… on to Feedbin…

… Jonathan Blaustein wrote about his trip to Chicago this morning… i learn about Weedmaps.com, for the weed dispensary near you… i look up what might be near me and find that it’s all medical marijuana in NY… weed was recently legalized for recreational use too, but i imagine the state is still working out the regulations and how to enforce them…

… overall, JB reported on numerous pizza restaurants which seemed to be the only food they ate while in Chicago… i mean, who eats pizza all weekend long and doesn’t gain a few pounds doing it?… not me… not at this point in my life… i try to eat healthier than that…

… i review the work of Leonardo Magrelli, published on Aint-Bad, and think, ok, but not compelling… all black and white, city environment…

… i look over, read, Proud, Provocative Portraits That Celebrate Feminine Authenticity… a woman photographer and stylist pursuing a project called Girls… an area of interest as anyone reading this blog will know… yes, interested because of primal programming, but also interested in the subject of how women are presented in photoland… i am especially interested in cases where women photograph women in ways that will, whether intended or not, provoke the male gaze… this set of photographs provokes the male gaze and seems intended to…

Albertine Photography Guen Fiore, styling Rubina Vita Marchiori

 A new series by photographer Guen Fiore and stylist Rubina Vita Marchiori celebrates the fearless authenticity of Gen-Z women1

… the article tells us the women are photographed in their own homes (a safe environment)… the broad message, i will present myself as sexy if i want to, i am in control of that… a legitimate question to ask, does this promote women as much beyond being sex objects?… my answer, i am not sure… apparently there are photo sessions with each woman, that, presumably, lead to multiple images… are they all laced with sensuality?, showing the women in states of partial undress?… are they presented in any other way?… the artist’s instagram account suggests otherwise…

… i look at some of the comments on one post… that the women are “hot” is appreciated… the photographer has 34.5k followers… did they build that following with these images?… yes, almost all the images are attractive young women displaying their bodies in sensual, sexual ways… the following has been built on the fact that “sex sells,”…

… it think what bothers me is not that the women are presenting themselves sensually, sexually, but that it is a celebration of “fearless authenticity of Gen-Z women… only if women are to be defined by their sexuality… so the project tries to be high minded, but isn’t at all…


  1. Bruno, Gilda, Proud, Provocative Portraits That Celebrate Feminine Authenticity [return]

Daily Feed

Jackie Nickerson

Woman with floweres and dinosaurs III, 2020Photography by Jackie Nickerson

Photography by Jackie Nickerson

… as i look at the images i try to decide between gimmick and serious art work… i like the images, like the concept, but am i being seduced by something which really only has surface attraction?… she is described as a “world-class” photographer… she has earned her reputation in the fashion industry… interesting that these art/fashion photographs are about identity through, essentially, hats…

… the photography is from Salvage, her latest photobook… it explores the relationship between people and consumption in formal portraits… but what exactly does it say about that?… that we throw away some beautiful things that make cool face and head props in a photo project?…

… i look at the images… first take, cool… second take, what’s the message?… should we be forced to wear the wages of our sins?…

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.1

… as i think the words “wages of our sin” onto the computer screen, i look up the reference… a bible passage… and so, my thoughts about the photographs move to the objects plastered onto the heads of the models as some kind of cancerous growth… but not grotesque… somewhat disturbing but also beautiful… cleaned up, sanitized, cancerous growth…

… the pictures are compelling… would be easy to hang on the wall of ones living room… but… is the message lost in the glamour of the photography and art direction?…

Ann Barngrover, Taking Flight

… the author discusses the work of another author… Helen Macdonald, Vesper Flights… i have, but have not yet read, H is for Hawk… Vesper Flights is a collection of essays… as i read the descriptions of the books, i am thinking they would make good Christmas gifts for my sister…

… i learn about the German concept of wunderkammer, “cabinet of wonders.”…

Originally depicting rooms rather than pieces of furniture, wunderkammers were most popular in Victorian times as enclosed spaces that held collections of rare or unexpected finds. Instead of functioning as museums, “It was expected that people should pick up and handle the objects in these cases; feel their textures, their weights, their particular strangenesses.” You could touch and hold mollusk shells and chinaware, pressed feathers and butterfly wings, beaded stones and the fragile candelabras of fish bones, things both natural and forged. “Nothing was kept behind glass,” Macdonald notes.2

… as i read about the concept of wunderkammer… i think, i have a wunderkammer… my studio is a wonderkammer in a way… i have lots of natural objects i have collected… a bag of such objects from Block Island, sitting on my bed right now… a windowsill full of them… i think, this could be an art project… a photo project…

… the author moves on to talk about a college course on Star Wars that she and her colleague designed and gave… she talks about the feminism in Star Wars… she talks about the male know-it-alls who claim exclusive dominion over Star Wars interpretation…

Indeed, wondering comes at a price. As Macdonald reminds us, “Increasingly, knowing your surroundings, recognising the species of animals and plants around you, means opening yourself to constant grief.” This is the sobering reversal of slowing down and rejoicing in complexity and nuance, beauty and depth. The more you slow down, the more you will find. The more you find, the more you will connect. The more you connect, the more you will love. The more you love, the more you will lose—maybe not today, but one day, one day soon.3

… a good essay… worth reading…

Reese Herrington, “Girl Talk”

Girl Talk, Photography by Reese Herrington

Girl Talk, Photography by Reese Herrington

… a young woman photographer photographs the women around her in appreciative, sensual and sexual ways… in the bedroom, the bathroom, the boudoir… if its women photographing women, is it objectification?… their Instagram site is more balanced…


  1. Bible, Romans 6:23, New International Version [return]
  2. Barngrover, Ann, Taking Flight: https://www.guernicamag.com/taking-flight/ [return]
  3. Ibid [return]

03 Jenna Westra, Afternoons

… i’ve taken my first page by page tour through Afternoons, by Jenna Westra

… here is what i notice…

… the artist includes photographs of herself throughout and uses a cable release in several of the portraits which marks the portraits as self portraits and identifies her amidst the multiple women who are subjects of photographs in the book…

… thus, one woman in particular, the artist, has prominence in the book as the only individual with a name and a presence that goes beyond studies of form and the feminine… the choice to include herself without such clear identification for the other women is significant and shifts what the book would be without it… yes, the other women are sometimes identified in the title of a picture, all, i presume, are listed at the end… it’s not possible to be certain, as there is a list of names but only as individuals to be thanked, one wonders about these choices…

… keeping the female subjects of the photographs largely unidentified supports the feminine generalities of the book…

… there are full and partial nudes in the book… they are outnumbered by images of women with some kind of clothing on… only one of the nudes1 strikes me as being at all sexual, attractive to the male or female gaze… a woman’s sex potential is not an overt theme of the book, rather, it is feminine form, femininity and an intimate society of women together… it is not to be assumed that the women are lesbians either… they are there, with each other, as a sisterhood… or perhaps, as alter egos, different dimensions, of the artist herself…

… the book is well done, a mixture of black & white and color images, it has a nice pace…

… there are layers of intent and meaning to peel away, more is revealed with each pass through the book…

… a very nice photobook experience…


  1. Not surprisingly, this is one of three images used to represent the book, the idea that sex sells is alive and well, even in a non-profit store dedicated to the work of book artists. To say it promises more than the book delivers is an understatement. [return]

03 Afternoons, Jenna Westra

… i ordered this book prior to leaving on vacation, forgot that i had, was pleasantly surprised to see it in the mail pile when i returned…

… for some time now i have been interested in the subject of women in photography, as subject/object, as photographer, as critic… i became especially interested in the “male gaze” vs the “female gaze,” as i was noticing increasing numbers of women photographers photographing other women nude… i often found the nude images made by women as “male gaze” provocative as those made by men, and wondered how that squared with the feminist idea that it is not helpful that women are continually objectified as sexual objects, not to be taken seriously as intelligent accomplished beings in their own right…

… i ordered this book because it is entirely about the female body, singularly or with other female bodies, with some full or partial nudity, but as often dressed and posed in ways that allow an appreciation of youthful feminine form without being open to an overly sexual read…

… from the opening essay by Orit Gat…

Many of the photographs feature degrees of nudity. Once this book, these photographs, are out in the world, the tender consciousness of being seen between the models and the artist or the cameral shifts. Whatever eyes rest on them, though, will recognize different things in their freedom. It’s hard, maybe impossible, to talk about a female gaze without it reading like a translation of the terminology of the male gaze. The comfort nude women feel around one another will read as familiar to many, and like a secret society to others. The photos do not explore the difference per se, but they also do not generate tension around the history of nude representation. Instead, there is tenderness.1

… it’s a deep subject that has brought lots of feminist literature into my library, Simone de Beauvoir’s Second Sex, for example…

… the biggest thing i have learned is that consent, then intent, matter… the models should always have agency in both agreeing to be photographed, how they are photographed and how the photographs are to be used after being made… intent also matters… and even when intent serves a good purpose, is not objectification of subject, the image can always be appropriated as such when it engages the male gaze, which often is the case…


  1. Gat, Orit. Forward to Afternoons, Westra, Jenna. Published by Hassla, 2020. [return]

04 Jenna Westra, Afternoons

Jena Westra, from Afternoons

… Brad Feuerhelm gives this book a highest recommendation, stating that it is as near perfect a photobook as could be… i recognize the name of the artist which makes it likely i’ve run across the work before…

In the case Jenna Westra’s Afternoons (Hassla, 2020), several factors within the book suggest a return to the body as an act less of political dialogue, but more as an act of balance. Westra employs gesture and a number of interesting sculptural tactics to create a world where the feminine is embraced without men involved at all and unlike Girl Pictures, the emphasis is not on fantasy, but on reality, collaboration, and intimacy.1

… the book is about the shape and form of women… young women… it feeds my rabbit hole… i ordered it…

03 Kristina Shakht, To Be Or To Become

Kristina Shakht, To Be Or To Become

an article, This Zine Celebrates the Female Body in its “Raw and Authentic” form… the artist is a survivor of sexual assault i am told… she has made a zine representing how women see themselves i am told… the photographs are various, women, some flowers, some landscapes, the women in various states of undress and exposure… the lead-in photograph is of a young woman, naked, crawling across gravel, she is thin, angular, almost childlike… one feels the pain of gravel on knees… i suppose it is raw and authentic if one thinks that nudity is raw and authentic… i find it mostly engages my male gaze… that is, it is mostly sexual… the images are well made, artistic…

 “(The zine explores the) modern-day female experience: the way we feel ourselves, the way we move, think, and live that’s beyond sexuality and being sexual. I wanted to show that naked body doesn’t mean sexual, that it can be just body.1

… i would like to see the Zine itself, but i discover it is being issued in a very limited and very expensive format… book formats and zines in particular are not generally meant to be so pricey, a larger audience is being courted, usually…

… i am left with the images in the article, which mostly seem to objectify the women… that is my older white male take…

04 Another Gaze, Another Screen

… an article in Hyperallergic introduces me to a feminist film streaming service, Another Screen, which in turn introduces me to a feminist website, Another Gaze, which finally takes me to an article on Cinema Scope, In Search of the Female Gaze, like a series of Russian dolls… a lot to explore… more later…