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The nude has played an ever-evolving and always ambivalent role in the works of artists throughout the course of recorded Western art history. It is such a rich source for artists to mine precisely because it is problematic. The human body is simultaneously the site of pleasure and pain, beauty and disgust, at once the center of our very existence and a speck of dust in the infinite expanse of time—it is paradoxical by nature, while being both personal and political.
And female bodies in particular still serve as political battlegrounds where fights over agency, autonomy, and access are waged both publicly and privately. Artists have used the nude to both push artistic boundaries and also reinforce hierarchies. For centuries, viewers have disproportionately gazed upon images of nude women made by men and have internalized a creative narrative whereby female material is given form by male creators. Historically, images authored by women have Nude women in Colorado Springs largely ignored and routinely disregarded as being of a lesser quality or engaging subject matter that is frivolous, unimportant, feminine.
Has the outsized of female image—objects that we view daily impaired our ability as viewers to see nuance, complexity, humor, etc. The conversations that have emerged in response to MeToo—discussions surrounding female agency and authorship are challenging our assumptions about the nature of looking and being looked at and the gendered politics embedded within.
At this point, discussions of the gender politics of artistic production, visibility, and representation often fall into a familiar trap. Arguments focus on censorship or defining acceptable codes of conduct for artists.
Our challenge here is to instead examine our role as viewers and apply our criticality there. Perhaps it is time to revisit the idea of the male gaze in our new economy of looking and being looked at. As spectatorship and performance has moved into the realm of the everyday—with each of us acting as both creator and consumer of images in our various feeds—are we challenging or reinforcing hierarchies and old power structures, or creating a new set of problematics?
Are the power relationships embedded in the gaze fixed or fluid? A product of a biological imperative or cultural conditioning? And do we want to be freed from the objectifying power of the gaze, or is this a vital part of attraction and desire? Could one function of the nude in the post MeToo era be to turn our focus to women as subjects—as authors—and ask what is required of us as viewers to start reading these works from a perspective that acknowledges and seeks to understand our own implicit biases?
The Cut. April 16, The Nation. September 18, Spring By Charlotte Jansen. Laura Shill is an artist based in Denver, Colorado whose work is a collision of sculpture, installation, performance, printmaking, and photography.
Her work addresses ideas of the viewer and the subject, disclosure and concealment, absence and intimacy. Her works explore the transformative potential of people and objects through early and experimental forms of image making that pair the sinister and beautiful. About the Prompter Laura Shill is an artist based in Denver, Colorado whose work is a collision of sculpture, installation, performance, printmaking, and photography.Nude women in Colorado Springs
email: [email protected] - phone:(288) 289-1217 x 5385
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