Wayne Martin Belger

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by Colin Corneau, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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  2. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Really fascinating indeed!
    I am sure a lot of people in here will be shocked and appalled
    but to me the work goes far beyond mere shock value.
     
  3. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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  4. scootermm

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    that is incredible.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Very neat stuff.
     
  6. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    I've seen one of these before, but never knew who made it (just an image pasted in a blog somewhere or something).

    Thanks for the link. This stuff is very cool.

    Remarkably the photographs are really good as well. A great project through and through.
     
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  7. Marc Akemann

    Marc Akemann Subscriber

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    Catholic gone wild! Wow. Cool stuff.
     
  8. Bosaiya

    Bosaiya Member

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    Truly unique cameras, must see to believe

    I'm not even sure where to put this thread. They are working cameras, many are 4x5. All are fascinating.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    http://www.boyofblue.com/cameras.html

    I searched for the site before posting, didn't get any hits.
     
  9. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    Amazing cameras and ideas. Just for the discussion, is the content of the images as striking as the cameras are? I found them quite dull (indistinct) compared with the whole concept.
     
  10. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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  11. Bosaiya

    Bosaiya Member

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    Wonderful. I searched for boyofblue and it didn't show up. Neither did this thread. Which should probably just get deleted.

    What would have been a better way to search?
     
  12. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Personally, I'd have found the images just as interesting without knowing the effort that went into the construction of the cameras.
    I found it interesting that the tools themselves were part of his concept and creative process -- to me, that doesn't lessen the content of the pictures, but rather is just another facet of the whole vision.
     
  13. tpersin

    tpersin Member

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    Wayne is an f295 member and often posts new projects there.... it ALWAYS generates healthy discussion :smile:
     
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  15. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    That's one very interesting magazine. I love the Holga sports photography. I also recall seeing published pictures of the cameras not too long ago, but I have no idea where.......Camera Arts maybe??
     
  16. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    Some amazing work, interesting cameras to say the least. I am bothered though by the use of real human skulls in this application though, it seems rather disrespectful and callous, those are the remains of real people after all.
     
  17. tommy5c

    tommy5c Member

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    B&W magazine did an article on this guy, i think it was September of last year. interesting stuff. i think it falls under the category of sculpture with a purpose.
     
  18. Matthew Gorringe

    Matthew Gorringe Member

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    Yeah, I saw the article in whatever magazine it was and still can't understand how he can use real skulls.

    Ooh that's so edgy; It's a whole heap of BS. One of the cameras features a "150 year old skull of a 13 year old girl". It is trully unsettling that this self-indulgent artist has created a "Third Eye" camera by drilling a hole in someone's skull. It's like she was a bull that now graces someone's hood/bonnet.

    It seems he has excellent craftsmanship but he is actively exploiting the remains of people to give his work an edge. Maybe it just wasn't good enough without using dead people who had no say in whether they wanted their head turned into a camera.
     
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  19. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    Matt, there could be a spiritual intention in his process and usage of the skulls. Artists like Alex Grey have been known to use actual skulls and human remains with the intent of showing respect and serving a spiritual purpose.
    Im surprised the skull is what bothers you... the camera he used for photographing pregnant women has an infant heart encased in formaldehyde. For some reason that struck me more as potentially unsettling.

    I have to admit the concept he did with the hiv camera is quite intense. Using HIV positive blood as a red filter infront of the pinhole to photograph the subjects. thats compelling and interesting to say the least.
    I'm reminded of that performance artist in the late 80s early 90s that gave the audience hazmat suits and sprayed the audience with his HIV positive blood through out a performance. Bold statements. Both the performance artist and the camera maker.
     
  20. Matthew Gorringe

    Matthew Gorringe Member

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    Hi Matt,
    yes I'd forgotten about the other cameras.

    Re: the skulls.
    I'm a bit surprised that I have such a strong reaction to them too. I mean they aren't any use to their previous owners now and they'd otherwise be pulverised or buried in the cold earth or be in formaldehyde in a med. school or something. They are just atoms in the form of a skull and all those other pragmatic things that I generally feel about my own body. The thing is I would never impose the way I think about my body on others.

    The problem for me is that he seems to be exploiting body parts as a way to generate interest in his work, which I'm sure it does. The declared spiritual aspect of his work is partly what bothers me about the use of the skull for Yama. I can only imagine that the person it once belonged to had no spiritual attachment to stereography or 300psi air cylinders, and had they known about the eventual use of their body part as a camera would they have agreed? No one has any way of knowing whether this use, a use that principally serves the artist not Tibetans, would have been acceptable to the person whose skull this is. I shouldn't say the artist is spiritually bereft because he may well be my better in that respect, I simply believe that his use of these skulls as spiritual talismans is misguided and arrogant and principally designed to increase the awareness and appeal of his work.

    The infant heart fits in the same category for me as the skulls; the HIV positive blood is just a health risk and I don't know if I'd be happy sharing a bus with that camera; what happens in a crash? The use of blood as a red filter is actually pretty cool but what's wrong with blood without pathogens? Not edgy enough for this artist. What next, will he make a camera out of depleted uranium and take pictures of veterans with Gulf War Syndrome?

    I know someone who illegally dug up his own mother's ashes and took them home where they sit on the mantlepiece to this day. I don't have a problem with this although the law does. He did it because he had a genuine connection with this person (not an imagined or commercially convenient connection) and wanted to keep their remains out of the rain and cold. He doesn't use the remains for their ghoulish attraction in promoting his business. I think you can only do that when you have no real connection to the person to whom they once belonged.

    I might be being a little harsh but these pieces have made me feel very angry about the exploitation of body parts for commercial ends, dressing it up as a spiritual endeavour seems duplicit and merely convenient. Reading his AS all I see are references to the artist's connection with the camera, as if the artrist is the centre of all things. No mention at all about the origin of the skulls or any relationship they may have had to photography (of course they probably had none). Art gone mad but good grist for the mill.
     
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  21. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I don't like the skull, but the French have bone tours, it isn't really much different than anything in Sci Fi movies. If the HIV camera and photographs do some good by focusing on problems and solutions then fine. Putting insects and objects isn't new, look at string ties with scorpions in them or rattlesnake rattlers. If you go to an art museum you will find the boundaries are often pushed way beyond what you might expect. I'm not a fan of putting human parts in a camera, that's my view. I wouldn't take one of those cameras on a plane or out of the country.

    What would you think of a bellows made from human skin?

    It makes you think doesn't it?
     
  22. Doubrovsky

    Doubrovsky Member

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    I read all comments before opening the link to the Wayne's site. I was prepared to see something blasphemous and was ready to rebuke it. But I had such a joy from what I saw. Consider me a pervert, but Wayne's work is just wonderful. Not many people are able to work on the border of what is culturally acceptable or even legal and remain within the realm of art. Joel-Peter Witkin is one of them. He is really terryfying. Wayne Martin Belger follows his steps but he is much lighter, not gothic at all, almost a joke. But he is doing real stuff. I think I stop my miserable attempts to do something "artsy" and pretend being an artist. No more postings to APUG gallery.
     
  23. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again! :rolleyes:

    Might take a couple of layers, skin is rather transparent (doesn't matter your "color"). Have to be tanned a bit to toughen it up.

    Other than our society's taboos against using any part of the dead for art/science/good-luck/worship I see no reason to condemn anybody else for doing it. Not every society on the planet (current or past) has the same taboos.

    As I understand the 3rd-eye camera, the skull was part of a long forgotten medical kit. That can be just as an ignomonious an end as anything else. Maybe less so, maybe more so. But if somebody finds your skull, ignored and forgotten after such service I should think it would be a nice tribute. Granted, the decoration of the skull is a little over the top for my tastes but the intentions seem good and honest.
     
  24. Matthew Gorringe

    Matthew Gorringe Member

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    I wouldn't stop posting, your stuff is twice as good as his.

    Hmm, human skin as bellows...not unless I had a statutory declaration that the previous owner of the skin wanted to become a field camera after death.

    BTW I don't think Belger should be stopped from making his art, just that it's not good art in my eyes despite the obvious rare skill with which he constructs his cameras.
     
  25. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    Was anyone else most impressed by the workmanship but utterly creeped out by the materials of the cameras?
     
  26. KWhitmore

    KWhitmore Member

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    He does build each of his cameras himself correct? That's impressive regardless of the "materials" he chooses to use. I did read an article somewhere about him a few months back. Maybe he had something showing here in Montreal, can't remember.:confused:
    It's like his camera's take the attention away from the work produced. A different approach for sure.