The Body Nude Naked Representation 

Power Authority Commodification

Framing the discussion around Nude and Naked, we briefly discuss historical euro-centric Christian theories of representation of the body. Challenging notions of power and authority, we look at specific artists/photographers and how they respond to and challenge notions of representing the body.


A ‘Revelatory’ Portrait

*This task does not require nudity

Post on G+ community page by March 16 for class feedback

We have discussed nude and naked in the context of reclaiming representation. We have looked at some classical photographers who challenge notions of representation and contemporary photographers who use the body to comment on the body as an object, representation and commodification.

For the students at Coventry University you will need to work with a class mate, for our remote students please work with someone you know.

Working in pairs your task is to make an image of your partner, that reveals something about them. This brief can be interpreted as broadly as you like. It could be anything from a favourite food, idiosyncratic habit, what they like to do in their spare time. The challenge is to navigate a successful way of representing this in the image.

Experimentation is encouraged. What medium are you going to use? Colour, Black and White? What format are you going to use? What presentation may support the portrait? Do you need to make more than one image? Whose image is it? How did you negotiate the story with the participant? What are you trying to reveal in the image?

Artists discussed

Jenny Saville & Glen Luchford: Close Contact, 1995-6 Melanie Manchot: Gestures of Demarcation, 2001 Robert Maplethorp: Nudes, Mid 1970’s-late 1980’s Jemima Stehil: Strip, 2000 John Coplands; Nudes Circa, 1984 Manabu Yamanaka: Gyahti series, circa 2000 Steve Tynan: Underpants, late 1990s-early 2000 Jessie Darling: Photoshop 1(Healing brush, clone stamp, paint bucket), 2013 - Photoshop 2 (free transform, Difference/Exclusion: tolerance: 60), 2013 Erica Scourti: Body Scan, 2014

Further Reading

Berger, J. (1972) Ways of seeing. Penguin Books. Shilling, C. (2005) Contemporary social theory. 2nd Edition SAGE Publishing.

Video Resources