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Old 06-06-2014, 03:22 PM   #1
THROBBS
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Objections to objectification

(and acceptance).


Gonna dump a bunch of semi-random, but related thoughts here.

It seems to me, in visual arts (will speak of 2 dimensional work for the time being), the artist must consider the subject as an object (to some extent) and, by translating to 2 dimensions, is creating a facsimile object.

I understand that this process is not exactly what is meant by "objectification" in the sense that feminists might typically use use the term. HOWEVER, it is inescapable that "reducing" a human being (or more than one) to an image is stripping away at least some of the "humanity" of the subject. One needs to look at representative (a likeness of a person or persons) works vs strictly imaginative ones (made up folk) separately (and together).

With some skill and sensitivity, an artist, might be able to conjure back a fraction of the essence of the subject, but as static works without sounds, smells, touch, taste a 2 dimensional work will always fall short.


Further— as humans, we (even the most sensitive of us) will always FIRST objectify a new person. We make assumptions, we categorize based on what we know and have experienced. As we gain more information, we re-categorize — we start the process of humanizing individuals, as we know more.

Certainly we might have some sense of empathy on 1st meeting. (which might include sympathy), but we see "man" or "woman"... and by clothes, or lack of make judgements— rich/poor, cool/tacky...... Making judgements/assessments are not patently "bad", though they can be wrong.


(break)

working towards the idea of our "rape culture" (I mean Western...specifically U.S.A. because that is my culture) and how visual arts, specifically erotic/pornographic contributes — positively and negatively. I think it is important (and healthy) to explore/confront our fantasies — to a degree — I am specfically speaking of exploring/confronting fantasies in visual arts (vs the idea of acting on them, which could be good or bad... or neutral).


(gotta stop for a bit)

Sexual objectification come part and parcel with erotic art. Though the spectrum of "erotic" can be from the most subtle "sensual" to the most explicit "graphic"(pornographic ?) depiction. Of course there is the semantics and the definitions of terminology to wrestle with too.

(off on an errand)
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:05 PM   #2
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Hmph. Surreal and metaphysical at the same time.

Not that I disagree with anything you mentioned except perhaps that you limit 2D art to not include photography. A photograph, while accurate on defining something completely visual, it is still 2 dimensional and lacks the ability to live, to express more than that which it captures; still life.

The ability to see emotions running rampant on the faces of anybody within the camera frame is obvious, but what isn't obvious is what is outside the frame. Are they looking at a stalker who took their picture or are they looking past the photographer; seeing the twin towers fall?

Whether classical art, photography, or sculpture, it all seeks to represent only one moment in time. What happened in the moment preceding or the moment that immediately followed?

Art captures emotion, if it is done well. If it is done, artfully, by an artisan (or else it is refrigerator art). Yet, it is still only 2 dimensional, as you say, objectified. Reduced to it's base physical components. Visual. Topical. Surface.

Words, are similar. They can describe a 3 dimensional vista, but it is only one sided, typically, or 2 dimensional. The only way it could be more is if more than one person wrote the words, but that still doesn't describe well to a person reading those words. The reader only sees one story. One image. One vista. An author can source many authorities when they write their work, but in the end, it is still subjective. Still...objectification.

Textually, an author can easily describe what is on the inside better than the artist, but they have to work harder to is on the surface. The sounds and smells.
While the 2D artist and photographer can more easily represent what is on the surface, while they work harder to describe what is inside.

Words and art are on two sides of the same coin. They both try to represent what they can never fully accomplish; describe real life. They can come close, but they can't achieve success, because real life is not still life.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:17 PM   #3
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I don't see erotic art as originating, or continuing to be, all about objectification. Yes, there are those who intend their art to objectify, and there are those who see all erotica or some of it as objectification. But there also those who create art for aesthetic or instructive reasons, with no thought of objectifying anyone. And though there are feminists who make an issue that erotica or porn is all about objectifying someone, that doesn't mean all feminists agree, or that all erotica is meant to objectify. Just saying.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyVer View Post
I don't see erotic art as originating, or continuing to be, all about objectification. Yes, there are those who intend their art to objectify, and there are those who see all erotica or some of it as objectification. But there also those who create art for aesthetic or instructive reasons, with no thought of objectifying anyone. And though there are feminists who make an issue that erotica or porn is all about objectifying someone, that doesn't mean all feminists agree, or that all erotica is meant to objectify. Just saying.
I think you missed his point. He wasn't talking about the strict feminist definition of "objectification" but a surrealistic clinical perception of "objectification."

Feminist objectification is the shallow reduction of women to what is on the surface alone; judging a book by it's cover.
Well, that's what 2D art is. It is a reproduction of real life to a surface representation of real life. Reducing real life to a single still image. Voiding all except what is on the surface; what is visually perceived.

It's an interesting concept to explore.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LWulf View Post
I think you missed his point. He wasn't talking about the strict feminist definition of "objectification" but a surrealistic clinical perception of "objectification."

Feminist objectification is the shallow reduction of women to what is on the surface alone; judging a book by it's cover.
Well, that's what 2D art is. It is a reproduction of real life to a surface representation of real life. Reducing real life to a single still image. Voiding all except what is on the surface.

It's an interesting concept to explore.
Well, I don't think I really missed Throbb's point. I was just adding to the conversation. As a woman, I do appreciate your explaining feminist objectification.

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Old 06-07-2014, 12:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by LadyVer View Post
Well, I don't think I really missed Throbb's point. I was just adding to the conversation. As a woman, I do appreciate your explaining feminist objectification.

Okay, so you understood but flatly disagreed that his concept that all art (he focused on all 2D art. why? I don't know.), in essence, is objectification.

Okay, my mistake. I must be tired.
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LWulf View Post
Okay, so you understood but flatly disagreed that his concept that all art (he focused on all 2D art. why? I don't know.), in essence, is objectification.

Okay, my mistake. I must be tired.
No, I didn't flatly disagree with anything Throbbs was saying. Like I said, I was adding to the conversation. I was interested in his thread because of recent discussions. Regarding 2d art, Throbbs knows I know jack about it or the intricacies and skill of art in general, although I wish I had his talent.

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Old 06-07-2014, 08:20 AM   #8
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Thanks, you two.

I did not intend to omit photography, though that i snot my bag.

Indeed the goal in the creation of a two dimension piece (limiting to depictions of humans here) is not always objectification.

It is sometimes, in the case of scientific works — educational objectification: reducing a human to pieces and parts and functions.

Other times it is sexual objectification: in pornography and often(not always) in "erotica" (if one makes the distinction — a blurry line to be sure).

Objectification (sexual and non — beyond just 2d imagery) of women (specifically) is woven throughout our culture. We barely see it (hear it, read it) as such — it has become wallpaper — a background ± the norm. A billboard photo of a nearly naked woman selling beer, is commonplace, even expected. The model is a prop. I like to look at her ( not gonna buy the beer).

Soooooooo... that being said (even if one does not entirely agree)— what can/should be done?

Be aware.

Be thoughtful.

Considered intent, then considered interpretations (success of intent).

Stop drawing, photographing, painting women? NO.
Stop drawing, photographing, painting sexual situations? NO.

(ugh dog is complaining........)
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:41 PM   #9
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Want to respond to this but I can't.

maybe later...
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Want to respond to this but I can't.

maybe later...
I know what you mean.
Takes a lot of time/energy/attention I need a nap, myself.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:23 PM   #11
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A related (integral) topic is the idea/concept/myth of Pygmalion and Galatea.

The artist who creates his ideal woman (in this case) and falls in love with her.

There are MANY psychological and sociological aspects to this idea.

A contemporary version can be observed in CGI design programs, like Poser or DAZ Studio, which allow, even a novice to pick and choose body parts to create their ideal. A sort of "Weird Science".

So far... we cannot generate a "Major Kusanagi" (Ghost in the Shell) or Rachael replicant (Blade Runner), though in Jana there are "Real Dolls". Stepford Wives.

Even using the mundane tools and process that I do, I toy with this fantasy too. I can draw just what I want, without the realities intruding to spoil my fantasy.

This can be healthy or at least therapeutic – so long as one can keep grip on reality: social cues, empathy, patience, conversation, thoughtfulness, introspection........ otherwise we (meaning the artist/creator) risk losing our humanity, while attempting to conjure and "ideal" human.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:57 PM   #12
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yeah yeah...

"quit with all drivel and post pictures."
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THROBBS View Post
A related (integral) topic is the idea/concept/myth of Pygmalion and Galatea.

The artist who creates his ideal woman (in this case) and falls in love with her.

There are MANY psychological and sociological aspects to this idea...
It takes a lot for me to discuss this sort of thing. I also have about 7 projects I am working on as well as watching two programs, all to keep me vaguely from jumping off the edge and frankly, though I didn't notice you had posted anything new here until today, I am also deeply entrenched in my own life. It takes a lot to summon up a worthy response to this sort of topic and discuss metaphysical and surrealistic topics.

In response, I am going to reply in a different tangent. Nothing new there, eh?

I do not really associate where the object of the artists work becomes that which captures and enslaves him (love and desire for his own work), but I can see where a single piece he works on becomes so inspired and demands such attention that it becomes a living embodiment of his work as an artist. In effect, it becomes something more than the artist themself and in that way, comes alive. i.e. Mona Lisa, Starry Night, The Persistence of Memory, etc.

Surpassing the artist themself in recognition.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:09 PM   #14
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Yep... and sometimes that work which becomes iconic of the artist is not his/her favorite or most passionate work, but somehow has taken on a role in culture which gives the piece a bigger role. So many things can affect that, world events, critics etc...


************

In the world of erotic art, I think that many of the artists are grasping at creating a permanent/lasting representation of something nearly intangible or at least temporal. Often an ideal.



BTW it is not all on you, LWulf to contribute. I appreciate that we all have other matters to attend to. There is the a theory that other people who are interested in visual arts come in to this forum.
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Old 06-21-2014, 06:13 AM   #15
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yeah, I know, but I opened my pie hole in the first place so I felt the onus was on me to reply.

Guys are pretty much a visual creature and low on communication skills. So it's not fair to expect that the greater chance of who is coming to the visual threads to jump up and speak up on something deep.

Women are intrinsically greater in communication skills and though they can be visual, it isn't as high a priority in their programming.

****

Hmm. Interesting, so in other words, because an artist is doing erotic art, they are drawing from something they find appealing and thus creating what they objectify? Meaning that they can't almost help but fall in love with that which they create?

Never thought of that...
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:47 PM   #16
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yeah, I know, but I opened my pie hole in the first place so I felt the onus was on me to reply.

Guys are pretty much a visual creature and low on communication skills. So it's not fair to expect that the greater chance of who is coming to the visual threads to jump up and speak up on something deep.

Women are intrinsically greater in communication skills and though they can be visual, it isn't as high a priority in their programming.

****

Hmm. Interesting, so in other words, because an artist is doing erotic art, they are drawing from something they find appealing and thus creating what they objectify? Meaning that they can't almost help but fall in love with that which they create?

Never thought of that...
I could always throw in couple "provocative" "hot" words. (*bama, B*ngahz*, R*ght, L*ft, C*nservative, L*beral... ) and this place would be crawling with comments —inane comments)

***************

It happens.
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:05 PM   #17
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I could always throw in couple "provocative" "hot" words. (*bama, B*ngahz*, R*ght, L*ft, C*nservative, L*beral... ) and this place would be crawling with comments —inane comments)

***************

It happens.
Yes, that probably would work to bring in more comments, but unless you want quantity over quality... I wouldn't XD

****

I knew this one artist, he actually is an art teacher in France, and he did this one drawing of a young woman (just the head mind you). Truly beautiful. If he didn't draw her based on a person, then he did this based on what appeals to him, and I have to say... breathtaking.

I asked him once if it was based on a real person. He never answered me.
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:31 PM   #18
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Yes, that probably would work to bring in more comments, but unless you want quantity over quality... I wouldn't XD

****

I knew this one artist, he actually is an art teacher in France, and he did this one drawing of a young woman (just the head mind you). Truly beautiful. If he didn't draw her based on a person, then he did this based on what appeals to him, and I have to say... breathtaking.

I asked him once if it was based on a real person. He never answered me.
Did you ask in French?
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Old 06-21-2014, 06:45 PM   #19
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Did you ask in French?
mais bien entendu (à la google translate ) He spoke perfect English though, so it wasn't necessary. I think he either got asked that question a lot or he just didn't feel like saying who his inspiration was (if it was a real woman) I think his piece was titled "autumn sorceress" or some such. It was a 'simple' black and white sketch on green paper.

I'd look it up myself, but I'm feeling rather uncharacteristically lazy of late.
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