What do a professional photographer, a dominatrix, and an Agnes Scott Women Studies professor have in common? On February 28th, in the Dalton Gallery, Agnes Scott had the opportunity to bring these three together in discussion of Forest McMullin’s series “Day & Night” which is now in the Dalton Gallery. The series focuses on the BDSM culture and identity. We see portraits of individuals or couples in their daily every day lives in what we consider “normal”, and then at night with another side of their lives, their fetishes revealed. Forest McMullin, Domina Dea, and Dr. Elizabeth Hackett all came together in a panel discussion of the series, in what turned to be a very interesting and educational experience.
It began with a short presentation made by each, representing their backgrounds on the subject. McMullin spoke about how he began this project, researching as much as he could. He started out with the subject of photographing “swingers” which then led the idea of photographing people in the BDSM community. Dea spoke about the trajectory of her life and how she started becoming active in the BDSM community. She is now an educator for newcomers in the community as well as being a professional dominatrix. Dr. Elizabeth Hackett gave a review of the Feminist Sex Wars culminating in the 1982 Barnard Conference on Sexuality.
The floor opened up to questions which revolved around the idea of power roles in BDSM, learning the basics about the culture, and the artist’s use of photography to represent the culture.