To know the body through photography 0

Astijus Krauleidis-Vermontas, 2016-05-19

In brief: Kaunas Photography Gallery is hosting an exhibition Nude theory since the 28th of April until the 22nd of May. It is, indeed, a rare opportunity to get acquainted with photographs that were professionally selected from the archive and which are focusing on the nude genre.

Exhibited nudes made in between 70s and 90s focus on highlighting the woman, glorifying her, emphasizing her mystery and subtlety. Each author has a different perception of a woman, which for them is not only an object of aesthetics, but also a muse (through reality, the principle of collage and experiments of photographic process). It seems that the photograph constructs a seamless story, when the boundary between genders disappears. There is no clear line, which would separate the photographer and the photographed woman.

The curator of the exhibition, Donatas Stankevičius says, "I cannot say that I am a specialist in this genre. Perhaps the opposite, observing it I often seek for some substantiation of it, which is often in short supply and that encourages to examine the theory that often the desire to look at a naked body under the guise of camera is much bigger than a wish to create an amazing image of an artistic value. And I do not see any difference between the time periods, because these intentions were always there. Talking about the image, I would have to say that a contemporary image is not that unique, because no one is aiming at creating something unique and also the rendering is often the same."

I was wondering what artists or types of nude genre the curator would single out. Donatas Stankevičius says that the concept of the exhibition allowed to choose a large variety of photographers and they all have their own understanding of this genre, "I prefer the images that are well thought-out, effective because of their additional context, instead of ones that simply show a nude image. It seems like independence that was supposed to free the artists from the censorship of periodicals and exhibition spaces probably backfired. It may be easier to create freely, but it seems that some authors had more motivation during the Soviet times."

I was interested to know whether the curator thinks that the exhibition works show that the boundary between the photographer and the photographed becomes blurred in the field of photography. According to Donatas Stankevičius, not really, "Or at least not in the field of photography but simple humanity. A photographer who has nothing to say with the image, because his goal was to undress the model, also uncovers himself by showing the photograph publicly. But the difference between him and the model remains, because the latter seems to have been exploited."

The photographs were taken from the archives of Lithuanian Photographers' Association

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