In an article written buy photographer Daniel Love Came the questions of social editing and the position of the female form in our western culture. I highly recommend reading this article as it brings many points to bear as to what we’ve become in a mass conceptualized culture. Controlled more by popularity than by content our perception of ourselves and each other is changing faster than it has in times before. However even though we have more information at our fingertips western culture is failing. One of the strongest failings felt within my community is the perception of the human form, in particular the sexualization and demonization of the female form.
Like Daniel Love I have had many of the same experiences with some of the most incredible people I’ve ever had the honor of working with. The emotions that can be set free when somebody has the opportunity to see them selves through the eyes of another, that finds them wonderous and not just a sexual object. The demonization of women and their forms throughout our western history is long and complicated.
As an artist, defacing my work so it does not offend the sensibilities of someone goes against one of the primary points of being an artist. If one is offended they just need to look away. Between our current social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, our perceptions are being forced into a particular direction buy faceless censerships. There are many cases some of which are cited Mr. Daniel Love discussing this very thing. But at base we are talking about the controlling of half our population, and by extension we all end up being controlled.
By criminalizing the female form and in some of these cases in particular the female breast or nipple, we draw attention to only one thing, not the woman but the sexualization of her. Transversely men are portrayed as unstable, uncontrollable and lacking in any personal boundaries. This hurts both sides, as men we are starting to lose our empathy towards women and others. When constantly being told we cannot control ourselves around women our perception of them becomes trivialized.
In the western world this is an ongoing problem but only in the western world. Most of the rest of the world has moved on from this ages ago. The newest question is why is this persisting in being our problem? Rape culture is built off of this lack of empathy, we have done it to ourselves and when looking at multiple generations we see that it has intensified over the years.
As an artist that deals with the human form, something as a human we are all blessed with, it is beyond me that we could make it so criminal. The question is not a complex one and the answer is even less complex however the solution can only work with societal change. That change can only come from those free to make their own decisions as to how they wish to portray themselves to themselves and to others without facing the confinement of their emotions and the false expectation placed on them. they are not disposable toys. To approach a woman and only speak to her in a sexual perspective removes the rest of her life, her struggles, her desires, her happiness. We only see part of her and the part of her that we give her whether she wants it or not, is an act of force and ownership. We don't see her as a person and cut short emotional growth. As a man placing a single expectation on another limits our growth, we fixate on only one thing from others and define ourselves only by what we want and not what we can do or feel. We take away our empathy to the point where we function solely as instinctual and without common sense. We become mysogynistic and complacent towards the wants and feelings of others. When this moves into the world of artistic interpretation, the key word being interpretation which is held to the indavidual, censorship becomes the control mechanism that numbs us all.
For everyone that I have worked with over the years I could not be more thankful for their experiences whether they were only for a short time or on going to this very day. For their bravery for including themselves in my work I have made friends and been enriched by what they have shared and I hope by providing a safe place to let their guard down they can know what it is like to be viewed as a full person and how wonderous we can all be.