photography of the body

You know when you were a junior in highschool and you have amassed piles of magazine clippings that end up all over the floor, then in a box, then sifted through every few months gleaning the good stuff, putting some of it up on lavendar walls you've had since you were a kid and hated in middleschool and don't mind now because when you come home from college everything else has changed in your room because your mom took down all your ripped out magazine pages and put up giant posters of doll heads?

I just had a moment- that jolt of memory having found an old thing forgotten in a box, but this time it was on the internet.

I wouldn't be surprised if this photograph is in my current box of papers, having made it past multiple organizing/trashing rampages.

Anyway. Now the photograph has a name: Ryan McGinley.

This is complementary to a discussion I was having with photographer friend about the artistic legitimacy of taking pictures of your naked friends. Many things begin with naked friends. Nudity may be at the basis of relation, of truth. Shedding barriers we've created. Getting back to eden. Even if it is fashion photography.

Fashion photography is interesting because of its duality with artificiality and truth. You've got the body in all its honesty, yet its after a selection process, comparison to other bodies, and then usually altered for the final, ideal representation of a human in the name of consumable goods.

We've all recognized that many fashion ads don't even present the product at hand. Just a mood, a way of life, something to be attained and usually the body and the product are unattainable.

All photography is like this. A moment's passed and there is a longing for it that can never be reached and that is the preciousness of photography. Wanting to be there, wanting to have that piece of time, living vicariously through someone elses portrayed existence and someone elses eye. One looks, one looks upon, and we the viewer have this unanswered affection for both of these beings.

The history of a body positioned in time is very evocative to the soul.

1 comment:

caisse said...

this guy has really interesting photographs-- like they're really shocking and vivid and well composed even. Something about the fact that hes only shooting pictures of his skinny attractive friends is kind off-putting to me though... it give the feeling that there's this weird kind of exclusivity going on and theres something we're not really being let in on...
[The one i like the most (maybe for obvious reasons but other reasons also) is the image of the naked guy sitting at the base of a rock wall putting on sneakers and covered in patched-up leg wounds. It seems a little more honest to me for some reason.]
but that being said I think this kind of pseudo-abstract-grainy-snapshotty style that hes shooting his naked friends in becomes waaay more interesting when hes shooting celebrities. I'm not really sure why, I guess because its a little more fresh than what we're used to seeing. Too bad they're not naked too...

i'm procrastinating... can you tell?? : )