Creative Workshop 3: Nude and Naked
Building on the session workshops you should explore notions of Nude and Naked through
your work. You should make at least one study of yourself and another of someone else.
You will need to bring your experiences from task one and two to bear as you explore the dynamics of vulnerability vis a vis yourself, the subject and ultimately the viewer.
You should spend time observing the context for your subject. You should look for and
work with the different types of light, tone and colour, both in terms of your location context and the effects they have on your subject and the subsequent photographic artefact.

Consider Paul Wright’s words on life drawing :
“Look at the subject away from the camera – soak up your subject”, “look for the lines that
denote weight and gesture”, “consider echoes of movement in a gesture – the image can be messy and doesn’t have to be ‘picture-perfect’”.

 

This task genuinely terrified me, but at the same time I had countless ideas.

I had in my head the idea of super close ups of the body, showing pressure and weight of gestures and lines. I wanted to be able to show the subject a more abstract view of themselves, and get incredibly close and personal with them without showing a fully nude figure.
Me and my subject met in her room, that her boyfriend was also in at the time. I wanted to use natural light, to try and parallel with the natural lines of the subjects bodies.

Overall, I like the photographs I took, they feel very real to me and the subject remarked that they had never seen their body in this way before. I certainly felt pleased that I had succeeded in creating a new point comparison for them.

I chose a set of ten photographs. I think that showing them together gives and abstract view of the body. All different parts of the whole.

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For the photographs of myself, I did two separate things.

The first is very similar to the above photos, but instead of focusing on weight and lines of the body, I focused on the scars I have accumulated of the years. I wanted to show a truthful representation of my body, and put myself in a situation where I couldn’t hide behind photoshop. It is something that made me incredibly uncomfortable, but at the same time shows something so much more intimate than I think a simple nude photograph would. I don’t like the idea of people seeing my imperfections, and the scars of my past, but in doing so I am letting myself be seen in a brutally truthful light, something only someone I was incredibly close to would get to see and, even then, not necessarily.

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Something I found ironic, was the use of my extreme close ups for the photos of myself and the other subject, and how this technique is usually used for the objectification and sexualization of women in the media. By cutting up the women into mere parts of a body, you take away there humanity and turn them into objects. In a way I am doing something incredibly similar, reverting myself and my subject to nothing but my scars and her lines and features. Though my message is different to the sexualisation usually associated with this process, it has to be considered that my attempt at anonymity and protection from the nudity I am showing actually detracts from the humanity of the person I am representing, even if what I am showing of them (such as my scars) is a more truthful analysis of the body. Instead of sexualisation, am I turning myself and my subject into a more scientific study?
http://msmagazine.com/blog/2012/07/03/sexual-objectification-part-1-what-is-it/

For my second set of images involving myself, I used the light of my laptop, as I did in the first week of #Picbod.
I had a couple of thoughts in mind for this set of photographs. Firstly, I wanted to use the light of the laptop because it’s a harsh, unnatural light, and I wanted to couple this is harsh lines and poses of my body. I wanted to try and show a physical representation of our attempts to conform to societies unrealistic representations and expectations of our bodies. I was hoping to look uncomfortable and strained, and show the weight of these expectations weighing down. I don’t know if I succeeded in showing what I wanted to, but I do like how the photos turned out, and would definitely like to experiment further with this idea. I certainly felt uncomfortable, being nude in front of the camera, and straining in uncomfortable positions. The slight blur is from me shaking trying to hold the positions, which actually I rather like the affect of.
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