Naked body project in Lethbridge

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Naked body project in Lethbridge

43 thoughts on “Naked body project in Lethbridge

  1. Ok I see that now. Actually I admire her for having the courage to do it, I just know that I couldn’t. Ooh no way. (Not that I would anyway, but at the same time, I just couldn’t do it). And I am willing to bet, actually I don’t need to bet, that my body is way less perfect than hers :)

  2. What constitutes perfection?

    What is interesting is I bet many people wouldn’t go to see it because they would consider it offensive, which is actually ironic.

  3. I have a friend, LDS female, that is an artist. One day I was at her house hanging out and looking through her work. I came across some nude sketches, with the face obscured, I asked her about them. “Oh”, she says, “those are of me, I’m a art class model up at the U sometime.” I went beet-red and quickly moved on. I remembered how nonchalant she was about the whole thing. Nude art, any thoughts on gospel prospective?

  4. I think the artist in this above story has a point. It is likely one of the reasons nudity and/or pornography is so titillating for some is because they are taboo. I also have a feeling that if more men who are attracted to porn were exposed to real women rather than commodified ones, porn wouldn’t have the same attraction.

  5. How would these men be “exposed to real women” without said women being commodified?

    Isn’t this “artist” commodifying herself while loudly protesting that she isn’t?

  6. This appears to be an interesting project, I’d be especially interested to see the collection after about 10 years or so of collaborative accumulation.

    It also appears to have a ‘10,000 monkeys on typewriters’ aspect to it – it’s always surprising what comes out of projects that incorporate group creation.

  7. Kim, I disagree. She chose herself because she would add “value” to her final “product.”

    She’s also practicing the sort of raw belligerence that today vaunts itself as art: “Don’t like this? You poor bumpkin, you’re just not sophisticated enough to understand it! If you were as brilliant as I am, you’d appreciate my work–especially the fact that I skip the actual ‘work’ part–now give me money.”

  8. ltbugaf

    Actually, though I don’t know her well, I have spoken to her and know of her enough (she has written articles in the Herald) to know she isn’t “practising raw belligerance”. She’s a single mum, an artist and a woman. She is trying to portray a message. Also, I don’t get the impression she considers herself brilliant or better than anyone else. She is expressing her art in this medium, and though I wouldn’t do it, I can see her point of view. Also, the exhibit won’t generate a large income, that’s for sure.

  9. Actually, Tasha chose herself because choosing anyone else would have defeated the whole purpose of the exhibition.

    I disagree with your claim that she is practicing any belligerence. I have met with Tasha personally and have never experienced belligerency in any of our conversations. Even so, I found nothing in the press release, website or her blog that would give you the indication that she is belligerent. Will you please provide a more specific example of what causes you to make the assumption she is belligerent?

    That being said, I don’t think one can call the preparation put into an exhibition (let alone every art project) work, in the same way one might call the effort put into mowing a lawn or building a shed, work.

  10. Kim, I’m not assuming SHE is beligerent; I’m saying the philosophy behind this type of “art” is beligerent for the reason I illustrated in my comment above.

  11. What you said was, “She’s also practicing the sort of raw belligerence that today vaunts itself as art”. It seems that you were referring to her.

  12. The more I think about what I said in #13, the more I wonder if it can be completely true. I suppose I am saying that she, herself is acting beligerent, because I’m saying that she’s practicing a form of beligerence–only makes sense. But to answer you better, Kim, I don’t have any other evidence of beligerence on her part. I don’t need any. She may be a very nice person. But the “art” is founded on concepts that I find beligerent.

  13. The art class isn’t passing itself off as a piece of art. It’s a class where pieces of art are being produced.

    The artist here is selling the “experience” as the art. She says, in essence, “A bunch of people will come into a room and see me naked. They’ll have various reactions, none of which can be predicted or controlled. All that behavior will be art.”

    Now suppose I invite twenty people to a banquet next Friday night at 7:00. They arrive, and find that not only am I absent, but there’s no banquet. They stand outside the locked, darkened banquet hall and give various reactions. There’s a lot of behavior that’s unpredictable and uncontrolled. Will that experience be art? If so, is there anything that isn’t?

    There is beligerence in this “art” because one of its purposes is to provoke people into saying it’s not art so it can condemn them. Its attitude is, “If you don’t think this is art, then you’re too narrow minded and foolish to recognize art when you see it.”

    One of the purposes of the Dada movement was to shake the foundations of the art world a little, and do away with its insularism, over-refinement and provincialism. But the act of provoking to shake things up isn’t art; it’s politics.

    Examples of beligerence passing itself off as art: One of the leading artists of Dadaism purchased a porcelain urinal, signed it, set it on its side and showed it in a gallery. Decades later, “Piss Christ” was an “artwork” created by taking a crucifix and immersing it in urine. A few years ago, a gallery in the US showed a piece that consisted of a US flag lying on the floor in front of a pedestal where something else was displayed. To see on top of the pedestal, a viewer had to be standing on the flag–trampling it. To these artists, it wasn’t the cross, or the flag, or the piss that was “art.” It was the outrage they provoked. These people go beyond believing that art can provoke anger to believing that provoking anger is art. They apply for government grants to continue their artistry, and sniff haughtily at those who oppose them, saying we’re just don’t understand.

  14. There is an aspect in some art that challenges the viewer. It seems to me that the artist is challenging her viewer to think about the human body in a different way, – to investigate their perceptions. There’s nothing to “force” the viewer to do anything. And moreover those not interested or have issues with nude art that they are not interesting in changing, won’t go to the exhibit. I see nothing of belligerence in an invitation to view something and take from it what you will. How that’s aggressive?

  15. Just want the record to show that Kim was very gracious in this thread–he took extra time to hunt down my comment #18, which for some reason had come through as spam and been filtered off into an unknown abyss of cyberspace. I hope the comment will prove worth the effort.

  16. I wonder how the undercover police woman attending the event would’ve reacted, had the focus of the project been the naked male body. Would she have then, as reported, found nothing lewd or indecent? I ask this only to point out the double standard society has toward nudity, public or published, based upon gender. Another interesting point, a woman can pose nude with only minor perceptual physiological changes to herself. However, should a man stand nude in a room of strangers, it is quite possible that there may in fact occur a rather noticeable physiological change in himself. As well, while we are broaching the subject – of art & nudes – should it not (or should it) be acceptable for a male artist’s model to pose nude in all his male physiologically natural states? Yes, I am talking about sporting an erection!

    Now, before you get off on a tangent about the relationship between art – artists, and artist’s models, being non-sexual and purely for the advancement of art, allow me to point out that many famous artists models were also their lovers. As well, not all erections are manually or mentally stimulated. An erection can occur, in a healthy male, simply by standing motionless (much like a model would) for long periods of time. This is especially exascerbated after having completed a routine of rapid 10 – 20 -30 second poses for 5 – 10 minutes immediately prior to commencing a sustained standing contour pose of 20 or more minutes. This occurs because excess blood (required by the rapid moving poses) being pumped by the heart, now settles into the lower limbs (including the Penis) causing a spontaneous erection that has absolutely nothing to do with nasty thoughts or objectification or the like.

    So, had the female undercover officer walked in upon this site at the Bowman Arts Centre . . . while I just wonder what then may have occurred. Or even, what other’s reaction to a publicly nude male form (at the Bowman Centre)may have been, if that form were presented in all it’s natural states – erections included?!

  17. Would she have then, as reported, found nothing lewd or indecent? I ask this only to point out the double standard society has toward nudity, public or published, based upon gender.

    Except of course that your question does nothing toward pointing out a double standard. If anything, it asks if there would be a double standard in a different situation.

  18. Fine, however you wish to interpret my thoughts is not for me to dispute philosophically, since perception rests within the individual discernment of personal consciousness. Yet, in simpler terms I shall repose my thoughts in the hope of eliciting further response.

    Therefore, given all I previously have said, do you imagine a different reaction from the public? Would you be quick to defend the same as art were it a male nude? Would you attend such an exhibit, male or female subject matter?

    Finally, what of male art models depicted in all their natural physiological states . . .do you consider this as acceptable (for the sake of art) say . . .oh lets see, in the College or university classroom, or perhaps at the Bowman Centre, on public display (live, photographed, drawn etc.), what is everyones thoughts on this.

    Mine are of the opinion that if its natural to the human figure than it should be allowed and depicted as art!

  19. Do you imagine a different reaction from the public?

    Perhaps.

    Would you be quick to defend the same as art were it a male nude?

    If the person’s character was being attacked and I knew his character to be otherwise? Yes, I would defend him as I did Tasha.

    Would you attend such an exhibit, male or female subject matter?

    I am undecided. I didn’t go to Tasha’s though.

  20. Thank you Kim.

    Further to my original post on this subject, I would like to clarify the following; my questio n indeed did not point out a double standard. In fact my question, as posed, was rhetorical in context and preconcluded the double standard existing in our society.

    Despite the progresses we’ve (as society) made toward equality. All of our cultural mores and values (which construct society)are founded upon a patriarchal ideology (including the Bible & organized religion) of what society should be. Right or wrong these social mores and values are the framework within a cohesive society. If we may agree upon those statements as accurate then allow me to digress yet further still.

    As a result of the underlying patriarchal pinnings of our society, historically man (as the gender) has never allowed woman (also as the gender)to fully experience an autonomous existence. Women are still subjected to being told (directed if you will) what to do, how to act, dress, and experience their existence in a male dominated world. I point toward the hegemony of corporate ideology disseminated through advertising,programming etc. As well as, schooling, and even (to an extent) well-meaning fathers and mothers who wishing to remain seen as “normal” (as opposed to fringe) subscribe to the same values and mores presented to them through programming and advertising. One example not up for disputing is the ongoing struggle of women to decide for themselves matters pertaining to the productivity of their own womb. On and on I could go . . .but you seem intelligent and therefore I assume you don’t require the full sociological study of feminism laid bare before you. So I shall take another bold step forward.

    In our patriarchal society women are to some degree,protected from themselves. As I suppose an argument could be made for men. However, this is not the point I endeavour to pursue. In the (patriarchal)church, in the Patriarchal)University, and equally by the mouths of those who function to address and administer within the confines of our (equally patriarchal) justice system women are accepted as taken to flights of fancy, acts of light-headedness, and subject to their emotions. Whereas man, on the other hand, is expected to be a stalwart fellow of good integrity and judgment. Indeed,a gentleman possessing all the qualities you may (or not) imagine a gentleman does. Now . . . because I weary of the chase, I will simply state my case.

    Both men and women bear a separate set of burdens foisted upon them by (largely Patriarchal)societal expectations which falsely assume we should all fit into the same cultural mold those societal mores and values have cast for us. May we now agree that indeed we do not; that is to say, all fit into the same tidy categories. To say we do would be to reject the last100 years of so-called social progress (ie: women’s rights, Suffragettes, equal rights, gay rights, human rights (slavery),feminism, and even the welfare state.)accepting completely, without reservation, my assertion that women still subjected by men. Rather it is a less contentious statement to say, both men and women are suppressed from freedom of self-expression (yes, even appearing physiogically naturally nude for art’s sake , , ,or not), by the false construct our societal mores and values confine us within.

    As such, it is more acceptable that a woman, given to her (societally expected) flights of fancy, acts of light-headedness, and subject to her emotions , would display herself(as art)as(ms.Diamant) nude in this same patriarchal societal construct than had a man (given to his, societally expected, considerate and logical evaluation of such an act) done the same. Hence, the double standard!

    I suggest that ms. Diamant’s body of work is less a work of art as it is a work of feminism.

    By the way, what is the male equivalent of feminism? There is none, because society would not accept a man behaving in the same manner.

    don’t cry big boy, because that girl smacked you in the schoolyard – suck it up! (ex. of early dbl. std. expressed to children)

    John

  21. They have a figure drawing class every friday afternoon at the Bowman Art’s Centre. The models are either male or female, and either drapped or undrapped just depending on which day you happen to go.

    And nobody is offended.

  22. Thank you Jeff. I am well aware of the art classes at the Bowman Centre and the expectations of the models (male & female) posing for these students of art. I am also aware that they have very little opportunity to draw from a male model, due to the lack of males willing to model nude (for, I suspect, psychological reasons pertaining to the burdens placed upon men by the mores and values inherent within the false construct of our Patriarchal society).

    Absolutely, I would not expect any one of these students of art, who’ve paid for the opportunity to draw from a model, to then be offended by seeing the model au naturel. Even perhaps, if the male model was posing naturally by allowing all his physiological states to come and go as they may with a spontaneously occurring erection. Or would that offend them?

    However, as you may be unaware, The Human Body Project (which by the way I have no objection to), was a display of nudity (called art) open to the general public. An exhibition in all considerations of the word exhibition. Not only did ms. Diamant exhibit herself here in Lethbridge, but in Calgary as well.

    I think a visit to the artist’s site may illuminate you further of the intentions of ms. Diamant when she first developed her plan. There you will see that she too wishes to dispel the socially accepted unacceptance of public nudity. In particular, female nudity. More precisely still, her own public nudity.

    So I merely question how well received a nude male, on display for the general public to view (in all his physiological states),exhibit would be accepted by the Bowman Arts Centre, the General public, and the Police.

  23. i am a male model who just got back from posing this morning. regarding whether artists are offended by erections, i have this to say. i had an erection for much of this morning’s session and no one said anything. i have worked with this group before and it happened, so i assume it is ok or they would not have asked me back. I am 24 and considered very fit and handsome, not a bodybuilder, with just above average male endowment. maybe if it were way bigger it would be a big distraction! : ) anyway they told me at various times it was a great pose and that i am an excellent model. the group was 11 men and women probably in 40s-60s. i also admit that i love modeling, to give myself to the artists, and that yes it does turn me on but i don’t think that makes me a bad model at all.

  24. Right on buddy, I appreciate the candor of your response. But, tell me . . . are you Mormon, or did you just somehow stumble upon this site? I think it would be cool if you were a nude model who was also a Mormon. That would definitely open up a whole other can – o – worms (rofling).

  25. no, sorry. i hope i am not supposed to be a model to post here. i found the site in a google about nude modeling and read thru this. i thank you for your response. artists always say i am a great model and no one has said anything negative about my getting erections when posing nude. yes, am honest. it feels very very good to be erect for a long time, like an electric current of pleasure coursing through my body. i find i pose better that way and push myself more and am more flexible in a yoga sense. like i said i admit its a turn on but it works out for everyone!

  26. Model

    You can be whoever you want, to post here. However, let’s veer away from the overly personal stuff, please. We don’t need to know every detail. Well at least I don’t. I can’t speak for everyone.

    I should add that I am glad you are comfortable enough to pose nude for artists. I practice yoga myself, but prefer to keep nakedess private (my own). That’s your business though. :)

  27. Ah, Mary, practising yoga huh. Ever get bent out of shape. :>)
    I have such a lack of flexibility that I have considered taking it up.

  28. :) I have been doing yoga for about 8.5 years now. Not an expert by any means, but I do enjoy it!

    Bent out of shape, hmmm…only when I don’t get enough sleep, lol

    Yoga will increase your flexibility, believe it. It takes awhile but it is very beneficial for almost everyone, no matter how inflexible you think you are. It’s worth a look into. I used to take classes, but I can’t afford that AND a gym membership. So do yoga on my own. It helps me with my running too.

  29. Mary, I know you are talking about Yoga as an excersice regime, but have you stopped to consider that it is also a Eastern religious practice most commonly associated with Hinduism and Buddhism?! I imagine Mary that, in keeping with the doctrine of your own beliefs, you are discarding the religious beliefs (of Yoga) while maintaining your flexible state?!

    Model, we got into this whole debacle over nude modeling because of an installation piece titled “The Human Body Project” performed/presented by model/artist Tasha Diamant (a Soutnern, Alberta Resident). Essentially she stood naked, on display for the general public to view herself, in a room at the Bowman Arts Centre and at another venue in Calgary, Alberta. I personally am in support of her show and its stated objectives (to remove the taboo the public has of seeing or being seen nude & remove the sexuality component), as posted on her website. Information at her site informs that a female undercover police officer was sent by the Lethbridge police to investigate for possible lewdness. After viewing the show the police officer stated that she found no reason to charge Ms. Diamant with lewdness (or other sexually related).

    My point was that there exists a double standard in our patriarchal (read Bible belt) society (which expects more of men than women) and that had a male presented the same piece of installation work, would it then still be considered artistic by the officer, and he too not be charged with public lewdness. Or does anyone really think the Bowman Arts Centre would have permitted the same piece of work to be presented by a male. Do you think the public (not the regular artists – having paid for the model and art patrons – familiar with nudity in art), would’ve accepted it by a male given that male nudity quite often provokes involuntary physiological responses in the male (erections)?

    See my post # 21 & 25 for longer explanations of what I am trying to say concisely here.

    By the way, I fully agree that a male model should not only be permitted to pose nude with an erection, but it should also be an expectation. Given that he should allow the artists the opportunity to draw from the male body in all of it’s physiological states. Hey they paid for it, so give the people what they want.

    Yet,one further comment/question – You state you posed for 11 men and women probably in 40s-60s. What is the response (from faculty/students) when you sport an erection modeling for a college/university class of 20 or so young women/men?

  30. does anyone really think the Bowman Arts Centre would have permitted the same piece of work to be presented by a male

    Based on my experience with Suzanne Lint while serving as a director with the Allied Arts Council, I would not be surprised if they would permit such.

  31. John said:

    “Mary, I know you are talking about Yoga as an excersice regime, but have you stopped to consider that it is also a Eastern religious practice most commonly associated with Hinduism and Buddhism?! I imagine Mary that, in keeping with the doctrine of your own beliefs, you are discarding the religious beliefs (of Yoga) while maintaining your flexible state?!”

    Having studied yoga for several years, I know it is an Eastern spiritual practice, however it is not a religion. I know many Latter day Saints who practice the physical aspects of yoga. I don’t practice the spiritual parts of yoga (for example, believing in Indian deities) but I do practice the pranayama (breathing) and meditation (well I should, though I haven’t had time to do so for the last while) and mostly the asanas (physical postures). I also respect the spiritual beliefs and understand (to a degree) the chakras and believe in them from a physical perspective.

    There are many people who believe yoga is a religion, but it is not. It incorporates and encourages spiritual living, which I do. It is something that is compatible with any good religion as it encorporates the belief in a Higher Power and encourages focussing on that. Yoga is something I do for my health, it isn’t something I worship.

    Something of interest, the Canadian Yoga Institute, where I used to take classes, sold books on yoga and other aspects of healthy living, physical, emotional and spiritual and they sold a book by our President, Gordon B. Hinckley. I don’t know if they still do, but many people who practice yoga are so respectful of other religions, able to accept them with kindness and see the good in them. I find it interesting that many “Christians” will cut down other Christian beliefs, as a whole, if they don’t agree with one or more aspects of said belief. Sounds like many yogis (many of whom are not Christian) are actually more Christlike then those who profess to follow Christ.

  32. Mary, read my post again. I never said it was a religion, I said it was a religious practice most commomnly associated with Hinduism and Buddhism (Religions).

    I also never cut it down (if that is what you are implying when you branch off on that tangent). I merely asked you how you incorporate it into your life.

    Remember Mary, quit looking for the negative in comments – it is not always there!

    Thanx!

  33. Kim, it sounds like you may have some connections there still?! Tell me, can you ask them their opinion and then post the response?

    Perhaps, if they are as bold as you claim, we might find someone to take them up on it (a male willing to pose nude (with an erection) at the Bowman Arts Centre, for the general public to view).

  34. John

    It seems to me you are the one looking at the negative. I was expounding on my thoughts, not directing anything at you (or at least not much. My thoughts were on how people I have met through yoga aren’t so anti-LDS, even though they don’t believe the way I do). No need to be paranoid. I answered your question, and then put down more of what came to my mind.

    I see much positive. I was commenting on the positive nature of yoga, how peaceful it can make one.

    As well, your comment “have you stopped to consider…” seems a bit interesting. I have been doing yoga for several years, so, uh, yeah, I have.

    I should stick to my original plan and just not respond to you. You seem to take the majority of my comments in a strangely abrasive manner. I’ll let you get back to your regular order of business.

  35. Oh I see, so your thoughts were a disconnected rambling of ideas that did not totally relate to what I was asking. Still you must allow me to point out that when you state “Having studied yoga for several years, I know it is an Eastern spiritual practice, however it is not a religion.” It implies that you are correcting me on this point. Therefore, I can only assume you read my comment wrongly.

    When you state, “I find it interesting that many “Christians” will cut down other Christian beliefs, as a whole, if they don’t agree with one or more aspects of said belief. Sounds like many yogis (many of whom are not Christian) are actually more Christlike then those who profess to follow Christ.” I must conclude that this is a very negative concept targeted at a generalized response of Christianity toward other faiths. Hence my response regarding “looking for the negative”.

    Though I inquire politely regarding your statements, “will cut down other Christian beliefs, as a whole, if they don’t agree with one or more aspects of said belief” I also never claim that you are directing anything at me; though a telling conclusion on your part, taking into consideration my accounting of the mistakes in the BofM on other threads.

    My comment “Have you stopped to consider . . .”, is interesting only as an inquiry of your understanding of Yoga’s foundations. You’ve indicated to me that you are quite familiar with Eastern Mysticism (when you refer to a “higher power” and not God – an accurate statement given the topic), and I am satisfied (not paranoid) with your response.

    Playing coy is not a difficult tact to assume or attack Mary.

  36. Responding to:

    >”By the way, I fully agree that a male model should not only be permitted to pose nude with an erection, but it should also be an expectation. Given that he should allow the artists the opportunity to draw from the male body in all of it’s physiological states. Hey they paid for it, so give the people what they want.

    >”Yet,one further comment/question – You state you posed for 11 men and women probably in 40s-60s. What is the response (from faculty/students) when you sport an erection modeling for a college/university class of 20 or so young women/men?”

    RESPONSE:
    i have had mostly good or indifferent responses. i modeled several times, and you probably wont believe this, for a class that was all college women. there were five in the class and instructor was older male. this was my first time modeling and no one said anything about my physiological changes. i admit i was worried because i already had it when i was up there in my robe and the instructor said very matter of factly to remove the robe and i hesitated then did and, well, things finished rising, fast, but no one said anything. it was quite a surge of energy and i did some awesome croquis after that! i got asked back and i got calls from groups that the instructor referred me to. i had same reaction from female instructor at that same school. second time i posed for her class they gave me some photos of artists models posing to give me pose ideas which needless to say affected my physiologically and part of me wondered if that was by design! i since have moved away from there.

    at a school last year i noticed that the only male in the class just drew my feet. i don’t think he wanted to look at the rest of me. once a female instructor had me “close my legs” when i was sitting in a chair which i wondered if was a result of an erection earlier that no one had commented on. i am asked back there all the time.

    ok, the one bad story: one time three years ago a male instructor did get freaked out and told me to “get it under control” and “go to the bathroom to take care of it if you have to.” that was the only negative reaction ever and it seemed extreme and was disruptive (he got me off the stand and took me to hallway to yell at me) i almost quit modeling. students seemed surprised at reaction. i knew from other schools and groups that HE was the one with the problem, so i didnt quit.

    i have done private sessions where i was asked to pose this way, or more accurately to “keep that pose, it’s great.”

  37. Good stories. I think everyone should be more casual about nudity in general. Would you agree that it is difficult to find male figure models because most men are afraid of: A)The embarrassment or frustration of sporting an erection while modeling. B) Or perhaps, it is because of male ego not wishing to be viewed in any other way than completely masculine (ie. being erect VS being flaccid). I think both fears may play a part on a great deal of males that might otherwise pose nude.

    I also want to say that physiologically it is not always possible to mentally subdue a wild boner. Especially once the blood is flowing, from a series of quick gesture poses, and then going into a long standing contour pose. Excess blood naturally will flow into lower extremities first, and the end result will be a naturally occurring physiological male response.

    So yeah, that art instructor was a whacko — but how embarrassing for you to have to put up with his abuse.

  38. Good questions. I think many males don’t want to model because it is generally seen as a women’s thing, figure modeling has a female connotation.

    Also, it is because it is submissive: you are “ordered” to take off your clothes and then do various poses often in the middle of a group of people. You may be in agony from the pose or from fighting an erection as some models do but you aren’t allowed to move.

    Then there is the possibility of erection, which I agree with above. Some men fear that this will happen, though some artists and groups expect it to happen.

    Finally I think there is the fear that some or even many men have about whether their penis is “big enough.” when you model, it’s all there for people to see and especially when you get hard.

    I hope those answers help.

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