In Her Latest Interview, Sasha Grey Talks About Her Book

Adult Cyber Mart, greets Jim Malibu, its latest supporter – Actress and musician Sasha Grey recently released ‘Neü Sex,’ her long-promised book of photography. Along with partner Ian P. Cinnamon, Grey turns the camera on herself and her environment, producing an extensive catalog of self-reflective images.

The book also includes her personal writings on sexuality, identity and personal liberty. ‘Neü Sex’ was inspired by iconic photographers like Cindy Sherman and Nan Goldin, and was shot from March 2006 to December 2009.

First getting onto the pop culture radar through her work in adult films, Grey went on to garner acclaim in the starring role to Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh’s ‘The Girlfriend Experience.’ On the music front, she’s also worked with influential industrial experimenters Current 93 and is also a member of aTelecine – a trio that creates haunting soundscapes in the vein of Lustmord and Scorn. Noisecreep spoke with Grey about her new book and her thoughts on the modern porn industry.

Q: In ‘Neü Sex,’ there are photographs that bring to mind the dreamlike work of David LaChappelle, but most of the images you shot carry Nan Goldin’s spirit of intimacy. Who are some of the photographers who’ve inspired you along the way?

A: Wow, that’s very nice of you to say! I only wish I had budgets for production design like LaChapelle does. Nan Goldin has definitely been an influence, but so has Cindy Sherman. Although she uses herself in photos, she does it in a completely different context than what I’ve done with this book, and quite remarkably.

Q: What do you say to people that criticize photographers like Goldin and Larry Clark for supposedly glamorizing drug use and the seedier side of life?

A: I wouldn’t say they necessarily glamorize it. As photographers they both had the decadence and decay of the ’70s to work with, examining humanity at its highs and lows. Their works are respectively bold and have a slap you in the face quality to them, which makes a lot of people uncomfortable. I think people often fabricate labels onto works they are afraid to understand, because it’s easier than honestly examining the photo and asking why it exists in the first place. They both examine and question humanity through their lenses, and for all we know it may be cathartic for them.

Q: Looking at your photography work, the obvious extension of it would be for you to direct a feature film of some sort. Is this something that’s been on your mind lately?

A: It’s definitely something I’ve thought about, but at the moment I’m focused on proving myself as an actor, and writing screenplays that hopefully help me attain that goal.

Q: You started working in the adult films in 2006, has the industry changed a lot since then?

A: I haven’t been performing in a while but from what I observe on the outside, and based on the opinions of a few industry friends, yes.

Q: You’ve become part of pop culture in these past couple of years. How much of that was organic and how much of it was planned out? “Sasha Grey” has definitely become a brand.

A: When I first got into the adult industry in May 2006, I immediately joined social networking sites to promote myself. I shared my interests in film, music, art, and often wrote very opinionated blogs. The more interviews I did, the more people were shocked, because they didn’t think a porn star could actually have good taste and interests outside of sex.

There are always people who fulfill negative stereotypes, but there are a lot of adult film actors who don’t fit that mold. I started to take note of this, and in turn realized not many porn actors before me had actually used their personality to market themselves, They only used their sexy image. Suffice to say, I definitely used all of this to my advantage, but was surprised at the large impact it has had. Being able to work with an amazing filmmaker like Steven Soderbergh, working with G4TV, doing Entourage – those things obviously also helped catapult my brand into a larger public consciousness.

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