ART: Nude. Feminist. Commentary.

From: IN%"[email protected]" "Art Criticism Discussion Forum" 28-JUL-199
To: Howard Lawrence <[email protected]>
Subj: RE: the nude and feminist discourse

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Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1992 10:46:26 CDT
From: "Finagle, etc. (Durflinger,Edward M)" <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: the nude and feminist discourse
Sender: Art Criticism Discussion Forum <[email protected]>
To: Howard Lawrence <[email protected]>
Reply-to: Art Criticism Discussion Forum <[email protected]>

I would deny that the intention of the artist/photographer does become
the source of meaning in a photograph/painting. First of all is the simple
problem that the specific intent of the artist cannot be known exactly.
Secondly, the observer of the painting/photograph carries with them a
certain interpretive framework that also presupposes an exact recreation of
the originator's intention. Thirdly, the idea that a painting/photograph
"contains" meaning is an odd kind of statement when examined from a
metaphysical standpoint--is the product "haunted" by a presense of the
artist? And what about the model--do they also bestow intentionality on the
painting/photograph? Does an anonymous painting/photograph then lose all
A simple case in point would be the female nude photograph. While
the intention of the photographer would be to create an object of beauty,
possibly innocent of erotic overtones, hir choice of symbols to use in the
photograph (pose, gaze, props, lighting) are no doubt to a certain extent
unconscoiusly determined both by the nature of the medium (female nude
photography) and hir own situation (patriarchal, feminist, apolitical,
etc.), which means that the impact that the picture has upon a viewer must
vary both according to the semiotics of the art object and the interpretive
framework the viewer brings to the painting. Intention, at this point, has
little to do with it.

Name: E.M. Durflinger | Finagle's Law:
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