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REIN artist's moving image film, media statement 



"REIN would have been an artistic film exploring themes of sexuality set in the Scottish landscape.  The sexual elements were an integral part of the project's artistic vision.  They would have challenged regressive and exploitative attitudes towards women and queer people. The allegation that this project would have been harmful or abusive in nature is untrue and highly damaging to the individuals involved in this project."


The artists and performers do not wish to be contacted by the media. Outlets are encouraged to use the statement above and/or the information below for quotes.


The parties involved have remained silent as this issue has been co-opted by many groups, individuals and the media for aggressive political, anti-trans, and anti-sex worker activity, alongside attacks on arts and culture. They do not wish to participate in this. This statement is being issued because the project REIN has been widely misunderstood and misrepresented. 


REIN would have been a new immersive 3-screen moving image art installation fusing moving image, multi-sensory set design and dance in an erotic exploration of lesbian and queer sexuality set in the Scottish landscape. There is a long history of sexually explicit and sex-positive queer art. The work fused choreographed dance and choreographed sex to immerse the audience in a fantastical otherworld. REIN was conceived by and for lesbian and queer artists to express lesbian and queer sexuality, on their own terms with sex-positive narratives. 


REIN was pitched in conception and execution as an art installation. REIN would not qualify as pornography because it was not intended as a way to elicit sexual arousal as the outcome. Performers were to be paid for the purposes of collaboratively creating the artwork, and not for a client. 


The creatives are queer neurodiverse artists with strong track records, and the work of making REIN was intended to give voice and agency, include and celebrate people who have been historically marginalised in the arts. Throughout the development due care and attention would be paid to all participants and contributors to create a consensual, safe, legally compliant and professional environment in which the artwork would be made. The artistic vision is to create beautiful and exemplary environments towards freedom of artistic expression, where everyone is valued and cared for equally. The performers would be active contributors and collaborators in a highly safeguarded environment. 


In August 2022 funding was granted for REIN’s initial development R&D1- to create a safe and supported approach to devising a new artistic work which included sex-positive narratives alongside a 9-minute work-in-progress film which was shared with the funding body after R&D1. 


REIN was then supported for R&D2. This R&D was to provide months of work for many LGBTQ+ artists and the opportunity to develop a boundary-pushing, large-scale internationally touring artwork, designed to tour with a low carbon footprint. This R&D2 was to employ over 30 creatives and freelancers and offer a paid training course in ‘embodied consent and boundaries’ from a leading educator to 27 members of the team. It would also deliver free workshops to dance artists on consent-led choreographic processes. 


The difference between R&D1 and R&D2 was that in R&D 1 there was a ‘no genital contact rule’. In R&D2 there was one proposed scene for three consenting performers (out of nine in the cast), that would be devised through informed consent and an experienced sex-positive safeguarding team where genital contact could be part of the performance of (non-simulated) sex choreography and dance choreography. 


Once R&D2 began, a callout for performers was made using language relatable to the performers the project was looking for. The artists have never used the term ‘real sex’ in any call out, process, documentation or application.  This callout for a specific audience also included language that was subsequently taken out of context, however, over 40 applications were received in response to this callout from performers who wished to join the company in devising the moving image film. 


The artists do not agree that they misled the funding body. The performer callout did use the new terminology of ‘non-simulated’ as a shorthand for performers, however, the artists have been transparent about the nature of the work with the funding body, which has been consistent throughout both R&D1 (2022/23) and R&D2 (2024). 


The project has been misunderstood and misrepresented. Everyone involved in the project is deeply saddened that the funding body did not seek clarification with the artists, or suggest working together to elucidate to third parties that the project is an artistic moving image film and not what has been widely reported or claimed. No opportunity was given to the artists to work towards a joint resolution or alternative outcome prior to the funding body’s decision to defund the work. 


The artists will not be speaking with any media or press.



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