Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Time to paint the fig leaves back on nudes?

An exhibition that has been touring the country for 25 years is creating controversy and protests in the south... at locations where it was perfectly acceptable just a few short years ago. The age-old debate of nude art versus pornography has resurfaced. Frank Cordelle's powerful exhibition "The Century Project" combines stunning nude portraits with personal statements "describing instances of rape, debilitating illness, disfiguring surgeries, distorted social expectations, as well as reflections of humor and joy." It is a journey into the soul of women of all ages, all shapes, all ethnicities. 

The imagery, as well as the notes from the women themselves are powerful and moving. Excellent art should make you think... should create a response that causes the viewer to engage the brain cells and take a fresh new look at themselves and the world. Art ain't just about painting pretty pictures. According to the website, one of the project’s goals is to "effect change in societal attitudes towards women’s bodies."

But puritanical attitudes regarding nudity in art are inciting protests and not a little foaming at the mouth hatred. The exhibition will be displayed for the first time without the images of nude children (everyone burn your Anne Geddes baby nudes) that are a part of the show.  "The pictures are completely innocent," said Cordelle. "They are made in the same style as all the other pictures that are up in the room. They are very non sexual."

Some students who viewed the pictures don't understand why officials decided to censor the photos now, after the entire collection showed on campus back in 2002.
Arguments against the exhibit include  "the exhibit is harmful to the cause of ending violence against women.” and “It’s a classic trick of those who work in the porn industry” to put an artistic spin on their work. (Oh yeah - the classic, if it is nude it must be porn argument.) On a website dedicated to protesting the exhibition one person felt the artist was "a menace to society and should be in prison." Hand the man a bag of fig leaves and map to all the museums.


Wylie Kinson said...

I'm gobsmacked. Can't believe the ignorance!!

Gadfly said...

Oh that's just fucking hilarious. After 10 years or so ... we just won't stand for that!

*eye roll*

NerdyRedneck Rob said...

It never ceases to amaze me. How did nudity ever get to be such a deal anyway?

*Why* is it such a big deal?

Humans never fail to amaze me.