Live Nude Girls

a neon sign beckons
"live nude girls"
the bodies I see
are not objects
they do not entertain
they do not pretend
they invite me in
and I wake up


Pleasure Activism* in Action

Live Nude Girls is pleasure activism in action, an interactive installation that explores our experiences (especially historically marginalized people) reclaiming our agency, power, and pleasure in communion and conversation with the body. After interviewing people about what it's like to live in their unique bodies, the participant and I select a message that I write directly onto their body, usually backwards, using body paint. I then photograph them directly and often using a mirror. The experience of the participant is one of healing, receiving a message that is from them and to them and a declaration to the outer world.

The Installation

In installation sites where photographs of past participants can be projected on the walls, the photographs challenge viewers with messaging that is diametrically opposed to the messaging we normally receive about our bodies. The photographs with backwards text invite viewers to peer more deeply to translate the messages forward and to dwell with the bodies in the photos. Taking time to be with others' bodies and images of others helps us connect more fully to our shared humanity.

Longer installations are space-specific with large projections or prints of photographs of past participants, and spaces for visitors to write what "my body knows...," "my body holds...,""my body remembers...," etc., on the walls of the space while I continue to interview individuals who wish to participate.


I'm currently setting up interviews with people throughout the U.S. and seeking funders and partners to support the work. Partnerships can range from a multi-week installations to one-day interview sessions. I welcome co-producers, sponsors, and participants for the project; companies and individuals interested in body-positive dialogue and somatic leadership as an integral part of social justice work.


This work is created in a context of pleasure activism, radical sufficiency, and The Laws of Ease, the basis of my consulting work.

*Pleasure Activism: "Making justice and liberation the most pleasurable experiences we can have. Learning that pleasure gets lost under the weight of oppression, and it is liberatory work to reclaim it." - adrienne maree brown
More information


Julie Ann Otis is a creative consultant and civic engagement artist commited to radical sufficiency and ease for all people. 

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© 2014