by Ellen Von Unwerth
Finally, a book about women who end up captive
and enslaved, that "isn't graphic or offensive in any way".
Story of O", part Andrew Blake and vintage erotica, Ellen
Von Unwerth veers even further away from fashion and more towards
conceptually innovative work in this playful, S&M tale. Revenge
is one of the most incredibly audacious works of recent memory,
especially when you consider how conservative our culture has become.
The story is as bold as the photographs, and in many ways, as sexy.
Though the viewer is treated to page after page of women wrestling
in mud, spankings and bondage, this isn't as dirty as the material
it pays homage to, but it is twice as fun.
Revenge is the story of a group of women who end up captive and
enslaved, but turn the tables on their captors. The book is almost
pocket sized, and is a beautiful black and white, hardcover collector's
dream. This is the thing that coffee tables were meant for, (but
not if you have young children around.) Truth be told, Revenge is
pretty tame, with full nudity on display and some eyebrow raising
scenarios, it isn't graphic or offensive in any way. By contrast,
it is actually the nicest fashion meets erotica study I have seen.
It doesn't hurt that Ellen Von Unwerth has a skilled eye and a gift
for capturing perversity in a comfortable and natural setting. She
makes taboo subjects very familiar and creates adult subject matter
that has class and style.
Like adult filmmaker Andrew Blake, Von Unwerth focuses on female
couplings where there is a wink and a nod to S&M and bondage,
but the underlined exploration is actually on how beautiful women
are. It is difficult to imagine anyone not flipping through Revenge
without a smile. The book replicates the look of vintage erotica,
but brings it into the modern age and declares it OK to enjoy this
kind of material. In an era where we have become so afraid to speak
our minds and explore themes outside of the status quo, Revenge
is a welcome tribute to sexuality and freedom. One could say that
Revenge doesn't break any new ground, but that would be ignoring
the fact that this isn't welcome subject matter in your average
bookstore, and Ellen Von Unwerth is a woman who isn't afraid to
take risks. Like her previous books, Wicked and Couples, Revenge
proves that Ellen Von Unwerth plays by her own rules and creates
art that is outside of the conventions. Revenge ends with the famous
words, "To be continued..." Let's hope so. Buy the book!