"What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?" This quote from Michelangelo is perhaps a fitting introduction to the topic of this post: "Nudity is not pornography". It is ironic that in many societies sexual (mostly female) stimuli are used to advertise all kinds of things, but natural nudity in the arts is treated almost like pornography and banned from public space. Nudity, as a natural characteristic of every human being, has also always been a central element in art, but it has always been subject to attacks and attempts of censorship. As it is now, algorithms that have taken over much of the censorship on social media platforms. In addition, users can now mark unwanted content as inappropriate and thus contribute to its deletion. I’m only talking about nudity here, not pornography. Especially "real nudes", which show people with all their individual beauty in a non-idealized and non-sexualized way, are deleted very often and quickly in my perception, regardless of whether they violate any rule or not.
Especially affected are representations of non-male persons. The topic of the sexualization of the human, especially the female, body concerns me on so many levels. As a compassionate person who can observe this omnipresently, who hears and reads the experiences of those affected, as a photographer who uses nudity in his pictures, who wants to treat the subject and the people in front of his camera with respect, and above all as a father of two young daughters who wishes he did not have to worry about his children more than he already has to, just because of their gender.
I have already written quite a bit on social media about my approach to my nude photography, as well as the subject in general. Through these postings, many intensive, exciting and enriching conversations and discussions were initiated. I gained the feeling that I can enrich the debate in a meaningful way with my photography and the written contributions. So I had the idea to expand my previous series with the tote bag from @nipeople into a small project. To give more space to the voices of the people in my pictures and to amplify them, I will make my photography and my exposure available for this project.
I will publish the pictures on this topic, which are created in collaboration with the people depicted, along with their personal texts. So they get control of the capture and caption. I will put my voice as a non-affected person aside, in order to make other voices more audible and thus to support the topic even better. If this small project can inspire some people to reflect and rethink, it has already paid off twice. Many thanks to @mrs.rabe_takes_pictures, @exshaps and @axelschneegass for their valuable input and support.
Note: This is a repost of two merged texts i shared in 2020 on Instagram. I think my new blog is a much better place to store my thoughts and stories that I have written down over the last few years.