Lecture: Ine Poppe, Olga Middendorp, Mediamatic Foundation

To bef, bef, bef

with Clarissa Smith, Raymond van den Boogaard, Julia Schmitz and Ine Poppe

7 Nov 2021

Clarissa Smith, Professor of Media & Sexual Cultures at Northumbria University (UK), explores some of the contradictory pleasures of female sexuality as represented in art and pornography. Journalist Raymond van den Boogaard unravels the complex history of l'Origine du Monde, Courbet’s scandalous painting that continues to spark a multitude of myths. After the screening of the film Come Here Come Here by artist Julia Schmitz, we discuss female pleasure, ‘hidden’ anatomy, its imaging and how the representation and experience of female pleasure have changed and continues to change. What are the connections between l'Origine du Monde, expressions of female sexual pleasure and sexual representations?


l’Origine du monde van Gustave Courbet (1866, Musée d’Orsay) -

Professor of Sexual Cultures Clarissa Smith

Professor Clarissa Smith has established an international reputation for research centred on sexual media and representations. She is interested in the different kinds of pornography across different technologies; in how people access and engage with pornographic materials and with other forms of sexualized products. She is also intrigued by the constant demands for increased regulation and censorship. Clarissa has written about the problems of legislating against pornography and criminalizing the imagination. She has also written about porn-star performances, the meanings of masochism in sexual storytelling, the idea of ‘authenticity’ in pornography, and how audiences speak about the sexual content they like.

Raymond van den Boogaard on l'Origine du Monde

L'Origine du Monde, that remarkable, pornographic painting, although only on view to the public since 1995, is definitely the best-known work by the French painter Gustave Courbet (1819-1877). But, who is depicted on this canvas? After 152 years, in 2019 it became known who was the model for l'Origine du monde: Constance Quéniaux (1832-1908). Raymond van den Boogaard takes you along on the quest for the model's identity and her relationship to Courbet.


Obscene foto voor de stereoscoop, van Auguste Belloc (1805-1867), rond 1860. - Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

Come Here Come Here by Julia Schmitz

Have you ever seen a bird with red wings? How to become a multi-orgasmic woman? What is squirting? Schmitz had many questions concerning female pleasure, ‘hidden’ anatomy, and its imaging. What is there to know and how do we get to know it? Where is sexual knowledge produced? Where do sponges come from? Is it to see, to know, to feel?


Still from the film Come Here Come Here by Julia - Julia Schmitz


To bef, bef, bef
November 11, 17:00 till 18:30
This event will be in English.

Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam

We are taking corona safety into account at our events.

If this event gets canceled because of government measurements, we will refund all purchased tickets. For questions please send an email to program@mediamatic.nl.

This event is part of Beftival during Museumnacht Amsterdam.