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Installation celebrates sexuality among seniors and the disabled

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I Go Walking After Midnight, at the Erotic Heritage Museum
Photo: Justin M. Bowen

A vintage prosthetic leg kicks up its heels (in this case, a pair of pink Christian Louboutins) on a motorized turntable not too far from a bedazzled walker, also on a motorized turntable. Both drip strings of white globes in an LED-illuminated space. The window installation I Go Walking After Midnight, which also includes a bedecked whicker wheelchair and a vintage polio leg brace, is as eerie and fantastic as it is celebratory and poignant.

I Go Walking After Midnight, at the Erotic Heritage Museum

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I Go Walking After Midnight
Up through the summer.
Front window of Erotic Heritage Museum, 3275 Industrial Road, 369-6442.

Created by Todd VonBastiaans for the Erotic Heritage Museum, it looks out onto Industrial Road, reminiscent of a Lynchian holiday window display. The exhibit, including its abstract erotic paintings on stacked canvas, highlights sexuality among senior citizens and those with physical disabilities, something VonBastiaans says is rarely acknowledged, save for fetish pornography. So integral is sexuality that some European countries advocate prostitution for disabled citizens, VonBastiaans says (Denmark compensates them for such visits). That's not to say people with disabilities have to pay for sex. People with disabilities date, seniors hook up in nursing homes and young veterans who have lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan come home to their lovers.

The darkly theatrical "Midnight" might be perceived as leaning toward freak show, with its used, vintage accessories (rather than contemporary titanium and robotic limbs). But VonBastiaans wanted to emphasize heritage of the museum and found less meaning in contemporary limbs and walkers. "There's no history to them," he says. "Nobody has used them. Nobody has walked in them."

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Kristen Peterson

Kristen Peterson joined the Las Vegas Sun in 1998 as a general assignment reporter. In 2003, she turned her focus ...

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