Update zu Staffelknipsen:
Let’s do this and try to stay online.
warning: the text might be a trigger as it contains thoughts on nudity and sexuality and it’s really long *eye roll* (posted to u>my Instagram first)
I honestly struggled in my decision to post some of these photographs I’ve been working on last year on Instagram, but have chosen now to simply start with this one but I cannot let it pass without comment, or a personal statement or a rant or whatever you’d like to call it.
Debating with myself whether to share or maybe better not to share them here at all as I am afraid of losing the account (once more) or an image to be the least of my worries.
But then again I think, THIS IS NOT an option how to deal with it.
Always trading off how to present my art in a way I would like it to be looked at (without censorship because it only takes away an artworks essence) against the fact that I also want to promote my own art and make it more accessible for a wider (fan) community and people that share my interests and don’t follow me somewhere else but on Instagram, for instance.
The only place on the internet I know, where I don’t have to fear my art might be taken down against my own will is flickr, because they set up a system which allows you to mark your uploads as safe, moderate or restricted and one doesn’t have to necessarily censor one’s own art. You simply choose yourself to see mature content or not. And you also choose the tags you find appropriate for the content you upload. Please share other platforms with me, that you know with a likewise user-friendly attitude. If there is any. I also might consider to really create an own website one day to simply share my art without restrictions, but then I would also miss out on all the exchange of thoughts with other artists, which I find just as important as making art myself. Hoping there will be more exchange and no ban of the exchange. Otherwise we’ll all just might become whistleblowers.
But for the rest I wish we would stop being afraid of human body parts. I wish we would stop to hide bodies in general. I wish we would stop to label them as something illegal and I wish we would stop making use of the excuse “…but there are children that need to be protected” – ahm, yes. Agree. But this is not the way to protect them, by never letting them explore a main part of their own existence – nudity. This is only how you confuse and irritate them and assume that they are too stupid to understand it and make it even worse – they might get the impression there is something wrong in being nude and suddenly they feel uncomfortable in their own bodies. Oops! There we go, many generations full of self-doubts and bodyshaming. You really wanna protect children? Educate them! Take them by the hand and let them know their questions about nudity, their own body, their first encounters with sexuality are okay and nothing to be afraid or ashamed of. It is most likely that so many adults struggle to deal with it openly only because they haven’t had the awareness and resources and sensitivity when they were young. Yet we all grew up and sooner or later there was a first time when we saw a naked body or had a very first sexual experience (wishing it was consensual), and we probably felt confused and shameful and weird as this was something new to us, but we made up our minds and came up with questions, I still do – it never stops actually, and we would be looking for answers, whether it was something with or without support, because we are curious. Curiosity is something good. Knowledge is something good. And to be honest about it is even better. And we choose if there will be more support in the future (for all of us, not only children) or just more hiding and open questions. Art is a wonderful way to educate and playful to begin with in my opinion. It breaks the ice, to say so. I work in a museum where we display a lot of figural art, most of it is nude art, and guess what, children are among the visitors also. We do offer special workshops for them to get in touch with the art they see. I don’t wanna bring a long argument up about the internet being a safe place for children. Definitely. It must be a safe place for everyone. Not only children. So many adults have to face hate speech. And so many (women) have to deal with dick pics – including myself. Doesn’t only happen to teenagers, right?!
And talking about the fine arts particularly, I really wish we will stop giving artists constantly a feeling of being criminals for doing art – or simply humans for owning a nude body, because the body itself is basically all we can ever call our own property and it cannot be taken away by someone else (it shouldn’t be taken away – this is where we enter the real world and the world wide web is just a reflection of it, therefore we need to fix a wide spread common sense in the real world we all live in, while the Internet is a tool to communicate about it – if I would get the same “ban” in real life as online, it would be like someone constantly putting a plaster onto my mouth, metaphorically).
Exploring the female gaze in my own nude photography is a vice versa answer to the still more common male gaze and being able to create a content I would like to see more often on the internet and the world I live in by taking pictures not only of my own body, also of other female and male nudes, made me think of the right way to represent them, but I have to fear a restriction by so called correct guidelines or community standards ever since. Who are you to tell me that your community standards are something to actually agree on and to call them “right” or “entire” or “inclusive”. Actually they discriminate and make a majority believe that this is an ultimate opinion. How can you even dare to make the hashtag “woman” illegal and shadowban all content connected to it. Instagram, Facebook and other social networks with these “standards” only support a world, where half of mankind (even more) still struggles to be accepted and respected as humans. Basically this only means, if not they are the ones to ban or censor my art, than I will have to do it as an artist myself, if I want to keep the art online and wanna share my content and reach out to people to make a change. I discriminate myself and give my permission to allow others to not respect me as an artist and as a woman and as a human. So one way or the other the art gets a big censorship on it and cannot be seen as what I originally had intended it to be (as there will always be an odd side effect of it being something forbidden first of all). I am not a criminal, I am not doing illegal things, there is no need to hide what I am doing and I don’t want it to be understood as if it was. I’d so love to break old standardized gaze habits and get rid of the BIG OLD ONE and ONLY possible way to understand a nude/semi-nude that’s spread via all kinds of media and therefore got the overall agreement to be “valid” – in the very common sexualized way, right?! But how are we supposed to replace it, when all our efforts on presenting the nude in a new light (female, male, non-binary… doesn’t matter after all) is already meant to be sexual by the guidelines itself and -now here comes the point which I find even more devastating- making it a bad thing!!! Why? Two main points here: why does nude-art have to be „sexual art” only and why does sexual have to mean it’s something bad, why does nude have to mean it’s something bad? I think we need to free the body from being sexual only and need to free sexuality/nudity from its old negativity. Not only for women, after decades of struggling to find our own positive aspects of sexuality – men in general would do themselves a big favour to re-think their own understanding of sexuality, too. Is the presented “sex” you see everywhere really the sex you guys wanna look at and do you find yourself represented by it? Seriously?? I am sure it still works for those that never made up their own mind about what sexuality is meant to be or could be as its deadlocked meaning gets copy pasted and worked as a tool of power and prevalence for centuries, but many men (luckily) are just disgusted by it nowadays and what it does to them or the women/people in their lives. Btw, I rarely see plain sexual content in my own artworks or in a lot of other artists‘ work that focus on the nude subject in fine arts. My nudes rather address the topic of how the body itself represents beauty in different ways and of all kinds and is a vessel to express the mind and how a digital or analog camera gives you different options and possibilities to explore and play around with it. A nude can be funny, can be hilarious, can be soft, can be attracting, can be broken, can be damaged, can be protective, can be vulnerable, can be a limit to our mind, can be lots of things, because we are lots of things, and it can be sexual – yes – but isn’t sexual first of all. A sexual component can be a part of a nude but it doesn’t have to be and it only happens when the subject and I agree on it to make it visible. This leads me straight back to the uploaded content I wanted to share and hopefully will be sharing some more of this series soon, in case they won’t take this one down and it remains online. Congratulations to all of you who made it so far scrolling down, means the image is still here. Some of you also were lucky to see the whole series on my flickr already (flickr.com/photos/orangeshakejuice) and I can only draw your attention to my stream for uncensored versions of my art – the original content to say so. My shops are censorship free as well, but as I am not selling all my nude artworks you will also not catch up on my full body of work. Anyway, those who follow me here and on my flickr were kind to let me know how they find this series to be one of the most explicit work I’ve done so far and I agree on it. Didn’t think to capture the topic of physical selflove and selfcare on camera really much in the past. And even this time I was looking for private portraits, nude portraits but because the whole atmosphere made both of us feel safe and comfortable we ended up with some really delicate, explicit and intimate nude portraits, which are far away from porn but close to an artistic, aesthetic and respectful interaction. And I am grateful for the experience. It’s been actually rather easy, more than what one would maybe think and really not stressing at all. And I say it shows in the images. There is something that influences the output, the result of a session. If you stress about it or look for something to happen desperately, it’s going to be shite quite likely and will dissatisfy probably. In the worst case it will hurt someone. I’d even dare to say, because the photographs don’t include any provocative purpose they are not provoking and I have to ask myself, can you un-sexualise a sexual content? In a world where non-sexual things must become something sexual on purpose I wonder if a clear sexuality-connected thing like an erect penis doesn’t have to be sexual at first sight, but is possibly more a thing of beauty and of something that’s just greater or just human and therefore natural, but maybe that’s one step too far for the already-brainwashed-brains and narrow-minded-minds out there I lost when starting to talk about how to rather protect children by telling them the uncovered truth. Right, it’s late. I’ll leave it here with you. And I gotta work tomorrow, which literally is in a couple of hours. I will see if the image (my account?) will still be here when I wake up and hopefully some of you will get the chance to follow my thoughts. Respectful comments and opinions are most welcome. Thanks very much. Have a good day and good night. Speak to you soon. Take care of your vulnerability, please.
Bild: 5letters: ‘close‘ © 2019, bearbeitet.
Soundtrack: Fiona Apple: Criminal, aus: Tidal, 1996: