A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Victoria Lace is not a rose
Tuesday, August 16, 2016




Rosa 'Mary Webb' & Victoria Lace
I arrived at my assignation early one afternoon in a very hot day in June 1998. With me I had my Mamiya RB-67, Ektachrome film, a tripod and a powerful Profoto ring flash. I also had a cooler. In the cooler I had some cut roses. They were, Jacqueline Dupré, Sexy Rexy, Mrs. Oakley Fisher, Gertrude Jeckyll, Dainty Bess, Sweet Juliete, Fimbriata, Reine Victoria, Mary Webb, and Souvernir de Malmaison.

I parked my car (it has commercial plates) in an alley that was full of drug pushers and their customers. Some were shooting up. This was the Vancouver East Side. The old refurbished building I entered had an imposing office reception all of stainless steel. I was expected so I was shown in immediately. 

While I waited for my subject (called Victoria Lace) to get ready I was shown in a room that had multiple video screens. The young man in it was in charge of flaming people who went beyond the boundaries of the company’s regulations for on-line watching and chatting. On the walls without the screens were framed pictures featuring what seemed to be music awards. If you looked closer (and I did) they were prizes for won porn films.

Days before I had talked to the head of the joint (a sort of friend of mine) who after I explained my project said, “You need someone with a flowery name and a clean clam. That’s Victoria Lace. She will be ready for you.”

I was let in to the room. Victoria Lace was sitting on a divan. On one wall were towels and sheets and a sign that read, “If you use oil, you are responsible for the washing.” Around the divan were several video cameras. Whatever it was that Victoria Lace (she clued me in eventually) she did it on her own. It was a sort of early video selfie before selfies got the name.

Victoria Lace talked to “customers” as dhe did stuff that would possibly make most off us blush. And she chatted with them. If they got too forward or insulting the chap in the other room would disconnect them without a money-back-guarantee.

No I am not shy but still I am shy! Victoria Lace knew what I was up to. I was going to photograph her external sexual organ covered by each one of my cut roses from my garden. I had chosen roses with female names. Most who are rosarians know that there is no Rosa ‘Victoria Lace’.

I aimed my ring flash (the camera is placed in a hole surrounded by the circular flash. It looks like a Bundt pan. Victoria Lace posed most naturally and I snapped my pictures. The last photograph after we had gone through all the roses was Victoria Lace sans roses.

I thanked her and after giving her the roses (she was delighted) I quickly left.

I chose in the end five roses plus a sixth slide of Victoria Lace. They appeared at a group show (an erotic one) at the then gang busting photo gallery on Beatty Street, the Exposure Gallery.

I made the pictures small and backed the 6x7cm slides with silver card. Few people figured it out and a some came up to me and asked me, “What is exactly erotic about these?” I could not answer then nor could I answer now.



     

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9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16