Whenever I’ve seen the guy about town it is almost always on the Downtown East Side. He hangs out with his subjects, has empathy, compassion and understanding for them.
        What would be the harm in photodocumenting one of the most marginalized subcultures in North America?

      4. Re: based on the article I can’t agree
        I don’t want this to be an argument! I didn’t say that he was doing harm by photodocumenting; the photos are good. I didn’t like the attitude I got from the article and felt that both the writer of the article and the photographer were both patronizing and glorifying people who didn’t need either one of those things. That’s all. put it better than I did.
        Anyway never mind. We just disagree.

  2. Ah, liberal-guilt pornography
    “Clarkes had always been drawn to women as subjects, and he had once tried heroin himself, so he knew the incredible rush.” Yeah, he’s a regular Jane Goodall. Except for the childhood sexual molestation, the fatal illnesses, the rape and mutilation, the whoring, and the complete divorce from normal human society, his experience with the lifestyle was exactly the same. He can really relate to his subjects on that level, I’m sure.
    What a load of patronizing crap. Nice pictures, though.

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