Showing posts with label sexuality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sexuality. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

nudity in art, violence & societal hypocrisy (also google, blogspot)

i've been putting this post off, since it bothers me that it should be necessary -in this day and age- to write about this subject.

all animals are nude. all humans are nude, under their clothes, under the shower, on the toilet seat, what have you. this nudity is natural, far more natural than its covering up.

yet, in this day and age, which is supposed to be modern, we still are the most absolute prudes when it comes to nudity. nudity is shameful. many consider nudity obscene. why, is probably because of the perceived proximity between nudity and sex, or sexual reproduction.

suppose even for a minute that this is true, this proximity. then still: all animals have sex. sexual reproduction is as natural as eating and drinking. however, in the `higher' animals, selection of a mate involves mating behaviour rituals. i can imagine that some form of seclusion, hidden-from-prying-eyes, is part of our natural mating ritual.

this does not for one minute start to explain why this `modern' society is so fxxxed up about sex, pardon my language. and much less so, why nudity-which-can be-seen is considered such a big deal.

oh, you think i'm exaggerating, do you?

for your information, before even being able to let this blog come to you, i have to let google/blogger/blogspot know that this blog does not contain `adult content'. since this is primarily an art blog, i would suppose that it fulfills the criteria for not being `offensive'...but this may need some attention. what does google/blogger/blogspot mean by `adult content'? now, the thing is, i'm allowed to WRITE about sex, porn, anything you like...but i'm not allowed to post IMAGES of nudity...except for medical, or educational reasons...and they may allow artistic nudity on an exception-basis, individually accorded...

of course, i can post most if not all images of extreme violence, no problem, without being subjected to likewise ... intelligence-insulting, spirituality-insulting conditions.

would you believe this? i still have a hard time believing it. google's safe search does not filter out extreme violence, it filters out nudity (and sex, and porn). so imagine this child of say 9 years old. as a society we seriously consider it dangerous for this child to see images of nudity, but we think it's ok if this child sees beheadings, bombings, dead and mutilated victims of crimes...

and everybody says, well ok, i get that, that's logical...

making love is considered dangerous, killing is considered safe. i'm not exaggerating. this is the level of hypocrisy in our society, just in regard to nudity and sex. because for instance the painting below has been considered a true spiritual and classical work of art for centuries:

titiaan, venus van urbino
titian, venus of urbino

but manet's rendition of a similar lady raised a scandal:

edouard manet, olympia
édouard manet, olympia

(please follow the links by clicking on the paintings names, to read more about these paintings and the reactions to them).


just for your information: i consider most nudity to be a natural state of things. i consider most (non-exploiting) consensual sexual images to be a natural state of things. i think non-violent or non-degrading and non-exploiting porn to be generally loveless, but not very dangerous.

but i have never been so utterly sick as when i was watching a news report in which a soldier casually shot an innocent stander-by dead, just for nothing, out of irritation, boredom, `kicks'...who knows.


we live in a society that spiritually speaking is more primitive than most societies we call `primitive'. and we are extreme hypocrites about nudity, sex and violence. is it any wonder that we are obsessed with sex and violence and technology in movies, rather than with love, building together, nature?

and we have not progressed much in the past 100 years, on the contrary i would say.

(to be continued)

Monday, December 1, 2008

woman, man 6: postpostmodernism & spirituality

ralf kwaaknijd, man woman ii, 2008

ralf kwaaknijd, man woman ii (2008, polystyrene on wood)

so let's connect the two running themes (postpostmodernism & man-woman spirituality) for a moment, returning once again to dutch visual artist ralf kwaaknijd. kwaaknijd obviously kicks against the ruling postmodern art structures with this work, which is so small that one must squat to see it properly. (an ironic reference to the in kwaaknijds eyes unpalatable and unimaginative postmodern sculptures which borrow their legitimization purely from their absurdly large size). yet this irony could be construed as postmodern, were it not for the fact that kwaaknijd also carefully chooses his subject, materials and sculptural form. man and woman here are engaged in an abstract entanglement which can be viewed both as dance and as struggle, as embrace and as fight, as opposing and together. made from the same materials and forms, man and woman are -somewhat fiercely perhaps- completely equal, thus shattering any `romantic' but discriminatory notions one sees so often in prepostmodern art. but what about sex?

ralf kwaaknijd, man woman i, 2008

ralf kwaaknijd, man woman i (2008, polystyrene on wood)

in the same man woman series, kwaaknijd comments on the -in his view absurd- role of sex in postmodern art. since postmodernism cuts away `meaning' and `sense' and even `morality', what is left in terms of human motivation? often sex is the answer. largely of course because sex still has some power to shock the general public, making an artist who uses explicit sex somewhat of a controversial figure, which is 3/4 of the thrust of the postmodern establishment. shallow for those who see through this marketing technique, but then again that is a seldom heard minority.

but also because in the absence of any `higher' or `spiritual' values, people really start defining their `realization' in terms of sex.

kwaaknijd's sculpture above tackles these issues rather blatantly, in the familiar abstract sense. looking closely one sees an abstract representation of male and female genitals, engaged in sex. yet once again, male and female parts are made of the same materials and sculptural forms, closely resembling their parallel embryonal genesis (for those of you with a working knowledge of embryology). the reduction of `man woman' to their genitals is both scornful and yet, in its simplicity also defusing. sex is simple, from nature's abstract point of view. there are no higher values in sex, unless we add other values...and for this we need some form of spirituality - a simpler conclusion is: we need some form of spirituality (which is a decidedly unpostmodern view).

kwaaknijd however still uses postmodernist techniques, he exaggerates them, distorts them, but he is still a child of his times. this to me suggests the term postpostmodernism. and i wait impatiently for a truly different ism to shoot up. come, daring fellow artists, whither shall we go?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

woman, man 4 (spirituality, eve & adam continued)

frank waaldijk, park encounter iv

park encounter iv (own work, 2008, 20 x 30 cm, mixed media on paper)

well, not to lose the thread on spirituality, man and woman altogether in the storm of (post)postmodernism...

much of the famous art on man & woman seems to center around sexuality (i think i will visit sexuality also specifically, somewhere to come on this blog). but for me `woman & man' is even more reflective of a certain spiritual bond which -especially if humanity would evolve along lines that i deem spiritual progress- could also quite naturally exist between any two given people regardless of sex.

but in my experience it's usually that in the framework of `romantic love', which allows woman and man to come real close to each other, this closeness is acceptable, even sought after. whereas in other frameworks, people shy away.

a detail of the above drawing:

frank waaldijk, park encounter iv (detail)

park encounter iv (detail, own work, 2008, mixed media on paper)

maybe i will find some time to go into this `mixed technique' and subject later on. the thread will be continued.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

eve & adam, man & woman

frank waaldijk, eve & adam dancing with the animals

eve & adam dancing with the animals (own work, 2008, mixed media on paper)

i've been neglecting this blog a bit, since my other blog pitfalls of spirituality is taking up more time than i intended. but one of the posts there has reminded me of a rather constant theme in art, and also in my own art: eve & adam, man & woman.

i would like to do a series of posts here, ranging widely, around this theme. although sexuality has some role, my intent is more of a spiritual nature. (as an important side note: although in my own work homosexuality doesn't feature very prominently, please don't think that i have anything against it. it's just that many of my works come from my subconscious, and it is only in retrospect that i notice they are mostly of a man-woman nature. in fact i think it would be good if spiritual same-sex love would be portrayed more often in art, as to form some counterbalance against the widespread discrimination of homosexuality.)

in the above drawing, i am probably as surprised as you to find eve and adam half dressed, with only the top half covered. have they already left paradise? one would think so, but they seem to rejoice nonetheless. and amongst the animals the snake is there too...