Hysterical Literature is a video art series by NYC-based photographer and filmmaker Clayton Cubitt. It explores feminism, mind/body dualism, distraction portraiture, and the contrast between culture and sexuality. (It’s also just really fun to watch.) 

Launched in August of 2012, the video series has been watched over 90 million times in 200 countries.

With a total of 12 sessions and 12 different performers, each session is a must-watch from the beginning to the end.

 Session One: Stoya reads “Necrophilia Variations” by Supervert.

Session Two: Alicia reads “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman.

“This section of the world that I’m inhabiting slows down, zooms in. Like a stretched rubber band it suddenly contracts, and I am lovingly punched with an orgasm.”

 Stoya’s thoughts on the experience [Session 01]

Session Three: Danielle reads “Still Life With Woodpecker” by Tom Robbins.

Session Four: Stormy reads “American Psycho” by Bret Easton Ellis.

“Art is simultaneously a reflection and reaction to society; its mere intention is to be honest and unfiltered. If this is understood, why then does sex now cheapen the artistic message?”

 Danielle’s thoughts on her session [Session 03]

Session Five: Teresa reads “Sexing the Cherry” by Jeanette Winterson.

Session Six: Solé reads “Beloved” by Toni Morrison.

“PS: To my parents ( who I know will read this), I hope that you are as proud of me as I am of myself. I pray that you see the merit, the revolution that I am a part of, the importance of this project.”

 Solé’s thoughts on her session [Session 06]

Session Seven: Amanda reads “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess.

Session Eight: Margaret reads “Sleeping Beauty” by A.N. Roquelaure

Session Nine: Marne reads “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” by John Ashbery

Session Ten: Janet reads “Friendship and Character” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

“But despite being a project I’m deeply proud of, it has been challenging to deal with the intense scrutiny by the art world for my participation in this work, while my male counterpart rarely dealt with any.”

Marne’s thoughts on her session [Session 09]

Session Eleven: Toni reads “The Portrait of a Lady” by Henry James

Session Twelve: Fette reads “The Loser” by Thomas Bernhard