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Apeksha Bagchi

IWB Blogger

Nudes Can Either Objectify And Exploit Or Be Powerful Tools Of Reclamation And Assertion: Artist Kaviya

  • IWB Post
  •  April 15, 2019

“’Any naked figure isn’t necessarily sexual, neither must a figure BE naked to be erotic/sexual’. The right questions for any nude could be – What is the context of the creation? What power/gender/class/caste politics are at play in the context of the nude? What is the intent of the creator making it? Is there consent from the person being framed?” Crucial questions, aren’t they? At least for those questioning the increasing nudity in all visual arts.

But we never really raise these questions, do we – an error in our thinking that Instagram artist, Kaviya, points out in her recent illustrations, The Curious Case Of Nudes.

#100daysofdirtylaundry Day 99 – The Curious Case of Nudes. . . (I went slightly overboard with this one. This is for everyone (Family – I am looking at you) who’s uncomfortable/ keep asking ‘What’s with the nudes’ & to everyone in general who’s uncomfortable with the increasing nudity in all visual arts). . . Whenever you see a nude, are you asking the right questions? ‘Any naked figure isn’t necessarily sexual, neither must a figure BE naked to be erotic/sexual’. . The right questions for any nude could be – What is the context of the creation? What power/gender/class/caste politics are at play in the context of the nude? What is the intent of the creator making it? Is there consent from the person being framed?. . Context, Content and Intent of ANY nude matter. That’s why the 1907 Picasso made by a misogynistic rich white male portraying the sex workers of Avignon through his male gaze could be problematic. And in the history of nudes, the major portion of those portrayed would be skewed towards young, able, Caucasian women of a fixed body type. Why? . 100 odd years later, we are still debating over nudes, with tech giants either self-censoring nudity or NOT like Netflix & Prime but on the other hand citing Community Guidelines to shoot down even well-intentioned artist works of nudes portraying bodies hugely under-represented – be it women of colour, ‘imperfect’ bodies with scars, body hair, whole body types that have hardly made it to mainstream like mastectomy scars, queer bodies, differently-abled bodies, dad-bods etc. . Even today in most of the visual arts, the creators of nudes are mostly men & invariably a major percentage of those being framed are women in lower power scales compared to the men (Case in point GoT). The only way this will change is when those under-represented take charge & represent themselves & their bodies. . ‘At their worst, nudes objectify, hyper-sexualize, hurt, estrange & exploit. At their best, nudes celebrate the variety of human body & can be powerful tools for assertion & reclamation’ (PBS). . Next time a nude offends you, make sure you ask the right questions #notallnudes #doublestandards

6,776 Likes, 62 Comments – Hi! (@wallflowergirlsays) on Instagram: “#100daysofdirtylaundry Day 99 – The Curious Case of Nudes. . . (I went slightly overboard with this…”

“Context, Content and Intent of ANY nude matter,” she wrote. “100 odd years later, we are still debating over nudes, with tech giants either self-censoring nudity or NOT like Netflix & Prime but on the other hand citing Community Guidelines to shoot down even well-intentioned artist works of nudes portraying bodies hugely under-represented – be it women of colour, ‘imperfect’ bodies with scars, body hair, whole body types that have hardly made it to mainstream like mastectomy scars, queer bodies, differently-abled bodies, dad-bods etc.”

Nudes Nudes

“Even today in most of the visual arts, the creators of nudes are mostly men & invariably a major percentage of those being framed are women in lower power scales compared to the men (Case in point GoT). The only way this will change is when those under-represented take charge & represent themselves & their bodies,” she added.

Nudes Nudes

‘At their worst, nudes objectify, hyper-sexualize, hurt, estrange & exploit. At their best, nudes celebrate the variety of human body & can be powerful tools for assertion & reclamation,” she concluded.

Nudes

 

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