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The artistic representation of the human body as relational aesthetic where the audience "completes the work" is not a new concept.
I firmly believe and assert that your attitudes, your feedback and your interaction become as much a part of the artwork as the physical or digital substrates on which it relies upon to be seen. In essence, the "Body In Another Light" is a mirror...an opportunity to reflect on what we are, who we are or in some cases who we have become.
In fact, a long time ago it seems, when I was freer to be in this world, as a model, as an artist and as an academic I wrote this paper on the topic that may be of interest in the conceptualisation of this body of artworks -https://archive.org/details/AlexanderHayesAestheticsBeyondBourriaud
I hope to exhibit these photographs in Melbourne, Australia in mid 2016.
Framework Of Participation - An Explanatory Note
In 2014 I was sent a photograph from a friend that provoked me to consider what it is to consider "body in another light".
The image was in low light, grainy and shot in "selfie" mode on a standard smartphone camera. It was composed in 650 x 650 pixels square format (Instagram inspired) and was interestingly in black & white. That got me to thinking - what if all my my friends were brave enough, courageous enough to consider themselves in the same classical aesthetic and to send me a similar photo of how they would like to express themselves.
I extended the invitation and it has grown exponentially.
In a discussion with another friend who wrote the didactic for this exhibition, she was shocked to hear that in loading up an identifiable image of myself that it had lead to a sexual harassment case (completely exonerated with no case to answer) subsequent bullying and my resignation from one of Australia's G8 universities. In effect, that horrendous six months saw my partner and I vilified and exhaustingly defending our right to be ourselves a democratic, free and open web.
So, I continue to receive photos sent to my by significant people in my life that are a result of the consideration of the following:
- self generated imagery (photography)
- self as subject
- non-identifiable / identifiable by choice
- body as landscape
- aesthetic as focus
- no larger than 650 x 650 pixels (square in final format)
- all sale proceeds from the exhibition will go directly back with no commission to each and every contributor
- inclusion by invitation only
- all works exhibited online are made available for re-use in any way under a CC BY 3.0 Unported International licence
The focus of the work is in considering that which we make secret, those aspects of ourselves we would have otherwise hidden away from the public gaze, the liberty and freedom we hold ourselves away from in order to appear "better" for others and most importantly, the importance of personal freedom of expression, engaging an appreciative and sometimes critical audience in questioning their own loves and lives.
ps. If you do not find the works at all to your taste in the visual aesthetic, with all due respect, I do not care for your opinion.
"...I think this creative expression "Body In Another Light" is confronting to some people, especially when they can see the subject looking directly at the camera. We also have a problem in our western society with male nudes, because only women are "supposed" to be subjects of gaze in that way. Controversial.... just proves you are challenging ideas, which means you are doing something that contributes to new ways of thinking. People do not cope well with a male who is inviting what is usually the male gaze - looking at a subject and assessing their form from a purely sexual aesthetic - to consider the work as celebratory, classical and unlike pornography. This exhibition of artworks challenges homophobia, as heterosexual men are not used to aesthetic objectification of their own gender."
The original test for this post read as follows.
In October 2002 I wrote a paper for my final Honours submission for Art History at Curtin University which was focussed on relational aesthetics, whereby the audience is considered to be as much a part of the completion of an artwork as the art form itself.
The ideas and concepts of Niccolas Bourriaud still ring very true for me as we consider how important an audience has become in a digital age, where we can access huge bodies of data across time and space with relative ease.
You can access that paper here - http://figshare.com/articles/Aesthetics_Beyond_Bourriaud/888336
'Body In Another Light' is a collaborative, participatory exhibition of high quality silver gelation photographs; the curves, humps, bumps and corners of humans, capturing either full forms or abstract contours of the body. There has been huge shifts in technology over the last decade where the camera has become ubiquitous, built into cell phones, internet enabled and capable of taking photographs in high resolution. The model is now also the photographer either shooting back on their own form, using reflections or automated timers to create timeless art works.
In January 2015, over a decade later, some would say very courageously, I took this concept one step further by turning the camera on myself.
I have always had a passion for inclusive, participatory, collaborative and distributed artworks so 'Body In Another Light' is an extension on concepts that I have employed in my art practice since 1992.
This is an open invitation for you to participate in a collaborative exhibition of photographic (Silver Gelatin) works to be showcased in Melbourne, Australia in 2016.
Note - All sales of these photographic works will be returned directly to those who contribute works for this exhibition at $450 AUD per photograph (25cm x 25cm unframed Silver Gelatin)
Rule of Engagement
The following rules of engagement provide you with an understanding as to how you can participate in this exhibition as the model, as the subject of the artworks:
- Format - All photographs will be nude photography of the human form (18+) looking at the curves, humps, bumps and corners of the human form in either full form or abstract contours of the body according to the subject;
- Public - All selected photography will be exhibited publicly via the Gallery web page prior to, during and after the completion of the photographic exhibition;
- Identification - It is within the subjects rights, with no restrictions, as to whether they choose to submit for consideration of inclusion photographs that identify themselves or not;
- Reproduction - The subject provides unrestricted access for Alexander Hayes to use for promotional purposes those images selected for digital reproduction and also photographic emulsion under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 3.0 International licence;
- Copyright - All artworks selected for re-rendering, photographic emulsion creation and final photographic representation are copyright protected under the afore mentioned licence.
Guidelines For Creation
Using the premise that the human form is a landscape, create works of art that creatively engage with the curves, humps, bumps and corners of the human form by:
- Get Naked - Strip off, find a comfortable and uncluttered environment and use the natural light of the morning or the afternoon to create photographs using your cellphone camera or perhaps it's just candid shots of legs on a train, feet, hands, shoulders, chest....let your imagination run wild;
- Body Wander - Let the camera wander over your naked form taking at least fifty (50) photographs of your curves, humps, bumps and corners as you "see" yourself;
- First Cull - select at least ten (10) of those images and delete the rest;
- Transform- Using your camera phone turn those ten (10) images into black-and-white images using your phones filter;
- Second Cull - Choose five (5) final photographs for submission; do NOT re-filter them in any way and delete the other five images;
Send your five (5) selected high resolution images as email attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Identify Yourself - Be sure to identify who the sender and subject is of the images;
- Editing - Be aware that the photographs will be further processed, filtered and altered to achieve the final work of art for photographic emulsion creation;
- Banking - provide your bank account details for electronic submission of funds to your account pending sales and at the completion of the art exhibition in Melbourne, Australia in 2016;
- Exhibition - You will be sent details of, free tickets to and a catalogue of works for the exhibition in Melbourne, Australia in early 2016
Looking forward to your submissions!
Please call me direct if you have any questions - +61 427996984
Please navigate to http://www.alexanderhayes.com/#/body-in-another-light/ to see all submissions received to date.