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catem
11-03-2006, 12:06 PM
else). But once in a great while a picture has EMOTION AND CONTEXT, the subject (or subjects) BELONG in their surroundings, and everything is right ... and if supremely well-executed, it's art, and it's humanity, like everything else.

Agreed. Pictures (especially photographs) of bodies can somehow be about what's best in humanity or about what's worst. It can be something positive, and uplifting, (beauty, desire, sensuality, connection, empathy, even humour) or it can be reduced to the mechanical stuff, but in such a way that it often seems more to do with emotions like hatred and fear, funnily enough not only hatred of the subject but also the viewer.

Cate

mark
11-03-2006, 12:24 PM
I think what is at issue here is more a definition of just what pornography is. What is obscene to one is not going to be obscene to another. There is not a way to define it. So there is no answer and no way to judge beyond our own personal definition.


Sure I think the concept is possible. I am not sure I have seen any, but the possibility is out there.

Drew B.
11-03-2006, 12:38 PM
my New England puritan two cents: a nude person, (male or female) standing, sitting, lying is not porn. A sexual act (no..not kissing or hugging) could be considered in some way, porn. Bondage is definately porn. I think the viewer has to either look or not look. Myself, I would feel more relaxed looking at a female than a male.....:)
...and NO, the statue of David is not porn!

Drew B.
11-03-2006, 12:45 PM
This surprised me ... a national survey was taken of the Video Rental shops, by an association of porno movie producers, to determine WHO was renting their work... and the results surprised everyone: 56% were rented by WOMEN!!

Two reasons: 1.the women want to get their men aroused and apparently will do anything. (women sometimes create their own problems) 2. their men don't have the balls to get it themselves! sorry

arigram
11-03-2006, 12:47 PM
That reminds me of that thread I started some time ago on the subject of erotic photography:
http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=15821

Bromo33333
11-03-2006, 12:55 PM
I wonder if their business here in Missouri is as hot (pun intended) as in more sophisticated markets. I suspect it thrives, although local customers might not want to admit it.

Pornography certainly can be art. Mapplethorpe comes to mind. Although he sometimes used photography to promote himself and his fetishes, it was fine photography. Ansel Adams sometimes used photography to promote conservation, and it was fine photography. It's not the subject matter, but how it is done, that makes the difference.

I agree completely. I do think, though, that a lot of folks due to Puritanical Prudishness will view anything naked or sexual to be pornographic. Hence that is why Mapplethorpe was so controversial in Cincinatti. (BTW, I never understood why all the fuss, I find his photos to be rather boring and mechanical. At least the ones I have seen)

Sometimes an artist will be deliberately sexually provocative - which is almost cliche at this point - to deliberately tweak these folks and perhaps gain some notoriety. I am not sure if that would be art or porn, but it is definitely exploitative, though the exploited is the audience. To me this is only 1 notch above porn since challenging an audience is one thing, but to deliberately offend isn't right.

Bromo33333
11-03-2006, 12:59 PM
...and NO, the statue of David is not porn!

Reminds me of the Greek statuary in the British Museum where the privates were drilled out and leaves put in place so as not to offend. Classic Victorian move.

I don't know what is worse to pander (like in the British Museum who defaced ancient statuary) or to deliberately offend (knowingly put something just to tweak or offend the audience)?

kb244
11-03-2006, 01:07 PM
Without having read thru this thread, I'm gona say that porn is penitration either by self or other.

Course it could be said that while Artistic Porn can exist, Tasteless Nudes can as well.

Bromo33333
11-03-2006, 01:13 PM
Without having read thru this thread, I'm gona say that porn is penitration either by self or other.

Course it could be said that while Artistic Porn can exist, Tasteless Nudes can as well.

And what about the programs on the Food Channel - definitely Food Porn the way I see it ... :p

kb244
11-03-2006, 01:33 PM
And what about the programs on the Food Channel - definitely Food Porn the way I see it ... :p

Ya know, that chef was really going down on that carrot in the taste test....

kb244
11-03-2006, 01:38 PM
Btw far as the whole "What constitutes as porn" question, Porn can be just about anything now days, hell a "back to school" clothing catalog would be as good as a porn magazine for some people sadly enough.

Now I have seen sites that are obviously porn sites (in the sense that its a girls next door, new girls every month, see 5 previews, and "For only 20$ a month...", everything acting very much like a porn site), that swear they are not porn sites, but rather artistic glamor nude site with membership access. Just like that whole nazi thread a while back, whats to say what the photographer "intended". Just like when a photographer photographs a woman in the nude, some may sit back and marvel at the beauty of the photograph, while other folks "Whip it out", even tho the artist/photographer never intended it to be porn.

TheFlyingCamera
11-03-2006, 01:47 PM
And what about the programs on the Food Channel - definitely Food Porn the way I see it ... :p

The father of a college acquaintanceof mine once said that looking at porn was kind of like looking at pictures of food...
at best it served to stimulate the appetite, but it did nothing to satiate it. After all, no matter how much you like that photo of chocolate raspberry mousse cake, you'll get a nasty surprise at the difference in flavor between that and the RC paper it's printed on should you try to eat it.

bruce terry
11-03-2006, 01:58 PM
Cate- Good point about the darker side, and I keep looking for a whips-and-chains image that moves me positively toward an appreciation of the negative, but no luck so far.

Can an erotic (forget pornographic) art image only be 'art' if it is positive in nature? Your right - no - not if you are totally objective, and that brings us back to Mapplethorpe, where if nothing else we quickly learn what our own personal definition of negative is.

Bruce

Bromo33333
11-03-2006, 02:14 PM
Cate- Good point about the darker side, and I keep looking for a whips-and-chains image that moves me positively toward an appreciation of the negative, but no luck so far.

Can an erotic (forget pornographic) art image only be 'art' if it is positive in nature? Your right - no - not if you are totally objective, and that brings us back to Mapplethorpe, where if nothing else we quickly learn what our own personal definition of negative is.

Bruce

IN a art gallery saw some LF nearly wall size prints where the subject was the shooting of a porn movie. You didn't see anything except the crew and the actors off camera. You never really saw the "action." It was fascinating - and very thought provoking. The subject wasn't very positive - almost negative, especially when the porn actors and actresses were covering themselves and acting rather modest when off camera which was pretty interesting.

Wasn't porn for sure, but interesting in capturing the juxtaposition of off and on camera.

TheFlyingCamera
11-03-2006, 02:28 PM
Cate- Good point about the darker side, and I keep looking for a whips-and-chains image that moves me positively toward an appreciation of the negative, but no luck so far.

Can an erotic (forget pornographic) art image only be 'art' if it is positive in nature? Your right - no - not if you are totally objective, and that brings us back to Mapplethorpe, where if nothing else we quickly learn what our own personal definition of negative is.

Bruce

I'm not about to suggest what you should find sexually arousing, but to help understand the "whips and chains" thing, if you don't know someone already who's into that (and you probably do, but just don't know it), find someone who is, and have a talk with them to understand it a bit more. I've got a good friend who is very into the whole BD/SM scene, and is very open about it, so I have a better understanding of it now, and while most of it leaves me cold, I can see how it would work for someone. The BD/SM scene is incredibly diverse, far more than I ever thought before my friend and I started talking about it, and a lot of what people think of as "kinky" is really nothing more than invoking your creativity trying to please your partner. To give a really mild example, my friend would laugh at the notion that using whipped cream is "kinky", unless you're a food fetishist. My point is that for folks into that scene, the "whips and chains" thing is NOT negative to them. Better to have someone who understands it better than I explain that one. Where's Morten when you need him?

blansky
11-03-2006, 03:24 PM
The B/D S/M scene is pretty diverse. There are players who are pain sluts and that could be a serious psychological issue. And there are people who are power hungry who can prey on them but most of the people are into a form of "power exchange" which is often an antidote for their life. Often powerful people in their daily life need power taken away in their sexual life and fantasies. The reverse is also true. It tends to center them emotionally and psychologically.

While part of the scene is decidedly visual, one main component is "it's not what it looks like, it's what it feels like". Anyone who has ever had a "submissive high" or been in "subspace" will tell you that it blows the doors off vanilla sex any time. The most rewarding of the experiences is with a loving partner and the mental "bonding" that occurs because of the intimacy involved can take couples to a whole new level of trust and love.

There are also people are into the whole costume part of the game and these can also be seen in other examples of life like civil war re enactors or Renaissance Faire devotees.

As for the pain aspect of S/M when things get going the endorphin high is so intense that the whole pain/pleasure thing gets mixed up and people are flying anyway. Obviously that can't be gotten out of control that's why players play within a trusting group.

For any more information come on over and I'll show you. If you've been bad, watch out.

Just kidding. I read all this stuff in a book once.


Michael

Michel Hardy-Vallée
11-03-2006, 03:34 PM
Has anybody had a chance to see John Cameron Mitchell's recent movie Shortbus ? I went to see it at the Montréal premiere and I must say I was impressed. For those who didn't hear about it, the basic premise of JCM was to make a movie that used explicit and actual sex acts as justifiable constituents of a story.

Where I think it works the best is where it actually reveals character humanity; a kind of extreme method acting if you will. I found the movie very sensible in the way it depicts sexuality; it shows how it's a part of one's being rather than a mechanical act, and how even the mechanical part of it is not divorced from selfhood.

Of course there are plenty of weaknesses here and there in the plot, it's sometimes a bit too sentimental, but at other moment it's gripping.

Anyway, go see it if you have a chance, there aren't many movies like that around.

TheFlyingCamera
11-03-2006, 03:47 PM
Has anybody had a chance to see John Cameron Mitchell's recent movie Shortbus ? I went to see it at the Montréal premiere and I must say I was impressed. For those who didn't hear about it, the basic premise of JCM was to make a movie that used explicit and actual sex acts as justifiable constituents of a story.

Where I think it works the best is where it actually reveals character humanity; a kind of extreme method acting if you will. I found the movie very sensible in the way it depicts sexuality; it shows how it's a part of one's being rather than a mechanical act, and how even the mechanical part of it is not divorced from selfhood.

Of course there are plenty of weaknesses here and there in the plot, it's sometimes a bit too sentimental, but at other moment it's gripping.

Anyway, go see it if you have a chance, there aren't many movies like that around.

Yes- I saw it and I thought it was one of the more "authentic" movies I've seen in a long time, especially with regards to the lead actress, the Chinese-Canadian Couples Counsellor (say that five times fast... hereafter referred to as the C4). The Jamies rang a bit stereotypical and flat to me, honestly. Justin Bond was a hoot, though. He served as a great foil to the C4, because he served essentially the same function as she did, but in actuality with more success. He was able to help her, when she was unable to really help the Jamies. Then again, she did get through to Severin, the dominatrix.

On the whole, I think JCM did a terrific job with making explicit sex a legitimate part of the story. The movie wouldn't work as a story without the explicit sex. That said, it definitely qualifies for an NC-17 rating. The first five minutes of the film ensure that.

Just as an irrelevant aside, I was watching the credits and one of the extras in the cast at the club was an old college acquaintance of mine. It was in some ways strange to see his name there, but then again, he moved to New York after graduating for the very purpose of being part of that BoHo Avant-garde art and film scene, so it made sense. I just hope for his sake this appearance in the movie wasn't his biggest paying job of the last five years.

Markok765
11-03-2006, 03:52 PM
Pornography(imo) is photos of people having sex.
Artistic nude has to be in B&W.

naturephoto1
11-03-2006, 03:55 PM
Pornography(imo) is photos of people having sex.
Artistic nude has to be in B&W.

Marko,

Why can't Artistic Nudes in Color as well as B&W. There are many thinks that can be done in color including the lighting, gels, etc.

Rich