Monday, July 18, 2016

258 candles-days 137-142

At the risk of inappropriate partisanship, the sort this project is meant to reflect against, I want to celebrate this project. Since the early 90s, Spencer Tunick has focused on large-scale nude photos, explaining "individuals en masse, without their clothing, grouped together, metamorphose into a new shape. The bodies extend into and upon the landscape like a substance." It's in this light that he's gathered one hundred women in a field adjacent to the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland before the start of today's Republican National Convention as part of his project, "Everything She Says Means Everything." What Tunick does by massing dozens and sometimes hundreds of naked bodies in juxtaposition to landscapes and architecture is to decentralize the nude body into a feature rather than a focus. It's possible to differentiate between bodies in a Tunick photo, to tell this one is male, this one is tattooed, this one pregnant, this one old, but it takes time and effort. The effect is like looking at photographs of large herds of deer or stones on a beach. The subject loses its specificity and thus, in the case of nude humans, our usual reasons for looking at them. In this instance, Tunick says his impetus for locating the shoot at the RNC "is for my daughters, for their future, for them not to grow up in a society with hate, for them to grow up in a world with less violence toward women and more opportunities for them."

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