The Daily Feed

… i was getting very disappointed with Feedbin… I thought it wasn’t functioning properly… no new articles coming in… this morning decided to poke through settings and it turns out i was filtered to an item i had starred… once filtered to “unread” i am back in business…

… what catches my attention:

  • Myths, Dreams and Erotica: The Zine Celebrating Latin America’s Outsiders, AnOther Magazine… i am drawn in by the lead photograph of a heterosexual couple in the midst of having sex… by the word Erotica in the title, by Latin America’s Outsiders, also in the title… i discover that the article is about a zine published digitally and in print, focused mostly on LGBTQ+ life… there are 25 images accompanying the article… most are about LGBTQ+ life… clearly AnOther thinks their readership is heterosexual…
  • Photographer Lea Colombo’s Searing Ode to Colour and the Nude, AnOther Magazine… i am again drawn in with the promise of sex… an article with the words Searing and Nude in the title… yes please!… yes, sex sells to me and i am not ashamed of that… i like well done portraits of naked women and even men sometimes… however, i am also aware of the ways in which heteronormative society objectifies women… when i review the photographs accompanying the article, i see there is something more to the set than sexuality and i like it on a more platonic level… i see echoes of Roger Ballen (fellow South African Photographer) and Boris Mikhailov in her images…

From Colours of My Body (2021) Lea Colombo, via AnOther Magazine

From Structures of Madness, or Why Shephards Often Go Crazy Living in the Mountains, Boris Mikhailov

… the artist focuses on her use of color as a principal factor of the work:

I am attracted to colour’s vibration and energy, the frequency that it gives off and has, or holds. It allows a deeper expression. Colour is the living touchstone of reality. Everything that we see and experience is made up of a spectrum of colours – it’s how we relate to the world and ourselves. As such, it is a pivotal component of my artistic and photographic expression. It is how I render my relationship to subject and self.1

… there is a gallery exhibit of the work in two places, South Africa and Los Angelas… there is a book coming… six hundred plus pages… i really like the work but wonder if it would sustain me through 600 pages…

… that the nudes are all of the artist’s own body frees it from questions of exploitation of the model… it is a self exploitation… i also think that the work frees itself from questions of objectification of the female body as intent… though, as with all such images, how the image is interpreted by the viewer can be pure objectification…

Photographer: Kate Sweeny

Kate Sweeny

… nice photographs of young women, clothed and unclothed… an example of nude photography with women behind and in front of the camera… the artist tells us that the photographs are not about the objectification of women, but rather, about the celebration of women’s bodies as an art form in and of themselves and as natural presences in the world… which i believe… the photographs are, however, easy to view in a sexualized and objectified way, especially when they deploy tropes like wet fabric on the body as in the above image… i think we suffer from a lot of confusion about sex and sexuality, particularly in American Society, because there is a strong tendency to repress sexuality, and because the Patriarchy is so alive and well, it makes any young woman an object of sexual desire and any photograph of said young woman sexualized, when patriarchal eyes that are looking… i don’t see this as a reason not to make and display them… i do see a need to be honest about the variety of ways in which content can be perceived…

I Am So Apalled

… from this article i learned about a website where you can upload a photograph of any woman, and it will feed you back a very credible nude image of that woman… it should be illegal, but guess what, it’s not…

… you can imagine the variety of malignant uses the website can be put to…

… interestingly (not surprisingly?), it doesn’t work at all on men, unless you want to imagine what they might be like as a woman…

… how low can we go…

… and on that note, i am off to walk, contemplate and make pictures…

03 Juergen Teller and Skateboard Fashion

An article on a new skateboard fashion line incorporating the images of Juergen Teller

… an interesting character, fashion and art photography that often (always?) pushes the boundaries of good taste (many would say steps well over it) in presenting male and female bodies…

… i have one of his photo books…

Cover of Unterwegs Mit Juergen Teller

Spread from Unterwegs Mit Juergen Teller

… it’s a collection of photographs taken during his career with brief stories accompanying each… it is frank and largely heterosexual, even if it incorporates gay and trans personalities… it, like the fashion industry, very sexually oriented… there is a picture of Nobuyoshi Araki with a beer bottle sprouting erect-penis-like from his crotch (a frat boy cliche if you ask me, but then, it’s Araki)…

… he seems to be an equal opportunity boundary pusher, young nude women, old nude women, nude men (mostly his middle aged self), men’s genitals, women’s genitals, men’s sphincters, women’s sphincters, trans women, black men, black women, most of them celebrities of one kind or another…

… from where i sit it seems a wild life… my libido is interested and perhaps a little envious, but the poetry of Basho is more my style…

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]

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…