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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."