BID Lecture 2: Nudity – Nakedness – Eroticism – Pornography

Delivery Date: 04 February 2020 | lecturer: Dr. Pavlos Kountouriotis

Summary | What does a naked body mean in the 21st century? What are the implications of the naked body? How does the naked body perform? What is the difference between nudity and nakedness? What’s the difference between pornographic and erotic and what’s the relationship with censorship, ethics and constructivism? How is sexual desire constructed through spectatorship? How is sexuality portrayed in art and how have artists tried to transgress dominant ideologies on the body?

Introductory Reading

CompulsoryReading

  • Clark, C. (1956) The Nude: A study of Ideal Art. London: John Murray. Pp. 3-29
  • Toepfer, K. (1996). Nudity and Textuality in Postmodern Performance. Performing Arts Journal 18(3). Pp. 76-91
  • Kountouriotis, P. (2009). Nudity, nakedness, otherness and a still difficult spectator. Movement Research Journal, 34
  • Hughes, C. (1993). Sex in art: Pornography and pleasure in painting and sculpture. Kidderminster, Worcestershire: Crescent Moon. pp. 33-69
  • Alaimo, S.(2010). The naked word: The trans-corporeal ethics of the protesting body, in Women &Performance: a journal of feminist theory, 20(1), pp. 15-36

Recommended Reading

  • Charles, C. (2005). Addressing Nudity: an inquiry into performative nakedness in the light of cyberspace. Available at: http://cfloyd.org/body/dissertation.pdf (Accessed: April 29, 2013)
  • Barthes, R. (1981). Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. NewYork: Noonday Press
  • Berger, J. (1972) Ways of Seeing : based on the BBC television series with John Berger. London: BBC & Penguin
  • Mahon, A. (2007). Eroticism and art. Oxford history of art. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp.11-38

Think of a work that uses trangression as a medium. Something that interests me and is still a taboo for me, something I don’t feel ready to do. Consider the practices with VestAndPage as ways to attempt to go to this place. This work(s) will be the theme of an academic/reflective essay.

What happens when the same limit is trangressed over and over?

La Ribot – “Striptease” (part of Panoramix):

  • eroticism: allowing for imagination by covering herself with sheets and wearing a wig. Starting naked and getting into a nude (“posing” to the observer
  • Ribot’s perspective: her nakedness is what makes her untouchable. It empowers her. She manages to reverse the taboo: she’s not ashamed of being naked in front of the spectators, she makes (some) spectators ashamed of looking at her. Power.
  • Naked is a performance tool. It may be able to reverse etnography: it reverses the shame.
  • She clashes the private sphere with the public sphere. Transgression.

Gilles Jobim – “Monster”, Braindance

The “natural” state of a human civilized bodies is the “dressed state”

A naked body does not seduce, because it already discloses it all. It does not bring the owner of the gaze closer. The nude is seductive because it triggers the imagination of the viewer.

Idea of making something private: what to give and what to withhold?

Jerome Bel about “Jerome Bel” – about his body. According to different perspectives on the body by different cultures (Levi-Strauss’ Tristes Tropiques) He undresses everything. He uses “nakedness” as an operation: he searches for the possibilities of undressing Body, Music and Light.

Annie Sprinkle – “The Public Cervix Announcement” – Post-porn artist – she sits with a speculum in her vagina and invites spectators to look at her cervix

Andy Warhol “Blow Job” film