Every Penis Tells A Story.

‘Once somebody has bared their body, they are much more likely to bare their soul. You get a much better interview after the picture.’ Photograph: Laura Dodsworth.

This is a truly absorbing project from Laura Dodsworth, author and photographer of Manhood: The Bare Reality. It’s not the photos of all the penises which fascinate; most people have seen more than one, it’s the people attached to said penises, and their stories about the various tangles of manhood and the ever elusive sense of masculinity. I found myself sitting down with a cuppa to read all the stories at the Guardian, and I will buy the book.

Warning: NSFW.  Have a care peeking below the fold, there are penises lurking.

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Rose Hork.

It had to be done. Explanation here. Click for full size, bits of the process after the finished piece photo. I think I may have actually managed to keep my hair out of the syrup. :D I did this on a white trifold, and when it came time to photograph it, I carried it outside, which is why it ended up with the pretty sky-ish background. Media: Karo Lite Syrup, roses (flower, stem, leaf, thorn), water.

Rose Hork, C. Ford.

© C. Ford, all rights reserved.

Spite Your Face.

CN: misogyny, violence, rape. Have a care before continuing.

Rachel Maclean:

13 May – 26 November 2017
Chiesa di Santa Caterina, Fondamenta Santa Caterina, 30121, Cannaregio
Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm, free entry (also open Monday 15 May)

Rachel Maclean is representing Scotland at the 57th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale, with major new film commission Spite Your Face – a modern-day, dark Venetian fairytale presented as a large-scale portrait projection at the altar of a deconsecrated church.

Rachel Maclean, Spite Your Face, 2017, digital video (still). Courtesy the artist. Commissioned by Alchemy Film & Arts in partnership with Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh on behalf of Scotland + Venice.

In Venice’s Chiesa di Santa Caterina, I am sitting in a pew, looking up to where the altar would normally be, watching the distinct yet unfamiliar movements of a gigantic nose being masturbated. A blue, gloved hand runs up and down its glittering gold length, and its owner, a cartoonish young perfume-purveying influencer named Pic, groans with pleasure. “I intended it to be shocking,” says Scottish artist Rachel Maclean, of her contribution to Scotland’s presence in Venice during the Biennale, a 35-minute, looping film with no beginning or end, that follows Pic on a morality tale that pits his conscience against his greed.

[…]

It would be hard not to see the political significance of the piece, in a world where outright lies appear to be de rigeur for anyone in the public eye. “I was disturbed by the ways in which lies had been used in the Trump campaign and the Brexit campaign, in a lazy sense, to substantiate a political narrative or an idea,” Maclean says. “I started writing the script in December last year and it was a scary time…” One narrative that stands out from the film is the idea of a transformation of fortune, a rags-to-riches redemption (or riches-to-rags, depending on which order you watch the film in), that sees a destitute young boy wind up as shill for a perfume brand called “Untruth.” This creates a fake corporate illusion, in comparison to the magic “Truth” one given to him by his fairy godmother.

“I’ve always been interested in perfume because it seems absurd,” says Maclean. “Really, it’s just a bottle of smelly liquid but it’s packaged in this way that not only makes the object into something more valuable, but it also suggests that you spraying it onto yourself transforms you into something more powerful and alluring.” This idea of a transformative solution to society’s problems critiques these myths that we are told about social mobility: lean in, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, it’s the American Dream. “I was interested in the compassionless aspect of it. The narrative suggests, if you work hard enough and if you dream it, you can do it. It’s a convenient way to gloss over the lack of social mobility in our society,” adds Maclean.

Another uncomfortable moment comes right after the unforgettable nose-onanism, where Pic’s guardian angel joins him in the sexual act. Pic becomes enraged at a perceived insult and ends up brutally raping this maternal figure. It’s uncomfortable, in fact, almost unbearable to watch, even though it’s still, absurdly, carried out by the character’s nose, lengthened from all those lies. “I’ve been disturbed by the rise in visible misogyny,” Maclean says, when asked about this scene. “There’s a level of immunity to it—where we’re just not affected by it. I wanted the rape scene to feel palpably violent and difficult to watch, so that it’s able to break through the surface of that a little bit.”

Rachel Maclean, Spite Your Face, 2017, digital video (still). Courtesy the artist. Commissioned by Alchemy Film & Arts in partnership with Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh on behalf of Scotland + Venice.

The Creators Project has the full story, and more photos. There’s also more at Scotland and Venice.  I have no doubt this is both and impressive and disturbing work; not one I would find easy to sit through, but I would like to see it all the same.

Oooh, Cry Some More, Boys.

Greg Rucka said Wonder Woman’s queer identity was important to the narrative. Photograph: Frank Cho/DC Comics.

Greg Rucka said Wonder Woman’s queer identity was important to the narrative. Photograph: Frank Cho/DC Comics.

Time to get drunk on tears once again. Some screenings of Wonder Woman have had a Women Only night, and all the dudes are upset.

“Wonder Woman” may be a feminist icon, but some male moviegoers aren’t happy about some scheduled women-only screenings of the film.
The controversy began when the famous Alamo Drafthouse cinema in Austin, Texas, announced it would be hosting a screening of the new movie, which stars Gal Gadot as the superhero.

“Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying ‘No Guys Allowed’ for one special night at the Alamo Ritz,” the announcement read. “And when we say ‘People Who Identify As Women Only,’ we mean it. Everyone working at this screening — venue staff, projectionist, and culinary team — will be female.”

That didn’t go over well with some men, judging by the comments on the theater’s Facebook page.
“Apparently ‘equality’ is only selective nowadays,” one person wrote. “How about a ‘men’s only’ showing of a movie or is that not how equality works?”

Why no, that is not how equality works, you crybaby of a cupcake.

The Alamo responded to many of the negative comments, pointing out that they have hosted screenings for select groups before, including veterans for military films, and that it’s about a celebration of the Wonder Woman character.

Hmmm, I’ll just bet there wasn’t any leaking of man tears over a veteran’s screening. So, cry some more, dudes, cry enough for us all to get drunk!

Full story at CNN, beware autoplay. Hat Tip to Saad.

Cool Stuff Friday.

Archive Dreaming from Refik Anadol on Vimeo.

Archive Dreaming, a stunning project, and one I hope becomes a reality before I die, because it would be an amazing experience! You can read all about this, and see more at The Creators Project.

Minutiae Photos.

There’s a new app in town, but it’s not like other social media in any way. This one is to document entirely mundane moments of your life, and you don’t get to do it at any given time.

Thus was born Minutiae, an anonymous photo-sharing app that, unlike uber-serious photography apps, encourages people to embrace the boring and mundane instead of meticulously sculpting the digital replica of their everyday lives.

Once a day, at random, all participants receive an alert to take a photo simultaneously, regardless of time zone. After taking the photo, the user is paired with a random stranger somewhere in the world who also just took a photo, and they are given 60 seconds to browse their chronological timeline or that of the stranger with whom they were matched. When the minute expires, the app shuts down, and the users must wait for the next alert to use the app again. Beyond the anonymity and its focus on the quotidian, Minutiae also prevents users from following anyone.

Despite Minutiae being a fully functioning app, Adolfsson and Wilson agreed that it should really be an artwork in and of itself. As Wilson tells Creators, it helped that they had a bit of a Swedish Arts Council funding instead of venture capital, so they were able to make what they see as a collective embrace of global mundanity.

“Our thesis is not that social media is ‘bad,’ just that it ends up making us look at the world, and documenting our experiences, in a very particular way,” says Wilson. “Through our use of Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat, etc., we are in the continuous process (often unconsciously) of refining filters that determine how we capture our lives… Minutiae frees us from this pressure to perform since you no longer have the option to choose what you are documenting—connections are singular and random.”

Another way Minutiae frees users, according to Adolfsson, is by restricting the time spent on the app to one minute per day. This flies right in the face most apps, which are designed to keep users locked in for as long as possible, or returning again and again like an addict.

“The app is a tool to help participants document their own in-between moments of life,” says Adolfsson. “The type of moments that we usually don’t think of as important enough to capture.”

You can see and read more at The Creators Project. Minutiae.

Metalliferous Streams from Eric Bellefeuille on Vimeo. All I have is WOW.

Paris at night by Roberto Estupinián.

Amazing, exquisite photos of Paris at Night.

Oh, Almost.

The embroidery on the shirt is done. Finally. I swear, the small things can take bloody forever and ever. Not quite finished, the dread wash test is up next, here’s hoping it survives well. The designs are from Urban Threads.  Serpents are 6″ x 5″, little black heart 2.5″ x 2″. Shirt is Liz Claiborne, bought at Goodwill, natch. Click for full size.

© C. Ford.

Yuki James.

Stevie.

Absolutely wondrous portraiture by Yuki James, who does everything except conventional. I like ‘unconvential’ portraits of people, which simply means capturing people as they actually are, and how they wish to be portrayed, rather than the stiff, dressed up, traditional type of portraits. Just a few here, and most under the fold, possibly NSFW, so have a care.

The portraits feature a mélange of individuals caught in domestic moments to capture a provocative, elegant otherness that defies commonly accepted notions of race, gender, age, and individuality.

“Portraits are my passion and this show is a collection of my favorites,” James tells Creators. “I only shoot fashion or commercial work if the commissioning publication or client feels that what I do, and my voice, works with their brand. Or if I’m asked to collaborate with another artist or designer that I truly admire.” James recently collaborated with Jeremy Scott for Rollacoaster Magazine. “I love beauty in the unconventional. I love sensuality in those not expected to express it.” The portraitist says, “Emotions and feelings appeal to me. The things that tie us together as humans even when we seem so different.”

Tawan.

“An element of intimacy is something I strive to have with every person I shoot,” explains James of his process. “I take my time and ease into a space that feels comfortable and open, and then look for what they will give me. What poignancy can we tap into? In that way, each shoot is a collaboration.” Okachan, a picture of an older Japanese woman with a silk scarf covering her hair and a ball gag in her mouth, speaks to the contradictions of domesticity. The image is from a series of portraits the artist shot of Japanese women who are all over the age of 50, showing that modesty does not preclude tendencies like rough sex at any age.

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Speaking of Apocalypses…

As the ongoing Apocalypse was the subject of today’s Sunday Facepalm, it reminded me that I’ve had some time to look at the artwork in The Bamberg Apocalypse, an 11th-century richly illuminated manuscript containing the Book of Revelation and a Gospel Lectionary. Look at those beautiful beasties! One day, I shall embroider them. Click for full size!

Bamberg Apocalypse Folio029v Woman And Dragon.

Bamberg Apocalypse Folio031v Dragon Pursuing Woman In Wilderness.

Bamberg Apocalypse Folio033v HornedBeast.