Will Fredo &
Will Fredo’s work features Colombian lawyer and gay porn actor Leo Galileo, a star on the platform OnlyFans, during his last tour before leaving his career in the porn industry. Shot in Barcelona, the sixth episode of the SHTV series is a behind-the-scenes in which artist and actor discuss the partly ludic and partly violent background of the gay porn industry, the pharmacological abuse its workers have to endure in order to satisfy the market’s harsh demands, the commodification of the body, and the fabrication of desire against the background of post-pandemic capitalism. Installed on a custom-made BDSM sling, the work relates Leo Galileo’s reflections and confessions to Paul B. Preciado, Deleuze and Guattari, Sascha Lobo, and Maurizio Lazzarato, highlighting the structural dynamics of exploitation in poorly regulated industries.
Porn-related internet searches spiked during the pandemic, and the industry is evolving rapidly in order to satisfy the customer’s demand, which is expected to further increase. Leo Galileo believes that one day in the near future, porn may become an ordinary part of our daily exposure to images, even to the point of permeating the public sphere. However, despite the social changes that allow such images to be spread and the economic development of its market, the ethics of the industry are not showing any kind of progress, much like all other industries where the gap between technological advancement and social change remains wide. The performers’ highly precarious work is performed under a constant lack of protection, safety, and health measures. In order to satisfy the consumers’ fantasies, it is moreover demanded of male actors to physically endure over long periods of time, which often necessitates the abuse of prescription drugs on set as well as the sustainment of psychophysical damage.
Porn actors often join the industry due to financial needs or after having been coerced. Leo Galileo claims that he is among the lucky few who chose the job out of passion, although he is about to leave his performing career to focus, instead, on his work as a human rights lawyer. Without hiding the comradely aspects of this still non-ordinary job, Will Fredoʼs visual inquiry reveals the brutal side of the body’s commodification in the porn industry and how it mirrors (perhaps even epitomizes) the brutality of capitalism itself. Moreover, the work addresses the solitude of the individual in the current historical moment as well as the atomization resulting from the currently dominant economic system and its impact on human relationships, affection, and intimacy. (Vanina Saracino)