January 21, 2019

This is the second part of our meditation on obscenity, censorship, the body, excess and restriction, fakery and reality. We made these two films as a response to the ongoing and exponentially increasing levels of censorship and sterilisation in our lives, especially online and around sex.
This series is based loosely around the alchemical process of The Great Work/ Magnum Opus. The process of turning base materials into gold, the philosophers stone. A parallel for the way certain acts and bodily materials are treated as obscene and base but how powerfully transcendent they can be within the context of sex.

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The process at its most simplistic has 4 stages - blackening, whitening, yellowing and reddening, in the first part of this series we used the red and yellow - this is the black and the white. In these films we explore the visceral bodily materials attached to these colours, materials often considered “immoral”, often censored, considered base and offensive - especially when put on film and transform them into elixir, into gold, something precious. Cinema alchemy. The profane and the sacred.

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This film features two incredible new performers Kali Sudhra and Sadie Lune. This shoot was honestly, magic. There's a certain electric energy you sometimes get from shooting sex and this had it in abundance. Watching this shoot and editing this shoot turned me on to the point of distraction - even just the audio is enough for me.
It's visceral and intense and tender all at the same time. Bodies are amazing. I loved watching it and I love getting to put it on film for you all.


This was our first shoot back behind the camera after we lost everything with Patreon last summer. It was made possible by the incredible support of you all rallying around and restarting and refunding the project. We shot it at Berlin Porn Film Festival with two incredible performers, Sadie and Kali - who I’ve admired for so long.

They both turned up to shoot in the middle of festival madness, everything was chaos and we were all stressed and emotional.

Porn performance can mean making yourself vulnerable, both physically and emotionally, especially at festival time when it’s full of highs and lows and competition and you’re probably shooting multiple times in a few days (I think this was Kali's SIXTH shoot of the week) - sometimes it starts like this; you’re not sure how everyone can pool energy and make something that feels good and then, something just clicks. I know I say this a lot but sex really sometimes can really be close to whatever it is that magic means: transformative, powerful and a kin to a kind of bodily awe. Sadie and Kali are perfect and everyone on set watched in wrapt silence in disbelief as this unfolded. By the end we were all totally renewed.

Bodies are amazing. I will never stop being impressed, turned on and surprised. I love their tactility, their form, their strength. Watching women fucking is everything. It’s one of the films we’ve made I've been most captivated by.

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Sadie is an incredible performer who's a legend in the queer porn community and we were so lucky to get to shoot her while pregnant. It often feels like pregnancy is expected to be an entirely de-sexualised experience - there seems to be a requirement to be a pure and chaste vessel. It's always so interesting who and what is permitted to be sexual and under what circumstances. Sadie is unapologetically sexual and queer and pregnant and it was such a privilege and so hot to get to capture that energy.

The cut scenes for this are from a process I used years ago to make soot drawings called lamp blacking. It's primarily used in etching to black out metal plates to draw on because the soot can pick up the finest detail. It's made by holding a candle underneath something for just long enough for the soot to collect before it sets it alight.

 I used it on a huge scale on paper to print body parts and draw into because the fine detail of the skin is preserved. They're really delicate and basically unfixable. I like how transient this makes them, they can be destroyed at any moment and that tension is interesting. 

I've always wanted to put the process on film and I got the opportunity here.

Thank you for making this possible and enjoy.

Vex + 4C

throatache - CILT

The Four Stages of Alchemical Work, Jo Hedesan.
The Oval Court, Helen Chadwick. 1984 - 86.