The Body: Photographs of the Human Form

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Sausalito Public Library








William A. Ewing


n ual Clu've of a houlder. The di turbing

line of a cal', The magn tic pull of a la hed e e. In The Body William A. Ewing pr ar hiv tim



ent a full-blown

r 350 beautiful,bizarre,and ome-



vealing photographic image -

the fruit of many years of re earch and electlOn in mu eum ,libl'arie ,archi e ,and private coli .ction throughout North America, Europe,and Japan. Fr at lea t 150 year , ince the birth of photog­ raphy,images of the human body have attracted, r pelted, and ob e sed u . The body ha been cruti­ nized by medical and anatomical photouraph r ; it has been

elebl.·ated by photographer of port,

dance,and fa mon; it has been the in piration for a long tJ'adition of photographing the nud ; and it ha been depict d in phanta magoric term in the " aIm of imagel'y and imagination. Mo t of the greate t name in international pho­ tography are l'epl'

ented in The Body: Nadal',

Muybridge,and Roger Fenton from the earl the medium; the legendal'y Alfred.



tieglitz, Edward

We ton, I mogen Cunninuham,and Man Ra ; con­ temp rar

al,ti t , uch a' Robt'Tt Mapplethorpe,

Helen Chadwick, Barbara KI'uger,

in I

Pierre Radi ie, Dieter Appelt,and man

h rman, oth r .

Jo in luded are work by arti t who ha e u ed the bod

if a th iI' medium and mean of e pre


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rnulf Rainel', and Robert

Morri . Both the privacy and the publirity of the bod ha e attained new notol'iety in toda '

ociety. That

the 1988 MapplNhorpe exhibition beeame a national cau e celebl' ob cenit

and,ultimatel ,the foeti

trial is just one example


of the bod

til' pa

of an

f how deepl

ion ,cau e contl'o­

vers ,and continue to b{' th{' . ubject of inten e interest in alJ ections of societ . From 19th-centur erotica to th{' e ual politic of the 1990"

tm book

provid('s a rich, invol ing archive of bod:)

fonn ,

hoth male and female, a well a' an e citing and pro ocativ{' r{'conl of the camera" th{' human nuure.

infatuation with


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introduelion a guide to the t'haptt·rs







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mIrror .

politic mind


nutes ' list of illustrations ' aeknowlt'dgments '


index '





PREFACE Why i s it today that th e h u man body i s at th e centre of s o m u c h atte n ti o n ? Why a re m agaz i n es, n ew s ­ pa p e rs , te l ev i s i o n a n d a d ve rti s e m e n ts s atu rate d w i th i m age s of nake d , o r v i rtu a l ly n a ke d , b o d i e s ? Why are so many writers, artists and photographers so profoundly concerned with the subject? And why, in all this, do we discern a rising tide of unease, even panic? Is it, as many believe, the scourge of AIDS which fuels the con cern , or pe rhaps the d isem bo d i m e n t i m p l i c it i n the computer age ? Is it, as so m e acad e m i cs m a i n ta i n , that th e b o d y, as we h ave come to u n dersta n d it, no l o nge r exists ? O r c o u l d it eve n

�o tbat the body is m e rely ' i n fas�io n'� Wh at p u ts the body squarely i n t h e ce n t re o f debate is n o t fas h i o n , b u t urgen cy. The body is bei ng rethought and reconsidered b y artists and wri ters becau e i t is being restructu red and reconstituted by scient ists and engi neers. I n a n era when parts can b e routi nely detached from o n e body and pl ugged i n to another; when the U .


National I nstitu tes of Health offer to replace corpses i n

medical schools with ' i ndustry-standard d i gi tal cadavers' ; when certain m achines can appropriate the functions of h uman o rgans, while others are invested with i n tell igence; when the life of the body can be prolonged when the mind has ceased to fu nction; when genetic change can be engineered and human bei ngs cloned; when a foetu can be nurtured in an art i ficial womb, or jobbed-o ut to a surrogate mother; when we entrust automatons to land our j ets or perform operation on our bodies; when the New York Times i n forms us that, co ntrary to what most of us had believed, there are three, four or possi bly five genders; when we capric iously Arnulf Rainer Strauch + Zock (Bush + Rick Rock) 1 97 1 Indian Ink. 011 crayon/photograph



rebuild faces, b reasts or t h ighs to con form to the moment's i deal of beauty; and

;:;0 m -n

when we d ream of ' Robocops', ' Termi nators' and ' Replicants' , and long to l ive

» n

i n a virtual real i ty - t hen conce p ts a n d defi n i ti o n s , val ues a n d bel iefs, righ ts


a n d l aws, mus t be rad i cally overhauled . ' T h e b i naries i n modern t hought are b reaki n g down' , notes Alice Jard i ne, 'an d the botto m - l i ne b i nary of trad itional eth i cs - l i fe and death - is fal l i ng out from under us ." Jard i ne m ight wel l have l isted the other threatened b i n aries: m ale/female, m asculi ne/fe m i nine, young/old, n ature/cul ture , b l ack/wh i te . . . ' YO U R B O DY I S A BATT L E G RO U N D , ' a work by artist Barbara Kruger emphatically rem i n ds us . Photographers know a l l too wel l how eas ily their work can catapul t them i n to the battles ragi ng over the human body. Witness the storms of co ntroversy which have surrounded the i m agery o f Robert Mapplethorpe, Sally Mann, Jock Sturges or Andres Serrano i n recen t years; i t is a lways some perceived transgression of conven tional notions of the body, particularly issues relating to sexuali ty, that igni tes pub l i c passions. Photography h as had a p rofound i m pact o n the body fo r m ore than a century. But w h i l e i t has undoubtedly been of service to human k i n d , i t i s equal ly true that it h as been the cause of m uch concern . I t m ay be argued , for i nstance, that p o r no grap h i c i magery h as con tri buted to the degrad a t i o n of the body, both female a n d male, o r that advertisi n g's glorifica t i o n o f w h o l l y i deal i ze d youth sets up un real istic expectations wh ich alienate the common person fro m h is/her own co rpo real i ty. But who wou l d deny that m e d i ca l p hotography h as led us towards a ful l e r understa n d i n g o f t h e body, a n d thus c o n t ri buted to the bettermen t and p ro l o n ga t i o n o f l i fe ? T h ose d i g i ta l cadavers a re, after ali , composites o f thousands o f i n d ividual photographs o f a real human body. Th rough photography, i deas about the care and p resen tatio n of the body are d issemi nated and avidly consumed. Edi tors and advertisers show us how our bodies should be groomed, clothed or adorned, attempting to bring them i n to l i ne with prevailing standards of taste and beauty. And the modern - or should we say, postmodern - art of advertisi ng is i nconceivable without photographic i mages of the body, crafted to sel l not o n ly body-care p roducts and clothing but - th rough an alchemy of sllgge tion - any product i n existence. Mass-media enterta i ners l i ke MCldonna or M ichael Jackson have used


pho tography to promote careful ly engineered rep rese n tations of androgyny or

exual and racial ambigu i ry. Politi ians and i deologu s of all per ua ion have used photography to put forward vi i n of 'perfect' bod ie a

mblem of thei r

of a healthy body pol i tic. Porn ographer

too , have long

own conception

under tood the l u re of exually explicit photographs. But the same i m age are


;AJ m


» ()


held up by fem i n ist as proof of male domi nation and insensi tivi ry. I n and of itself photography professes no morali ry, no allegiance. ther area are less co ntentious. Photographs record moments of athletic triumph and pre erve the fleeting art of the dance. Educators rely heavily upon the med i u m to instruct students in a wide range of di sci pl i ne . War r porters find in photographs of broken bod ies the mo t efficacious route to the emotional engagement of their reader . The police have long dep nded on photograph ic documentation a i rrefutable evidence, wh ile ant h ropologists have used the camera to measu re and compare bod ies in upport of various theories of race, herediry and evolution (uses which cause con tem porary ant h ropologists considerable anguish) . Arti t

have rel i ed upon photography a

an aid to

pai nt i ng and sculpture or, more recently, as a creativ medi um in i ts own right. And parents the world over have trusted in the camera to record the growth of thei r off pring and commemorate their ri tes of passage. I n hort, where the h uman body is concerned, the powers of photography can be questioned, but never denied.

And res Serrano Aids Related Death 1992 From anginal colour transparency


I NTRO DUCTI O N I n t h e Autu m n of 1879, a s e r i e s of a rt i c l e s ap peare d i n t h e Photographic News, a n i n fl u e n t i a l B r i t i s h jo u r n a l , o n a s u bje c t o f g re at fa s c i n at i o n to t h e Vi cto r i a n s - t h e Zu l u s of So u th Afr i ca. T h e s e articles are remarkably revealing, not only of British perception of non-Western peoples, but of nineteenth-centur y attitudes generally to the human body. Directly or indirectly, they illuminate a whole range of issues h ighly significant for Victorian England: notions of race, concepts o f bea u ty, sex u a l i ty a n d m a n 's a n i m al nat u re , b e l iefs a b o u t dece n cy an d m o ra l i ty a n d t h e d isti n ct i o n between 'savage r y' an d 'c i v i l i zati o n ', assu m pt i o n s a b o u t so c i a l c l ass, a n d even the rightful place of the body i n a rt a n d scien ce

The i mage o f the fierce Zulu warrio r had taken fi r m hold o n the B ri tish i magi nation because o f the Zulu \Vars o f 1 879. Vivid e ngraved pri nts depicting warriors in the heat o f battle were wi dely popular. But the Photographic News was concerned with a d i fferen t k i n d of Z u l u i mage: photographic portraits. I f these stud ies were stiff a n d lacklustre i n comparison with the melodramatic p r i n ts, they had one feature that the publ i c fou n d q u i te m esmerizing - the u nabashed and virtually total nakedness of the s ubjects. Naked ness was someth i n g that people in the late n i ne teenth centu ry found alternately fasci nating and disturbi ng. Few opport u n i ties existed for scrutinizing ei ther the human body i tself or a n i mage of i t . I t was an age when dress wa particularly restrictive and co ncea l i ng a nd knowledge of another's body was mai n ly co n fined to the hanrts and face, which may explai n the popularity at the t i me of the so-cal led sciences o f phrenology and phy i ognomy whic h tried 12

to ' read' i nt o these phy ical features tht i n ner con ti tuti on.

z ..,



o o c n -1 o z

Anonymous A Happy New Yeal (Zulu women) Modem pnnt


1 879


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What caught the attention of the Photographic News was the prosecution o f a photograp hic dealer for displaying 'obscene photographs of semi-nude Zulus' in h i s w i n dows. The Lord M ayor of London h imself pronounced on 'the grossness and i m p ropriety of Zulu fash i o n s and sartorial customs' .' But the dealer argued that the subj ects were merely depicted in the i r native d ress, and the j ou rnal agreed, describing the photographs as 'ethnological studies' a n d therefo re not o n l y acceptable, but i nvaluable t o science. The authorities rightly s uspected that the trade in Zulu i magery (and that of other t r i bal peoples ) , mostly d ep i c t i ng n u b i le yo u n g wo m e n , was not d u e e n t i re l y t o d is p ass i o n ate s c i e n t i fi c c u r i os i ty o r aes t h e t i c exp ress i o n . From p h otograp hy's early days po rnograp he rs h a d fou n d ways to h id e beh i n d 'the beautiful s h ield of photography' and newspapers a n d j ournals of the day were constantly reporting the co n fi scatio n of h u ge co llecti ons o f sexually suggest ive m ate rial o n sale i n shops. The News worried that the clam pdown o n the Zulu i m agery was s i m p ly a p retext fo r 'a general raid upon photographers who were to be p rosecuted fo r a n yt h i n g w h i c h co u l d be c ons trued as o f q uest i o n ab l e taste or decency' .


The n u d i ty of the Zulus was postulated as proof of p r i m i tive m orali ty - the natural con d i tion of savage races closer to nature and their a ni m al ancestry. B u t it was o n e t h i n g for t h e i n nocent 'natives' t o 'dress' this way, another to put i m ages of thei r bodies on d is play befo re the civil i zed world. Their n akedness was eq uated with ugli n ess and looseness of m orals. Should a gen tleman ever allow an i mage of his wife to be exhi b i ted anywhere near 'portraitures of half- naked actresses and ent i rely naked Zulu women, he can have but l ittle respect for h i mself, fo r her, or fo r h is pos i tion' .J Perhaps the s i ngle most reveal i ng even t of the t i m e was the p ub l ic d isplay of a group of Zul us i n the Brussels Zoo , next doo r, by i n ference, to other 'exotic' an i mals. A photograp her was sent to d oc u m e n t the scene, b u t h is i n tentions we re m i s u n ders tood a n d h e was a ttacked by h i s s ubjects . L u c ky to escape unharmed, but with his equ i p ment in pieces, he resolved never again to try his h a n d at ' Z ul ugrap h y' , or in fact to take p h o togra p hs 'of a n y pec i men o f a savage race' . ' We are tem pted t o d i m iss such behaviour and atti tudes a s hypocri tical , but 14

t h i s i s t o overs i m p l i fy. I n t h e 1 8 60s a!ld 1 8 70s, i n te l l i ge n t m e n a n d wo men

were beco m i n g dee ply i n t rested i n the re lation o f h u man being to a n i mals and of different races to each other. In spite of all i ts prej udices and stereotypes, the n i neteenth century did see the rise of a gen u i n e i n terest in the divers i ty of mankind. The emergence of anthropology as a scientific disci pl i ne was more or less s i m u ltaneous with the i nvention of photography. This new d isci p l i ne was conceived as a fact-gatheri ng, classifactory natural science, and si nce photography was een as the pu rveyor of absolute truth , it was i nevitable that i t should be

Z ---1 ;;0 o o c n ---1 o z

used to p rovide o b j ect ive records of a peo p l e and t h e i r c u l t u re , a i d i n g i n mea u re m e n t , ana lysis and class i ficat i on . A l t h o ugh the general theoretical framework was centred on social evolution, on the hierarchies this suggested , and on race, i n practice this meant close scruti ny of the h uman body, si nce an understanding of the body was considered to be the key to an understanding of race and cul ture . What lent the en terp rise u rgen cy was the conviction that tribal peoples were doomed to extinction. Zulus were not alone i n being turned into spectacle. Pygmies, Sioux, Ainu and many other racial groups were paraded photograph ically before Western eyes . In the late 1 860s T. H . H uxley and John Lam prey drew up systems of standard procedures for ethnological photography. The naked subj ect was to be po ed standing and sitting, fu l ly frontal or i n profile. H uxley placed his subjects next to a clearly marked measuring rod; Lam prey's were posi tioned i n fron t of a metrological grid of 2-inch squares made from string. M uch work was produced fol lowi ng the latter method, such as M . V Portman and W Molesworth's eleven­ vol ume survey of the Andaman Islanders in the 1 8 90s. ' Other systems were proposed as well , but common to all was the fundamentally rac ist idea that the 'lower orders' would prove to be physically i n ferior. Other scient ists also recogn ized the potential of photography. From the early 1 8 50s on, p rofessional medical and photographic journals suggested ways i n which photography could b e used to furth


research in anatomy, physiology,

h istology and pathology. Many of the pioneeri ng physicians i n these areas were themselves photographers. 6 L. H aase, a Berl i n photographer, was employed to record the orthopaedic patients of a Dr H. W Berend i n the arly 1 86 s. Hi s subj ect stand quarely in front of plain backgrounds, naked only to the extent requi red to show their


Z -1 ;;0

condition . There is no p icto rial i mpulse here - no des i re to c ompose a pleasing 'p icture' . Bu t i n a n u m ber of images a sweep of fabric is inc luded, reminding us

o o c n -1

of the conven tional treatment o f n udes in the period. Though the fabric was

o z

p u rely c l i n i cal app roach.

probably there to disguise the heavy metal stand which supported the patient during the l engthy exposure, i t also betrays a certa i n h esi tancy in accepting a O t h e r conventions were also d ifficult to dislodge i n depictions of the sick th rough to the end of the century. M an y early i mages of patients look l i ke p ortraits of perfectly healthy people. Oriental carpets, pain ted backdrops o r i n co ngruous props obscure t h e fundamental purpose of t h e i mage. No such confusion between science and art is apparent i n the 1 86 1 studies of a hermap h rodite made by the distinguished Paris ian photographer Nadar. I n a series of eight studies, both full-figure and i n close-up, he depicts h is subj ect's con d ition with fran kn ess and clari ty. Other French photographers made a m aj o r co ntribution t o n i neteenth-century medi c i ne a t t h e Salperriere hospi tal i n Paris. There, fro m 1 862, Professo r C harcot, a specialist in pathological anatomy, used the camera not s im ply as a tool with specific and l i m i ted functions but as a way o f perce ivi ng a broader picture o f disease and treatment - the therapeutic s ituation. Charcot seems to have grasped the fact that photographi c seein g was less an equivalent to straightfo rward vi si on tha n to the mediated p rocess of perception . P hotograp hs were take n at each stage of the patien t's d isease and cure. T h e year 1 8 8 2 saw the i ns tallation of the p hotographer A lbert Londe as head of the hospital's wel l-equi pped p hotograph i c studio. Working closely with Paul Richer, doctor and anatomy professor, Londe brough t to the photography of patients with nervous disorders a 'photochronographic' method which used up to twelve lenses to cap ture movements too rapi d fo r the eye to see. The neurologist G u i ll aume-Benjam i n Duchenne is also worthy of mention in the cont ext of early research . Duchenne u ndertook the anal ysis of facial exp ressions th rough the applicatio n of electrical currents to specific m uscles, sett ing out to create a u n iversally val id facial vocabulary. ( H is work is more fully d iscussed on p. 1 09 . ) Army med ical photographers a l () pushed frontiers forward. The Engl ish-


born Wi l l iam Bell wa ch ief of the u.s. A rmy M edical Museum

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Dr Gui llaume-Benjamin Duchenne Dr Duchenne examining a subject In the course of his work on the analysIs of facial expressions 1 85 2-56 Albumen pnnt

in the late 1 860s. H is cl i n ical photographs of Civil War casualties, accom panied by detailed case h istories, had a two-fold use: a teaching aids, and as evidence in fu tu re ca es of disabi l ity compensation. Begi n n ing in 1 86 5 , the m useum publ ished a seven-vol ume Photographic

o ffection of the urgicaf Section which

was to have a widespread effect on the education of physicians. M i l i tary authori tie al


found photography a useful tool in studyi ng the i m pact on the

body of carryi ng weapons and kit. One of the mo t profound developments in medici ne in the 1 8 30s and 1 840s had been the recogn ition of the cel l as the fundamental li ving unit of the body. Ph otography would be used i n th is area to enormous advantage. Photo micr graphy allowed physicians to search for ever fi ner and more m i n u te tructure . A U . . army surgeon, H . J . Woodward, u ed lantern l ides made fro m hi photomi crograph to demonstrate that cancer is a mutation of cel ls i n the body and not the fo rmation of new c 11 in trod uced from an outside ou rce.


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Extravagan t claims we re made o f p hotom ic rography. J ust as t n the eventeenth centu ry, when mechan istically m i n ded observers 'saw' mtnute mach i ne-l i ke structures through the m ic roscope, so certaI n photography enthus iasts 'saw' structures that they were p redisposed to see. A particularly outlandish d iscove ry was reported i n the Photographic News i n 1 8 8 8 by George R. Rockwood of New York, under the rubric, 'a p hoto-physiological theory'7. Exa m i n i n g photo micrographs of b rain tissue, he was astonished to fi n d marki ngs which seemed to h i m to b e suspiciously l i ke C h inese characters ( note the l u re of the exotic East!) o r h ieroglyphs. Am azed by t h is m o n u mental fi nd o f 'pictures i n t h e b ra i n' , Rockwood speculated that 'futu re l i te rary executo rs shall be able to extract fro m the disti nguished dead posthumous poems, suppressed o p i n ions, the conte n ts of "burned" l etters, fam i l y secrets, or the mysteries of l i fe that are buried. '8 Such a fancifu l account rem i nds us of the extraordinary fai th the n i neteenth cen tu ry p u t in science's capaci ty to un ravel the mysteries of the h u ma n body, as wel l as the h igh expectations it had of photography. What many of the experi men te rs of the time seem to have shared was a des i re to m a ke visible the i nvisible. I n this they were grapp l i ng with somethi ng tantalizi ngly close: o n ly a few years later Wil h e l m Kon rad Ron tgen would announce the equal ly fan tastic but in co n testably real X-ray. Pictures could now be m ade of the i n terior of l iving human bodies without open i n g them up. Ron tgen's discovery would, l i ke photography i tsel f, contribute to the doctor's dependency o n the visual sense rather than the sense of touch , on which p hysi cians had reli ed for centuries. I n the m id-ni neteenth century, the forces of l aw and o rder were b usy with thei r own p hotographic enterprises . As early as 1 84 1 , crimi nals and suspicious perso ns i n Pa ris were daguerreotyped and fi led away for fu ture refe rence. Soon after, the fi rst photo-ill ustrated 'wan ted' poster appeared i n France. By mid­ decade, eve ry B ritish crimi nal was being p hotographed, as was every m urder victi m and the scene of every crime. I n the 1 860s, some warders in British prisons were photograph i ng all the p riso ners in their charge and by 1 870 this p ractice was mandatory in G reat B ritai n . I n Europe and No rth America, too, pho tography was rapi dly becoming 'one


o f the best safeguards against crime, se .:: i n g that none could escape its crucial

observat ion' .') The wi s authorities even requi red all vagrants to be photographed, on the p r i n c i p l e that they wo uld eventually gravi tate toward crime. By 1 8 72 the French were ufficien rly persuaded of photography's usefulne s to open the fi r t true p h otogra p h ic service fo r the pol ice. Am ong other advan tages, photograph of scenes of crimes were found to be helpful in extracti ng confe sions from uspects and were considered more trustwo rthy than the te ti mony of a wItness.

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It was in France too, in 1 8 82, that the first rigoro us and precise method of recording a cri m i nal's identity was developed. This foreru nner of the modern pol ice iden tity picture was devised by Alphonse Bertillon, chief of cri m i nal investigation for the Paris police. It consisted of a photographic profile and frontal views, accompan ied by measurements of the head, left fingers , left forearm and left foot, as well as body height. Bertillon took great pains with diffused l ighti ng, the neutrality of his sitters' expressions, the distance from the len , the angle of view, and so on. The presentation of the two fin ished print ( profile and frontal view) ide by side was equal ly precise: each image had to be cur '0 . 0 1 m . above the hair'


Berti l lon knew that without standardization and

precision comparisons would be meani ngless, and identity could not be establ ished with absolute certainty.

Dr Henry Clark Inma e, West Riding Pnson, Wake leld Albumen pnnt


1 869


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O ne of the fundamental passions of n inetee nth-century science (soon to be shared by art) was that of movement. Scien tists were searc h i ng fo r a u n i fyi ng theory to

o o c n -1

explain d iverse p hysical phenomena, and m ovement was postulated as being at

o z

h is ' S tat i o n P h ys i o l ogi q ue' i n Par i s , A l be r t L o n de a n d Pau l R i c h e r at t h e

t h e crux o f t he issue. Photography had a central rol e to p lay i n t h i s researc h . Eadweard �tfuybridge a t t h e Univers i ty of Pen n sylvania, Etienne-Jules Marey at Saltpetriere , even D uchenne i n h i s studio m akin g p i ctures o f 'physionomie e n m o uve m e n t' - h e re were t h e lead i n g figu res i n the q uest to pe ne trate to the heart of the matter by photographic means. For all their idiosync ratic approaches, t h ey s h ared a d i s t rus t of the evidence of t h e se nses and a n a p p e t i te fo r t h e mo n u me n tal. They were n o t the o n ly, nor even t h e fi rst photographers t o tackle the p roblem - Nadar, fo r i nstance, had made earlier atte m p ts to photograph rapid m o t i o n - b u t t h e i r work h ad a d e p t h and i n te l l i ge n ce w h i c h h as s ustai ne d i n terest u p t o the p resen t day. Eadweard M uybridge's extens ive oeuvre, p u b l ished i n Animal Locomotion ( 1 8 87) and The Human Figure in Motion ( 1 90 1 ) , has always been recogni zed as a sem i nal ach i evemen t: ' The work should belong to every scien tific and artistic i nstitution in the world,' wrote the Nation on 1 9 January 1 8 8 8 , and scientists agreed . Animal Locomotion co m prised 78 1 p lates. Of these, 5 23 were o n the s ubject of the h uman figure: men , women and childre n, no rmal and abnormal , naked and clothed, exerting one set of m uscles or another i n the exercise of a task. The stop-action photographs, with between twelve and fifty o n a si ngle plate, depicted hundreds of actions - some s i m p le , s uc h as sitti ng, walking . o r throwi ng; others more complex , such as 'drin ki ng fro m a goblet while standing' or 'one wo man disrob ing another' . Curiously, one sees in this las t i m age, and i n certai n others , the i mpassive visage of science givi ng way, and notions of art and moral i ty creep in - a woman covers her face i n shame at her sudden state of naked ness, fo r example. M uybridge did have p roblems convi ncing many of his m odels to undress and men seemed to fi n d the idea m ore threatening than worn n. He reported that h is greatest difficulty was ' i n i nduci ng mechanics to go through the motions of their t rade in a n ude co ndi tion'.


Etien ne-Ju les Marey was M uybridge' col l eague and rival . 'The pri me cause of movement in the l iving being eems to be of a special o rder, with out paral lel 20

in inani mate bodies', he wrote early ·n h is career, 'but once movemen t is

produced it i the arne whatever i ts source. '12 I t would be fai r to ay that thi great French i nvestigatOr was more i nterested in physiology than morphology. Particularly wary of the evidence of hand and eye, he put his trust i n i nstrumen t that could measure precisely 'amplitude, force, duration, regularity and shape' . H PhotOgraphy took i ts place alongside other i nstruments and soon proved extremely efficacious in, as the philosopher Franc;:ois Dagognet has put it, 'capturi ng and translating phenomena i n a web of i nscription, where it fi rst

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became vi ible, and then readable (that is, intell igible) . . . , Marey thereby hoped to attain h is goal : 'the language of nature' .14 Muybridge and Marey, though certai nly the tOweri ng figures i n the study of the h uman body i n motion, were followed by others. The Prussian photographer Otto Ansch utz made use of Muybridge's method to win acclaim for h is h ighly accom pl ished serial imagery of athl etes and gymnasts in the 1 880s, and the French photOgrapher Charles Fremont u ed M arey's Station Physiologique to photOgraph the movements of manual wo rke rs . Constant reference is made in ni neteenth-cen tu ry wri ting on photography to the medium's extrao rdinary clari ty of deta i l , i ts 'microscopic fidelity to n ature'



The wo rd 'microscopic' suggests a sense of revelation , as i f no one had ever before looked at the phys ical world anywhere near as closely. This attribute was of particular appeal to artists i n terested i n the h uman body. I n h is 1 9 86 study of n i neteenth-century French photography of the body, ,

Andre Rouille makes a useful distinction between the portrait and the nude, between subject and obj ect . 16 In a portrait, the specific body (the person) being pictured i

the subject; he or she has i n i tiated the transaction, and the

photOgrapher is merely the facilitatOr. In the nude, the transaction is reversed; the photographer ini tiates the event; the body is deperso nal ized, the object. Like the medical, po lice or anthropological photograph, the artistic nude is an image made by and for the perusal of others. When the daguerreotype was invented in 1 8 39 it had an i m medi ate appeal fo r arti ts .

ir John Herschel reported to William He nry Fox Talbot that it gave

'a rich ness and del icacy of execution' which surpassed the finest engravi ng, and et 'al l pai nting at an im measurable distance'


ut daguerreotype were one-of-

a-ki nd and expen ive, and th ref; re out of the reach of all but the weal rhie t of


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arti ts. Not u n t i l the i nt roduction of the glass negative i n 1 8 5 1 , coupled wi th the albu men print, wo uld the production o f n udes spec i fi ca l ly for artists be co m merc i al ly feas ible. Pai n te rs, scul ptors, graphic artIsts and others who could not afford daguerreotypes o ften could not afford m odels ei ther; photographic p r i n ts gave them what they needed i n the way o f poses, and somethi ng m ore - the t i m e to scru t i n i ze the body i n any specific pose, returni n g to i t as ofte n as necessary. The req u i red poses were chosen fro m catalogues, and, towards the end of the centu ry, when the p ractice was well-establ ished, from specialist m agazines.


The treatment of the body i n these 'studies fro m n ature' was of two types. E ither the n udes were stripped of all deco ration, w i th the e mphasis solely oD. the body, or the body was part of a decorative scheme which i n volved flowi ng draperies, o riental rugs, m us ical i nstruments, a rm our and the l i ke . E i ther way, the body was posed acco rd i n g to the conventions o f fi ne art, notably those of antiquity o r orientalism: the n ude female supine on a couch, arranged so as to m ax i mi ze the curve of b reast and thigh; the eyes closed or averted, fei gn i ng abandon or sleep; the rich, b i llowing fabric h i n t i ng at p leasures of the boudo i r. I n the mo re ambitio us schemes m i rrors were sometimes e m pl oyed to give s i m u l taneous views o f different facets o f the body. Speci fi c styles of pai n ti n g were o ften i m i tated, even specific pain t i ngs - I ngres held particular appeal , as did the seventeenth-century D u tch school. M any artists seem to have made use o f suc h studies . Some took their own , others co m m issioned them. Some used them p rivately while denying the practice publicly, afrai d of being accused of rel iance on a l owly m echanical i nstru ment; others used them bur avoided com me nt o n the issue; a few, Eugene Delacroix i ncluded, proclai med their enthusias m . A general co m plai nt was that 'wo man' - the general ized, idealized bei ng - was a purely artistic c reation , and that the woman revealed by p hotography was specific, ident i fiable and flawed. The n ude photograph also caused anxiety among female m odels. They toO were acc ustom ed to the i deal izing vision of the fine arts and did not rel i h the camera's fidel i ty to nature. Mo reover, they worried that, whereas an artist rarely allowed a sketch to go out of h is possession, a p hotographer m ight i nadverten tly o r not let s l ip 22


extra print which would surface as erotica. M odels tended to

b e wo rking-cla s women, such as domutic servan ts, who were attracted t o the

relat ively h igh pay, but they ometlme incl uded midd le-class acquai nt a nces or relative of the photographer. For all such women, the consequences of images strayin g out of the photographer's control could be devastati ng. Photography of the female nude can be seen i n the context of art histo ry dating back to the Renaissance, but for the male n ude precedents from classical antiquity would p rove to be a far greater inspiration . Th is was especially


fo r

photographers caught up in the new passion for body-building or p hysical culture. Eugene

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andow in England and the United States and Edmond

Desbon net in France reached out to thei r poten tial clients with the help of promotional photography. Photographic imagery of their own magn ificent bod ies was held up as proof of the efficacy of their methods. The relatively un mediated realism that appealed to the artist also excited porn ographer . The earliest erotic nudes were daguerreotypes, often hand-tin ted with lovi ng attention to the flesh. The subjects were young and female, the preferred mode of viewi ng was stereo, the cl ients were men of means, and the author were generally anonymous. The uniqueness of each daguerreotype meant that production was never more than a cottage industry. I n Paris, centre of the trade, the less expl icit imagery was made available through opticians and the more explicit through the l uxury brothels. With the i ntroduction of the print, the cale of the enterprise changed dramatically and by 1 865 photographs were available at 'print sellers and fancy stationers', though it was still illegal to send them through the mai l .


For much of the nineteenth cen tury, photography of the nude was confi ned to its role as handmaiden to the fi ne arts. Towards the end of the centu ry, however, i ncreas ing numbers of pho tographers argued for photography's legitimacy as an art in its own righ t. For these advocates, the photograph ic nude was not a means to an end, but an end in i tself. I ronical ly, these Pictorial i ts, or I m pre sioni t photographers as they were sometimes cal led, felt they had to p rove thei r case by rej ecti ng the photograph's essential attribute: its descriptive clari ty and l iteral ness - the very aspect that had attracted artists in the fi rst place - and ub tituting for it pai n terly effects, uch that the works could be confused with charcoal or pastel drawi ngs, aquati nt or engraving . o the 'm icroscopic attent ion to detail' bec�me anathema; detai l was to be uppr

ed th rough oft-focu or handworked ef� cts. Backgrou nds were




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o o c n ---j o z

F rederick Holland Day Nu Je II Sh J '0'.'. I 9 0 Gel.'ltln sd'vel pnnt

pai n ted out, roughly textu red papers substitu ted for the 'co m mercial' albumen , and myth and legend i nvoked i n the Sym bolist vei n . 'Te l l i ng a sto ry, preferably a m o ra l o ne', nOle" Jo rg" Lew i n s k i i n h i s st u dy of the n u de, 'an d the reby cr eat i n g a narrat i ve i n uge w.l� an'Hhe r way i n w h i c h n i n e te e n th- and early 24

twen t ieth-cen tu ry photogrLlpher'> triel:


ove rco me the m u n dane literalness of

photography.'20 Too mundane al


was the phy ical world of the here-and- now;

t h e re is l i t t l e t race of t he grit ty n i neteen th-ce n t u ry u rban a n d i n d u t r ial enviro n me n t i n a Pi ctorialist photograp h . Clothes were happ i ly d iscard d, a too-precise ign ifiers of time and place. Nakedness was eq uated with i n nocence and prox i m i ty to nature. The bodies depicted were i nevi tably young and female, though p re-pu bescent boys were acceptable, as were older wo m e n , provided they rep resen ted motherhood. The mood was languor; the models' demeanour

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expres ed modesty and passivity. To modern eyes , Pictorial ist i m agery ap pears at best e n t i m e n ta l a n d at worst ki ch. But th ere can be no doubt t h a t the col l ective e ffo rts o f i ts p ract i t i o n e rs c reated a c l i mate of res pect fo r photography as a bona fi d e a r t fo rm a n d an enthusiasm in the public domain which would serve it wel l i n the fol lowing century. Social and cultural historians generally acknowledge that the nineteenth century 'ended' with the First World War. They have not always agreed on the precise effects of the confl ict on attitudes to the body, but there is widespread consensus as to the magn itude of i ts i mpact. Ten m il l i o n bodies obliterated, m any m i l l ions more mai med and traumatized - these were the brute facts with which each in dividual had to contend. For those who survived - and even for those who had l i ved through the war years far from the field of battle - the deprivations suffered by the body led to a new awareness of i ts essence and of the extent o f i ts vul nerab ility in the face of a highly technological worl d. I n retrospect, some of the e changes seem t o have been for t he better - for exam ple, there were certain ly forces which contributed to the liberation of women - but equally there were force which created anxieties and confl icts which to thi day have not been sati factoril y resolve d. How, then, did postwar photography deal with this much-ab used body? I n

The Rites o/Spring, cul tural historian Modris Ekstein cites various reports from the decade fol lowing the war which argued that photography had proved an i nadeq uate means of conveying the magni tude of the horror . War photograph ers blamed the censo rs; the American James H a re grumbled that 'to so m uch as make a snapshot without offici

perm ls Ion


wrI ting means

arre t'.l l But in a prescient article in 1 928, Erich Maria Remarque, fu ture author


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of the h ugely popular wa r novel All Quiet on the Western Front took photography itself to task for fragmenting the wo rld i nto neatly formatted rectangles which ripped even ts out of context and created false p ictures o f reali ty.



though ph otography pai n ted o n ly a p iecemeal p i cture of the war's true damage, the vol u me of photographs p r i n ted i n the p ress had the effect of bringing home to the p ub l ic the scale of the carnage. From the twen ties on, normal, healthy bodi es depic ted in the new ph otograph ically i l lustrated m ass-c i rculation m agaz i nes i n Europe, Asia and North America were more n atural istically and real isticall y portrayed than ever befo re in h istory. The venerabl e studio po rtrait , w i th i ts stiffly posed, i nvariably seated figure looked i ncreasi ngly anac hron istic in the face of this spo n taneous gen re, whereby people fro m a l l walks of l i fe were depicted candidly and u n selfconsciously p u rsuing their daily l ives . Gestures a nd other expressive aspects of body language could be 'caugh t' by the new camerame n , armed with tiny p o rtabl e cameras and fast fi l m . The rapidly expandi ng p ubl i c for these m agazin es was captivated by the new style of i mage ry. Some contempora ry observers detected a new body language, a shift i n the way people wal ked and expressed themselves p hysical ly. If this was i n deed the case, photography may have been partly responsible. J ust how viscerally the p ublic fel t these i m ages is evident in t his 1 926 description by the social critic Kurt Tucholsky: ' . . . a p ho tograph i f p roperly chosen p unches, boxes, whistles, grips the heart and conveys the only truth .'2.3 Co nditions of war had allowed wom e n to adopt far l ess restrictive garme nts, and, as h e m li nes rose, ankles and feet appeared. Cosmetics no longer signifled loose morals, and rouge, l i pstick and eye-shadow were i nc reasi ngly i n demand. This 'new' female body was p resen ted in i ts most ideal ized form in the pages of the fashion magazines Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. Vogue had i ntroduced what we now think of as fashion photography i n the second decade of the century, notably in the fo rm of Baron Adolf de M eyer's d reamy soft-focus appari tions, but this style was rej ected after the war in favou r of a bold crisp modernism which p ro mo ted the more boyish fl apper over more m atronly ideal : shorter ski rts, smaller hats, and s maller h i ps and b reasts became m ore de i rable. In the best imagery of Edward Steichen and George H oyni ngen - H uene, both in turn


c h ie f photographer for Vogue, the female body was made to co nfo rm to scheme

of h igh an, whether avant-garde tyle li ke Cubism and tradi tional form

on tructtvISm , or more

derived from cla sical antiquity and the Neoclassicism of

David or I ngre . But eventually the public appeti te for spontaneous and i n formal depiction of bodies had i ts im pact. It was no coi ncidence that the n rst of the great ' real i t' fa hion photographers, Manin M u n kacsi, had started o ut as a photojou rnalist of the new school. From 1 934 o n , the two modes of depicting bodies would co-exist comfortably on the fashion spreads.

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And what of an photography and the body i n the postwar years ? ' Body' till meant female, but a new breed of wo men emerged . Gone was the d reamy ymboli�m of mist-shrouded nudes and idyl lic m oonl i t haunts. Real flesh-and­ b lood bodies were brought into sharp focus. Even photographers who had practised the old style in the years preced i ng the co nfl ict knew that thi ngs had changed. Edward moved in hi

teichen , for example, prewar I m pressionist par excellence,

treatment of the nude to a bold new modern ist style which

dispensed with Pictorialist effects and began to ee the body in an essen tially scu lptu ral fa hion, as if flesh were j ust one of the new materials of the age, l i ke concrete, glass and steel . A far different approach was taken by Steichen's men tor, Alfred Stiegl i tz. Fo r twen ty years, begi nning in 1 9 1 7 , this uncompromising advocate of phorography as art, who must be credi ted with aspects of a modernist vision wel l before the war, photographed the painter Georgia O ' Keeffe in the nude. Ignoring standard convent ions - of both painting and p icrorial phorograp hy - Stiegl i tz used his came ra to exp lore lovingly every n u ance of O ' Keeffe's body. Tak i n g h i s cue fro m Pi casso's and Kand in sky's theories of pa i n t i ng, he under tood that p ho tography was not merely an obj ective reco rd of a phys i cal real i ty b u t a m i rror, or equivalent, of the imagemaker's own emotional state . On the West Coas t, I mogen

u n n i n gham and Edward We ton l i kewise abandoned myth

and a l lego ry and ent h usiastically ex p l o red the body as a s u b j ect in i tself. I f the fu l l -figure n ude was by now a wel l -esta l i shed trad i tion i n pho tography, the body c o u l d be coaxed to revea l another d i m e n s i o n of i ts e l f t h ro ugh fragmentation. Cameras moved in closely to the body, pl ayi ng a game of geometry and ab tract ion. Fo r European photographer and ani ts R ali m was an attractive option. Brassai' famous i n formal studie of Pari ian prostitu tes and Rao ul Hausman n's


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i m agery of naked bod ies o n a beach demonstrated a w i l li n gn ess to face facts abou t the body which were by no means flattering. Hausmann's bodies (wh ich i n c l uded h is own ) are seen from u n o rthodox angles and vantage p o i n ts. They rej ec t all coyness and pretti fi cation a n d stress i n s tead a raw, earthy phys icali ty. There is noth i n g o f Steichen's o r Weston's elega n t stone-textured ski n , Cu n n ingham's sensual geometry, o r Stiegli tz's p ass i o n . H ausm a nn argued: What is i mporta n t is that o u r o ptica l awareness rids i tself of c l assical noti ons of beauty a n d opens i tself more a n d more to the beauty of the i nsta n t and o f those surprisi ng poin ts of view that appear for a brief moment and n ever return; those are what m ake photography an art. 24 B u t E u ro pean sensi b i l ities were generally more attuned to paradox and mystery than their North American cou nterparts. The American-born Man Ray, for i nstance, fo u n d a more support ive enviro n m e n t for his fertile i m agi nation i n Paris, where he transfo rmed t h e n aked female body thro ugh solarizat i o n , n egative printing and the l i ke, creati ng a n oeuvre suffused with mystery, wi t a n d eroticism. L i k e H ausma n n , Man Ray argued t h a t photography couLd be a r t , b u t only if t h e eye were subord i n ated to t h e i mag i native facu l ties, to a n i n ne r visio n . I n the hands of French, G erman , Pol ish, Czechoslovakian , H un garian a n d other E u ro pean pho tographers the body was subjected to i n fi n i te trans­ formations and tra nsfigu rations t hrough reflection and refraction, solarization, multipl e exposu re, a deli berate con fusion with ma nneq u i ns and dol ls, photo­ mon tage and collage, m ul t iple exposu re, and a variety of idiosyncratic printing tech n iq ues - 'a new con t i n e n t o f optical poetry' , the Czech experimen ter Karel Teige cal led i t.2S There was a disturb i ng n ote of mi sogyny i n many of these often tortured visions, though it o n ly i n frequently achi eved the level of mania that is apparent in the savagely dismembered dolls o f H a ns Bell mer. The body features heavily i n Su rreal ist and Constructivist montage and collage throughout Europe. D isembodied eyes and hands were motifs which occu r again and agai n i n the work of ani ts such as Teige in Czechoslovakia, Alexander Rodchenko in Russia and Kazimierz Podsadecki in Poland. Someti mes the message was metaphys ical, at other ti mes social or pol itica l . Togethe r these wo rks co nvey a sense of a world whi c h ha s sl ipped i ts moral and


spiritual moori ngs, and hint at deep anJ u n resolved psychologica l distress.

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George Platt Lynes Untitled 1 9 36 Gelatin silver pnnl


econd Wo rl d War could only heighten these anxieties. Afterward ,

photography wo uld continue to extend and refi ne the new vocab ulary of photographic exp ression but what was lost wa the prewar faith, ferve ntl y expres ed by many photographers, that an im passioned photographic vision could actually transform social and pol i tical real ity. This fervent hope, notes photographic hi to rian nt irely;


hri topher Phill ips, would

a sophisticated



di appear al most



u 'ed




---1 ::::0

photographers l i ke [ H arry] Cal lahan o r Ray Metzker t o give form to the ever more elusive concerns of a meditative sens i b i l i ty . . . a reaffi rmation of i n ner 26

o o c () ---1

experience and the exercise of individual creativi ty' .

o z

con trived fro m puny fi ngers and t h u m bs, or the way in which Arno Rafael

I n this l ight, witness for

exa m ple B i l l B randt's H e n ry Moore- l i ke fragm e nts o f the body, Ral ph G ibson's elegant fo rmalism of truncated shapes, H o l ly Wrigh t's thick male torsos M i n kkinen weaves h imsel f seamlessly i n to the F i nn ish landscape. The mo tives, strategies and approaches u n dertaken by photographers a re as i n fi n i tely varied as the h uman bodies depicted. Whether they have chosen to foc us on their own bodies or the bod ies of models, friends or l overs ; whether they have approached their subj ect with an u n fl i nc hi ng documentary realism, or a passion fo r abstraction and design, o r with the need to transform the body i n to some other a n i mate or inani mate being, landscape, or fan tasy . . . whether their motives have been scien t ific, aesthetic or politica l , photographers conti n ue to fi n d i n the human body a subject of i n fi ni te potential.

Dr M. Aszal Ansary An 8-wee� h uman foetu., rests In an adult's palm 1 99 1


Gelatin silvel- pnnt

A G u i d e to th e C hapte rs The photograph

have been arranged according to a framework of twelve

chap ters, the contents of which are as follows:



the tradition of the fu l l -figu re n u d e the real m o f scie ntific e x p l o rati o n

t h e v u l n e rable, mo rta l b o d y ; an e m p h as i s o n corpore a l i ty


the body ' i n pa rt'

the body at its peak of phys ical c o n d i t i o n ; dance a n d spo rts

the body as an o bject of sexual d e s i re


t h e o p p ressed a n d victim ized body

the i deal i zed body


the camera t u r n ed o n the p h otogra p h e r's own body


th e body as a s i te of contested mean i ng and val u e


t h e body transfo rm e d

the body i n the rea l m of d ream, fan tasy a n d obsession

Any si ngle i mage has diverse attributes; what these attributes are depends as much on what the viewer reads i n to them as what the photographer int ended ; one viewer see beauty where another see ugl i ness; one sees an object of desi re where another ees sexual exploitation; on sees scientific data where another ees an u n i nt ended ae thetic effect. By incl ud i ng an image in a particular chapter I mean to focus on one i gn ificant attri b u te of the im age, one po si ble read ing. However, the chapters are not seen as m utually exclusive, and other po ible read i ng are not den ied. I ndeed , the i n cl u ion f one photographer's i magery in e v ral chapt r i a tribute t o a multifaceted vi ion.



interested in producing truncated shapes in proportion to the fra me and

composition, shapes that are preferably luminous.


not interested in the

full-figure; 1 want to abstract forms. RA L P H G I B S O N , Nude: Theory, 1 979

Ph otogra p h i c fragm e n tati o n of t h e h u m a n body, at l east i n te r m s of a b o n afi d e a e s th eti c p racti c e , i s e s s e n ti a l ly a twe nti et h - c e n tu ry p h e n o m e n o n . T h e n i n ete e n t h - c e n tu r y m a ke r o f a n u d e w a s p re ­ do minantly concerned with fabricating academic-sty le full-figure studies which could be used as aids by painters and sculptors. And although occasionally he woul d be expected also to provide separate i mages of hands and feet, t h ese we re m ea n t to s h ow greate r a n ato m i ca l d eta i l a n d were n eve r i n te n d e d as wo rks o f a rt i n th e i r own right.

That is not to say that there are no n ineteenth-ce ntury p recedents to twen tieth­ cen tu ry 'fragments' , but they are fou n d in other contexts. There is" for example, Andre D isderi's 1 860s mosaic i mage show i ng the feet o f the dancers at the Paris Opera (36) , or Lo uis Pierso n's famous portrait of the Coun tess Castiglione i n w h i c h s h e h o l d s a n oval p i ct u re fram e to h e r eye i n a p lay o n expo s u re and conceal m e n t . T h e re is a marve l l o us 1 8 5 3 s t u dy o f Madame H ugo's hand by Auguste Vacquerie as wel l , and n o doubt other such t reasures exist. But these a re h a rd l y fragme n ts of t he body i n t h e ful ly modern sense - they reveal no secret regions normally concealed beneath the cloth i ng a nd the parts depicted are presen ted as emblem of person al i ty, social standing o r occupation. S uch photographs fal l clearly within the co n text of po rtrai ture rather than the n ude. I n the n i neteenth cen tu ry the fragment as we co nceive it today would have been u nt h i nkable. FI rst of all , ph0tography of the n aked body unsettled 32

Victorians whenever i t was encoun tered ,)ut ide the realms o f h igh art a nd pure


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Bon nard

Untitled c 1 880 Albumen print


science. Fragmenting the body wou l d have seemed pos i tively ' i n decent' , to use a word m uch e m ployed by critics of the period. Mo reover, it h ardly even m

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occurred to photographers that there was any aesthetic potential i n a fragmentary vision - they were completely absorbed i n workin g o u t an aesthetic o f the figure. So photography o f the t i m e o n ly h i n ts a t the potential for the aesthetica lly autonomous fragment . We see such p receden ts in a beautifu l 1 8 5 1 calotype i m age of a h a n d by the pai n ter/ p h o tographer C harles N egre a n d i n a pro fi le o f the upper part o f a wom an's body by L . B o n n a rd fro m later i n the cen tury ( 33 ) . There is also a n anonymous, enigmatic American t i n type fro m the 1 860s which s uggests some m ea n i n g fu l p erso n a l co m me m o ra t i o n , or poss i b l y b e t rays a year n i n g to b r i dge t he c h a s m b e tween ge n e ra t i o ns ( 3 7 ) . B u t i t i s fai r to say that, these few pictures asi de, there were no conscious, s ustained artistic efforts to depict or co m p re h e n d t he b o dy i n terms of t h e fragm e n t befo re the early decades o f the twen tieth cen t u ry. What then paved the way fo r the twen tieth-ce ntury photographer's obsession with the fragment? Possi b ly one factor was the widespread practice, begin n i ng i n the 1 8 70s, of ' i nstantaneous photography' . Amateurs and professionals ali ke d e l i gh ted i n t h e u n i n te nd ed e ffects w h i ch res u l ted fro m o d d a ngl e s, b l u rs , distort i o ns o f fo regro u n d obj ects, u n expected croppi n g o r t h e 'cu tt i ng-off' o f figures a s t h ey s uddenly m oved i n to o r o u t of the fram e . T hese m o t i fs fo u n d t h e i r way i n to the pain t i n gs o f Degas and o th ers, and becam e a standard feature o f fam ily albums, as the appeal o f the stiff, thoroughly conve n tionalized studio portrait receded . ' By the power of convincing i m ages', notes photo historian Aaron Scharf, 'pho tography served, i n these and i n other respects, to undermi ne any ideas of an i m m utable perception of natu re . ' 1 Certai n ly the scientific p ropensity t o sl ice up t i m e a n d space i n to ever finer u n i ts co n t r i b u ted genera l l y to a n ew consc i o us n ess a b o u t the natural world, and wo re away the belief that the evidence of the senses provided al l that was req u i red. The revelations of scientist/photographers l i ke Duchenne, Marey and Muyb ridge had a marked i m pact on avan t-garde artists . Cubists and Futurists in tu rn i n fl uen ced photograph ers i n te rested i n aesthetics. Cl ose-ups, which we re bei ng employed to stu n n i ng effert i n the cinema, m ust also have been an


i n A ue n t ial factor.

Med ical photograph toO may have contrib uted to the shift towards a more fragmentary vision of the body. Nineteenth-century a natomy wi messed wh3.t Tracy Teslow cal ls 'the tri umph of the fragment' . 2 Lithography and refi ned co lour printi ng tech n iques enabled anatom ists to reveal the secrets of the body with ever i ncreasin g accu racy and precisio n , and photography and X-ray


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technology were seen a excellent too ls. Notes Teslow: ' I ncreas i n gly image of the body presented fragments. Bits of huma n flesh were objectified, qua n ti fied, cod ified, rationalized and thus existed apart from the whole to which they belonged . " By the 1 920s photographers of the n ude had accepted the fragme nt "' a a viabl e o ption . Si nce the n , many photographer have chosen to focus on the fragme nt. We t h i n k of the rigorou 'New Objectivity' of German photographers of the 1 920s

Alfred Stiegliu Untitled ( Hands of Helen Freeman)



Toned sliver gelatin pnnt



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Andre Adolphe Eugene Disderi Les jombes de /'Opera (Legs at the Opera) c. 1 864 Albumen corte-de Vlslte

and 1 930s, practition ers l i ke August Sal1der and Max B u rchartz, o r the F64 gro up i n Cal i fo rn ia, notably Edward Weston and I mogen C u n n i ngham . But we fi nd effective body fragmentation everywhere - i n twen tieth-cen tury dance photography, i n the approp riation of body parts i n Surrealist and Constructivist photography and collage, i n war photography and w i th i n the tradi tion of the n ude. The sense of d is location i m p l i c i t in a fragmen tary vision is in i tself an evocative metaphor fo r the modern condi ti on. So me photographers l i r. l i t themselves to the torso, stripping th e body of i ts he:ld and l i m bs j ust u p to the p("'i.l. t where the i n tegrity of the whole is 36

t h reatened . David Buckland, for example, focuses o n the tors o o f a dancer,

com p ressing her tighrly into hi

box of a frame ( 50) . M any p roponents of

fragmentation have remarked on t his need to crop off the head, or at least the face, which i otherwise too compelling - and d istracting - a focu . This marks an i n teresting reversal of the nineteenth-century practice where the head was the central in tere t, said to be 'the rul i ng part of the figure' , as i f it lived


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i ndependently of it - l i terally 'above' it - the sanctuary of morality, m i n d and pirit. Perhaps it was in reaction to this that modern photographers took the rad ical tep of ban ishing the head entirely from their compositions. T he eye, however, i another matter. Wi th the exception of the hand, which i nvested"'with al most magical associations of character and perso nal identity, it is the most photographed of al l bodi ly com ponents. That hand and eye enjoy a privileged status among photographers is not surprisi ng; they are, after al l , at the root o f the art and craft of photography.

Anonymous Untitled C. 1 860$ T intype


Robert Mapplethorpe Milton Moore 1 9 8 1 Gelatin silver print m

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Edward Weston Nude, Chons, Arms ond Legs 1 9 34 Gelatin silver print

At fi rst glance, twen tieth-century fragme n ts appear to fal l i nt o three general categories. I n the fi rst we fi nd the Realist fragment, where a portion of the body is subjected to i nt ense scru tiny. Em phasi is


objective clari ty. The German

photographer August ander worked from the ] 920s thro ugh the 1 9 50s on a series of j u t such cl i n ical ly precise pictu res, depict i n g body parts



what he

cal led, as o n ly a photographer of the mach i ne age could, 'Ma n's organic tools' .4 The close-ups of Roberr Davies, a youn g Bri tish photographer, might be seen a exten d i ng this traditio n (48, 49) .



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F rantisek D rtikol Nude With Shadow 1 945 Gelatin sliver pnnt

( right) Ernestine Ruben Peek A Boo Fingers 1 987 Gelatin sl iver pnnt

I n the seco nd, the fo rmalist fragment, the emp hasis is on outl ine, shape, vo l u me, abstract ion, desip:n - a geo metry is constructed from the raw material of the body. The Czechoslovakian photographer Frantisek Drtikol's Nude with 40

S/Jadow of 1 94 5 ( aboue) is a pri me example. Details of flesh and hai r are


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Umbo Nude 1 9 30 Gelatin silvel- pri nt

Imogen C u n n i ngham 1\ Ie '> 2 1 9 39 42

Gelatlr silvel" pnnt

su ppressed i n favou r of rhythm an d harmon ious fo rm . No scars o r growths are al lowed to i m pi nge on the smooth , seam less textu res of ski n . At the root of these fo rmal ist abstractio ns, it seems, is a yearn i ng fo r


ideal ized, im mort al body.

The th ird category we mi gh t cal l the trans� rmative or perhaps am bi guous fragm e n t . H e re we fi n d arrempt


rran cend li te ral i nt erpretations i n o rder



Pierre Radisic SonJo 1 98 7 Gelatin si lver pnnt

evoke some other order of bei ng, a n i mate or i nani m ate. I t takes a moment to decipher such pictures, to real ize that the 'skul l ' presen ted by Belgian photographer Pie rre Rad isic is in fact a woman's back, the 'eye-sockets' of the skull no m ore than a m i rage fo rmed by the configuration of arms and neck

(above) . Or that the two i n q u i s i tive rodents peering at each other in Tono tano's Private Performance II ( 5 8 ) are i n real i ty h u man feet, distant relations, perhaps, to the naki ng foot mesmerized by the l ight in B i l l B randt's Nude, Belgravia ( 5 3) . O r to work out what strange species of h u ma ni ty people the dreamworld of 44

Ernestine Ruben (4 1 , and right) .


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Ernestine Ruben Brooklyn Bndge 1 987 Gelatin sl iver pnnt


Lynn Davis Block Hand. New York City 1 978 Gelati n sl iver pnnt

I n fai rne s to the photographers, however, these discrete catego ries hard ly do j ust ice to the complexi ty of their ideas . Lyn n Davis's m o n u m e n tal hand (above) , fo r example, is q u i n tessential ly real ist, down to the precisely ren dered i ndivid ual hairs on the wrist and the Pl i n ute crease i n the s ki n . Yet this is hardly a cl i n ical treatment in the ander man ner. I nsr-e� d she i nvests this mag n i fice nt object with 46

an aura o f d i g n i ty and i ndepe nde n t pri e.

Pierre Radisic Luc�y 1 98 3 Gelalln sdvel iJl lnl 47

I n the close-ups of Robert D avies (above and right) there is also somethi ng mo re than objective descriptio n . Revelation comes fro m seeing the body so closely, magn i fied ( i n the original prints) seventeen o r eighteen times. I t is as i f we were holdi ng a h igh-powered magn ifying glass to a part o f the body, or searching our faces i n the m irror for a tel l - tale wri nkle o r blemish. The strength of this l i teral ist approach is in i ts d i rectness and honesty. Prettifying elemen ts of 'com position' and 'form' hold l i ttle mean i ng. We are attracted or repelled by the raw physical facts. A tuft of hair in an ear or t i ny u n ruly hairs on the head stri ke 48

us - to our surprise - as profoundly be:.. utifu l , h i nting at other n atural fo rms.

(opposite) Robert Davies Eye I 1 992 Gelatin silver print

Robert Davies Ear I 1 992 Gelatin silver print


The self-portrai ture ofJohn Coplans should also caution us against simplistic notions of 'type' where fragments are concerned ( right, 57, 5 9 ) . These works are m

fo rmally co m plex and h ighly realistic, yet they still manage to convey a sense of transformation and mystery, o f the body as a fortress (with fists poised to do battle in i ts defence) or as an archaic m am mal. Coplans h imself p rofesses no documentary i n terest i n h is own body, n o fascination with self H is body is as any other, specified o n ly by age and gender. ' My photographs' , he writes, ' recall the memories of the h uman race.'5 0 (below) David Buckland Torso III 1 979 Platinum pnnt

(right) John Coplans Self-portrGi( 1 9 84 Gelat i n silver pnnt


To n o Stan o Man In a Frome 1 99 I Gelatin silver pnnt


Bill Brandt Nude. Belgrovlo 1 95 I Gelatin si lver pnnt m

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Lynn Davis Block Bock. New York City 1 978 Gelatin sl iver pnnt


Edward Weston 1\' lu ' 1 9 39 Geld un ' Ivel" pnnt


Pierre Radisic 'e, JnlCO 1 986 Gelato:') silver pnnt

John Coplans Sel(portrait 1 985 Gelatin stiver pnnt


Tono Stano Pnvate Performance /I 1 99 I Gelatin silver pnnt


John Coplans Se!(!-,orcrolt 1 984 Gelati;, silver pnnt



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F I GUR ES The photographer has an immense advantage over the painter by reason ofhis being able to obtain a view ofthe entire figure at once upon the focusing plate. The Photographic News,


January 1 8 6 5

W h e n t h e b o d y i s m e n t i o n e d i n t h e c o n text of p h otograp hy, w h at u s u a l ly s p r i ngs to m i n d i s t h e n u d e , w h i c h h as e s ta b l i s h e d i ts e l f a s a ve n e ra b l e tradition over the past one hundred y ears. For most of the nineteenth centur y, however, the situation was different on two counts. First l y. the word 'body ', with al l i ts fl esh l y ass o c i ati o ns, was se l d o m u se d i n d isc u ss i o n s o n p h otograp hy: n u d es were c o m m o n ly refe rred to as 'figu res'.

T h e early years o f p ho tography c o r resp o n ded to a p e r i o d o f excessive p r ude ry, w h e n both men and women began to conceal t h e i r bodies w i t h i n c reas i n g t h o ro ugh ness . A s c u l tu ra l h is t o r i a n Ste phe n Ker n n o tes, ' T h os e V ic to rians w h o do m i n ated p u b l i c moral i ty c a m e to regard t he i r bodies a s a threat to respectab i l ity, a n d t heir atti tude toward them was a com b i natio n of den ial, distortion and fear. ' 1 T his campaign of de ni a l was particul arly harsh on the bodies o f women, who for m uch of the n ineteenth cen t u ry wore constricting c l o t h i n g w h i c h act u a l l y d efo r med the body a n d i m pa i red i ts p h ys i o logical functions. Seco ndly, and not surp risi ngly in this c l imate of o p i n io n , the photographi c n ude was not seen as a p ro mising ave nue to explore. The n ude was estab l ished as the province of the pain ter and scul pto r; i n fact, m astery of the nude was at the core of the highly structured 'academic' system of training fo r artists. H owever, al though Victo rians were w i l l i ng to accept i dealized n ude figures depicted on canvas and 60

culpted i :1 marble, they took offe nce at the fact

that a photograph showed a real , identifiable h uman bei ng. I t was o n e thi ng

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Oscar Gustave Rej lander The Infant Phowgrophy GIVing the POinter on Additional Brush 1 856 Albumen pnnt

Fo r an 'amoral l i thograph' to prI n g from an artist's i magi n ati o n , but quite another to req u i re a real wo man to pose n ude.2 I f photography was to have a ro le ro play, con idered opi ni on mai n tai ned that it should be that of handmaiden to the fi ne arts, a Fu nction acknowl edged pictorially by the emi nent Victorian pa i nt e r- tu rn ed-photographer Oscar G u tave Rej lander in his 1 8 56 im age The

Infant Photography Giving the Painter an AdditionaL Brush (above) . What happened i n private, however, was a n other matter. I n a cul tural cli mate where women's bodi e were exually arou i n g, it i


h idden that

gl i mp e of an ankle could be

not surprising that daguerreotypes were im med iately

commandeered fo r the purpo es of erotic gratificat i o n . And i nce eroticism i about Fan ta y, i t was only natural that photographers would co n t rive exotic setting and po e their models languorou Iy i l l the man ner of wel l-known pai n t i ng .l

cca ional ly, however, we fi nd a daguerreotype n ude wh i h h i nt s at


a lov in g relationship between p ho tographer and m odel ( 8 2 ) , s uggesting that CJ C

early on certai n photographers recognized the med i u m as an i n tensely personal

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one. H owever, as such dague rreotypes are i nevi tably anonymous (which was the best way fo r the pho tographer to stay out of trouble) , we shall never be s u re of their makers' i n tentions. We can be fai rly certai n , though , that the 1 843 French daguerreotype of a male n ude on page 65 was made for a sculpto r or painter. The relaxed, co n fiden t pose of the m odel suggests that he knew that the i mage would rem a i n a private affair; possibly the model i s the artist h i mself, curious to see h is own body objectively. Many n ineteenth-century artIsts would util ize such photographs as aids, though few could afford the more expensive, o ne-of-a-ki nd daguerreotypes. Artists recogn ized that s uch photographic stud ies saved time and avoi ded the expense o f a model. They co uld also be used to solve tec hni cal p roblems such as foresho rten i ng, and, m o re generally, to trigger u nexpected i nsigh ts i nto the two­ di mensional rep resentation of the h uman body. The production o f such n udes became someth i n g of an industry i n France as the cen t u ry wore o n . Studies of the naked bodies o f men, wom e n and c hi ldren were made available i n a vari ety of poses , as were close-ups of ha nds and feet. A well-made photograph was expected to show the body under a u n i form l ight which would depict anatomical detai l as clearly as possible, tho ugh gestu res and express ions were also considered to be helpfu l . M i rrors were co m mo n ly used to reveal a body in the rou n d (70) . A more elabo rate kind of aid m ight i ncl ude props of vanous kinds, vol u m i nous d raperies and fabrics, and possibly som e body ado rn me n t (7 1 , 8 1 ) . Someti mes poses loosely approxi mated o r even m i m icked those of famous pai nti ngs . Auguste Belloc's u n ti tled study of a female n ude (69) is uncann i ly close to Vel asquez's Toilet of Venus. When i t came to these more elaborate treatments of the nude the body was al most inevitably fem ale; m id-ni neteenth­ centu ry male nudes are extremely rare. I n thi s gender bias, however, photography was si m p ly fo llowing the lead of pai n ti ng, i n wh ich the female n ude had been the pri mar: focus fo r five h u ndred years. As it was in France that these aids were most widely avai lable, many French


arti ts made u e of them. The great roman tic painter Eugene Delacroix was a

particularly i nfluential enthusia t, not only co m m i ion i ng pho tographs and taking o rne of h is own , but wri t i ng presciently about the medi u m . He ob erv d that 'many other arti ts have had recour e to the daguerreotype to correct erro rs of vision' ,4 and noted that the d rawings of certai n Renaissance master such a

Cl C ;0 m (,f)

Marcan tonio Rai mondi looked wholly u n n atural in comparison with

photographs. H is only complaint was that 'the adm i rable i n vention came so late!" H e would have marvel led later i n the century at the pioneeri ng studies of the body in motion by Muybri dge and Marey ( 1 07, 1 1 8- 1 9 , 1 22 ) , which would win many converts to the i dea that the med i u m revealed new facts. Another... great pai nter who used photographs a stud ies fo r his wo rk was Edgar Degas. A number of his d rawi n gs 'suggest that he had absorbed lessons from Muybridge. Degas h i mself was an acco mpl ished photographer and his wholly origi n al approach to co mposition, frami ng, l igh ting and subj ect matter was wel l i n advance of h is colleague , anticipati n g the casual i nt i macy of late­ twenti eth-century photographers (79) . Other Western co untries d i d not offer hospitable cl i mates for the production of such aids, and artist who wished t o make use of them had to rely on purchases fro m France.

trict regulation of the mail made r h i difficult: 'These beautiful

prim are prod uced with the greatest care, and without any kind of reto uch i ng, because of the very spec ial purpose for wh ich they are to be used,' wrote the

Photographic News in 1 8 8 0, ' Unfortunately, the majority of arti ts are obl iged to do without them.'6 As early as the 1 8 50s i n France, there was a certai n amoum of photographic experi mentation with the n ude as a subject in i ts own right. But in England the idea met wi th l i ttle i nt e re t and occasional hostil i ty. Those n udes that were produced were very decorous affa i rs. There was noth i n g in Roger Fenton's reti cem example to ruffle bourgeo is feathers (73 ) . Oddly enough, given the moral cli mate, naked children were particularly popular subjects in both Britain and France (74, 7 5 ) , and many of the image have a disti nct u ndertow of rotici m . Kusakabe K i mbei's 1 890s staging o f a next-to-naked Japanese letter-carrier ( 83 ) would have been quite acceptable to

uro pean eyes si nce naked n e

e n a appropriate 'costume' fo r non-We terners . The same i anonymou


true of the

photograph of T ban worn n posed bare-breasted with va rious


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cultural artefacts (77) .7 H owever F. R. Barton's study of a M o t u girl i n Papua New G u in ea may h ave been som ewhat m ore u nsettli n g (76) . Barton was a co lon ial

adm i nistrator among the i n di genous


H is ostensi b ly

anthropological s ubject ( i n t h is particular series of i m ages, which was extensive) was tattooi n g, b u t h is work betrays a sexual obsessi o n wi th n ubile girls. Accord i ng to anth ro pologists M a u reen M ac Kenzie and Martha M ac i n tyre, Barton's p hotographs were not the documentary reali sm that they seem to be, b u t 'staged tableaux' : M oving beyon d the scientifica l ly defined boundaries of a n t h ropological study, Barto n d irected h is compositions accordi n g to late-n i netee nth-ce ntury art t raditions. The girls become artist's m odels, choreographed by Barton to em ulate the postures of Hellenic sculptures . . . . . . The you n g Papuans becom e Oriental Odal isques, their sexu al attractive­ ness bei n g cloaked i n the Edwardian h igh-art genre .s The authors poi n t o u t that tattoos such as the one show n here would not normally have been visible to the gaze of an o u tsider, which s uggests that Barton was exercising h is powers exploi tively. I n photography, we m ust rem i n d o u rselves, photographs o f t h e figure are not always what they seem . As the century waned, certa i n photographers began t o show a n i nterest i n the

n ude with i n the context o f Symbolist ideas. The figures depicted by the Pictorial ists, as t hey were called, were asexual creatures, ethereal, fl eshless ( n o mere paeans to t h e flesh' , wro te one critic approvi ngly o f Steichen's n udes')) . Special printing techn iques p roduced h azy and i ndistinct effects so that the i m ages looked l i ke etchi n gs or l i thographs. The models were alm ost always wo men, h eads t urned shyly from the camera (Steichen claims that the women themselves chose to look away) . Male n u d i ty was seen for the m ost part as toO blatantly sexual, though boys , who were thought to be less sensually p rovocative, were acceptable. Adu l t males were considered s u i table for compositions having to do with m yth, legend and the ancient wo rld (67 ) . I t is d i fficult n o t t o accuse t h e Pictorialists of a surfeit of senti mentali ty a n d reactionary th i n ki ng, given t h e radi cal departures from trad i ti o n characteristic of pai nting of the ti me, but their earnest effo rts did provide a basis for the rebi rth of the n ude in the early year 64

of the twen tieth cen tu ry. A n umber of

photographers , i ncluding Weston a n d teichen, went thro ugh a phase of moody

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Anonymous (French) Mole Nude Study c 1 84 3 Daguen-eotype


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and ind i tinct pictures before embraci ng the modernist can o n . M o reover, the wo rk o f som e modernists was e n riched by Symbo l is m (72 ) . The French photographer Frant isek Drtiko l was comfortable wi th elemen ts of both s tyles (4 1 , 7 8 ) . As we have seen in the i n troduction , early twe ntieth-century American n udes tended towards a h ard-edged real ism . Stiegl i tz, Weston and C u n n i ngham ( 8 4 , 9 3 , 92) p u t moody express i o n is m beh i n d t h e m a n d , i n Westo n's words, strove 'to p resen t objectively the tex t ure, rhyt h m , form i n nature, without subterfuge or evasi o n i n tech n i q u e or s p i r i t . . . ' 1 0 D e l i g h t i n geo me try a n d abstrac t i o n com pensated for t h e loss of mysticism and emotion. By contrast, a m ore avant­ garde i magination s uffused the best European n udes. M a n Ray a n d h is col leagues were more i nterested i n breakin g free of the realist m ode and s ubsti tuting fo r i t visions fro m t he i n ner eye - l ight grap h ics, m o n tages , solarizations a n d other

N u ma-Blanc Untitled c. I 856-69 Albumen pnnt

'. .� '


. ..


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Anonymous Untitled c. 1 890 Albumen print

darkroo m m a n i p u l a t i o n s . Even a more conven t i o nal fi gure st u dy was an o pport u n i ty to use innovat ive materials such as cel lophane (96) . B ut these tendencies should not obscure a general cli mate of support for the subject of the nude, as well as considerable transatlantic cross-ferti l i zation. The best of the Americans exhibited in i m portant ex hi bitions in Euro pe and emigrant E u ro peans bro ugh t to North America fa m i l iarity with avant-garde art ideas, e l egance and a zest fo r experi mentation ( 8 9 ) . Newco mers to the U . S . l i ke Geo rge H oyn i ngen- H uene (86) , Horst P Horst ( 8 5 , 1 00) and Erwin Blumenfeld ( 8 8 ) wo rked fo r prestigious mass-ci rculation magazi n es such as Vogue, Vanity

Fair and Harper's Bazaar and thei r creative infl lence was widely felt. B ritish photographers found a somewhat more l iberal cli mate for the nude in the twent ieth century. I n 1 934 Bertram Pa rks and Yvo nne Grego ry ( 9 5 ) publ ished The Beauty of Female Form, possibly the fi rst book of nudes i n B r itain which wa not con nected to the natu rist movement .


John Havinden

made Henry Moore's acquaintance and photo graphed the scul pto r's model


Gwendolyn E l l i s i n a Mooresque vem (90) , w h i l e Rosali nd M a ingot was C'l C

eviden tly i n fl uenced by Su rreal i s m (87) . I n terms of an absol u tely o riginal

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vision, however, B i l l B randt was the foremost of the B ri ti s h photographers who took up the s ubj ect of the n ude ( 5 3 , 3 5 5 ) , s i t uating his m odels i n claustrophobic Victo rian roo ms wh ich seem at odds with the sensuo us natu re o f the fles h . U . S . photographer Ruth Bernhard's del icately rendered n udes of t h e 1 960s were made i n response to tendencies she saw i n Western culture which worked to debase and exploit the bodies of wom e n ( 9 8 ) . She hoped to com pensate for a tide of p h otographs which were 'so rdi d and cheap' by p roduci ng i m ages w i th rhythm ic, fl u i d l ines, evocative of m usic and poetry. 1 1 Bathed i n soft natural l ight, her bod ies are at peace with themselves and with each other.

Richard Crawshay Tuoosh Bach c.


1 870


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Auguste Bel loc Untitled c. 1 850 Albumen pnnt

A s i m ilarly rhyth mic orchestration of l i ne and shape ani mates D ianora Nicco l i n i ' 1 970s black male nudes. he, too, hoped to oppose the deep ly rooted belief that the naked body was 'evil, di rty and therefore m ust be h idden especially the male body' . 1 3

ne solution was to heroicize the m ascul ine

phy ique and draw parallels with works of art ( 1 0 1 ) . I ndeed, the texture of the uperb body i n Niccolini's i mage is - thanks to a partial solarization - more aki n to bronze than fle h . The tight cropping, which compres es the body i n ide the frame, i highly effective as a means of creating pictorial tensi on, particularly as Nicco l i n i top j u t at the point where fu rther fragmentation would com promise a ense of the body's wholene . By compari on with Niccol i n i' bronze texture, Robert Mapplethorpe' splayed male figure i flesh i ncarnat (94 ) . While her model sugge ts a tatue, h i looks l i ke a crucifi d figure, rising above the head of the viewer. Here the ph tographer i ndulg

in a delib rate iconograph ic


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A . Vignola Untitled c . 1 900 Albumen pnnt

J . E. Lecadre Untitled c. 1 87 1 -96 Albumen pnnt

ambiguity between the acred (the fo rm of the cross) and the profane (the eroticized Aesh) . 14 uch da rker themes characterize m uch late twenti eth-century photography of the naked figure. Th i is partly in reaction to what are perceived as particul arly troubled time for the body, and partly because nudity has beco me su h a ommonplace motif i � popular culture and so ubiquito us in advertisi ng that rious photographer bel ieve that some hock therapy is needed in order t re lai m the body fo r art. Photographer

are not alone in thei r effort

to rel l1vest the body with

hum a n i ty; many con temporary painters, vi deo, performance and in tal lation artists, and dancers expre

i m i lar senti ment . Photographer Ph i l i p Trag r'

image o f dancer Mari ka Blo feldt port rays a vuln rabie, tormented creature,


Andre Garban Woman with Skull, Pons c. 1 9 30 Gelatin silver bromide (right) Roger Fenton PartlOlly Draped Nude I 850s Albumen pnnt

l i ke a you n g b i rd abando ned by i ts mother ( 1 02) . This a n d other Trager dance images warn that the world is n o longer a n urturi ng, n atural h abi tat. Span ish photographer Javier Val l h o n rat sought out the gi fted French dancer Do m i n ique Abel to give shape to h is ideas about the h um a n 'po session' of space - the two-d i mensional Fossession by the pho tographer, the th ree-d i mensional possess ion by the dancer ( 1 0 5 ) . Va l l h o n rat believes that the u n iversal use, or 72

rather ab use, of pho tography has che' ted h u ma n bei n gs of the a b i l i ty to perceive


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Louise Biender-Mestro Unt itled C. 1 89 5 - 1 9 1 4 Albumen pllnt

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Eveleen Myers Harold c. 1 890 Platinum pnnt

and experI ence space


deprh ; in creasi ngly we dwell i n a Aarrened, rwo­

d i memi nal image-wo rld . Wirh his supple collaboraror, Val lhonrar ser our


r d ress r h i im balance, d i recring her ro em body si m ple geomerric hapes - i n rhi

i n ran e r h e rriangle - wirh her vol ume. Thu

can an , rhus

'approach a n d challeng rhe pure signs of marhemarical rar ional iry.



' I 'i

al lhon rar' comparrior H u mberro Riva ha cho e n a less rhearrical mode for hi porr rayal of a omewhar and rogynous young woman ( 1 04 ) . He al lows her fran k gaze ro ngage u di recrly. Riva em ploys a black backgro und


t h row his


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Captain F . R. Barton Motu gwl p ,drlling a canoe c. 1 890 Modern pnnt from glass plate onglnal

ubject' pale form i n to harp rel ief, while the ru mpled sheet lends th Image a sense of depth and rel i ve i ts tarkne . Am ong the mo t i n ventive late twentieth-ce nt u ry n udes are those produced i n the 1 970 and 1 980 by the U .


photographer Lee Friedlander (97) . When

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they appeared i n book form in 1 99 1 critics fou n d them d i fficult to a es : 'They're not j u t d i fferent from the coy n udes one sees i n t i t i llati ng magazi nes,' wrote I ngrid

ischy i n the book's afterword, . 'They're not l i ke the u ual n ude

one fi nds i n an art con text ei ther. " 6 There was the requisite attention to formal concern o f l i ne and vol ume, cropping and angl i ng, but equal ly there wa a fran k

Anonymous Untitled (Borneo) c. 1 890 Albumen pnnt


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Frantisek D rtikol Me1e "Jude 1 92 1 Gelatin si lver pnnt

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Edgar Degas Seated Nude 1 895 Gelatin si lvel- print


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Vincenzo Galdi Untitled c. I 890 Albumen pnnt

Auguste Belloc Untitled c. 1 854 Albumen pnnt

acceptance of 'fl e sh and blood' - bruises, scratches, bi rth marks, vei n s visible u nder the ki n , u n ruly body hair - a side of corporeality which is so often played dow n . The poses struck by the women are wholly u nort

ox - they tretch

themselves l i ke cats across the frame and on occasion seem vi rtually to tie themselves i n kn

- yet they never appear forced or uncomfortable in fron t of

the camera. There are echoes here of earl ier exponen ts of the female n ude - Eugene Atget, E. J . Bel locq, Weston and B randt - and one senses that Friedlander was q u i te consci o usly payi ng homage to his i nven tive predecesso rs without compromising hi own path . Hi work rem i n ds us that the pho tograph ic n ude is a subj ect which an always be revital ized .



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Anonymous ( French) Nude Woman with Cushion c . 1 85 5 Stereo daguelTeotype


( right) Kusakabe Kimbei Man Conveying a DO/meo Letter c. I 890 Albumen prrnt

Alfred Stiegliu Georglo O Keeffe. A Portrait 1 9 I 8 84

Pal.dOlum pnnt

Horst P. Horst Nude c. 1 952 Gelatin si lver pnnt

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George Hoyni ngen-Huene Untitled c. 1 9 30 Ge' lt ,l sliver pnnt

Rosal i n d Maingot Untitled c. 1 9 35 Gelatin silver print



E rw i n Blu menfeld Untitled ( 1 95 2 Solar Izod �elatln si lver pnnt

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Konrad Cramer Untitled c. 1 9 3 8 Solarized gelatin si lver print


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J oh n Havinden Untitled (Gwendolyn Ellis) 1 9 30s Gelatin silver print


F l orence Henri Nude 1 9 38 Gelat in stiver prlnl


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Imogen Cunn i ngham Nude 1 9 3 2 Gelatin silver print

Edward Weston Chans Nude 1 9 3 6 Gelatin sliver pnnt


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Robert Mapplethorpe Demck Cross 1 98 3 Gelatin si lver print

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Yvonne G regory Untitled c. 1 9 30 Toned sliver pnnt


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M a n Ray Torso c. 1 9 30 Gelatin si lver" prrnt


Lee Friedlander Nude. PhoenIx. Anzono 1 978 Gel.'trr silver pnnt

Ruth Bernhard Two Forms 1 96 3 98

Gel,l tlr sliver pnnt

Robert Mapplethorpe Philip Pno/eou 1 984 Gelatin silver pri nt


H orst P. H orst Mole Nude c. 1 950 Gelatin sliver pnnt

Dianora N iccol i n i Untitled 1 975 1 00

Solal lzeci g �Iatln sllvel pnnt

Sally Mann ShlVo 1 99 1 Gelatin silver pnnt

Philip Trager TomOr Rogoff. Dlstrl/ollons I V: Manku Bloss(eldl 1 992 Gelatin sllvel pnnt

1 03

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Javier Vallhonrat Tnang/e 1 987 Gelatin silver pnnt

Humberto Rivas Eva 1 990 Gelatin silvel pnnt

1 05

P RO BES The uses to which photographs may be put are so numerous that we anticipate for it a very foremost place among the scientific appliances o/the age. The Photographic News, 6 Jan uary 1 8 6 5

I t i s t h e fi e l d of m e d i c i n e w h i c h fi r s t c o m e s t o m i n d w h e n we th i n k o f p ro b i ng th e myste rio u s i n n e r wo rki ngs of th e h u ma n body. I n th e m i d - n i n etee nth centur y, medical jour nals were full of en thusiasm for photography , a n d doctors respo n ded to the call b y initiating photographic experiments in almost ever y area of m e d i c i n e - a n ato my, p hysi o l ogy, h isto l ogy, path o l ogy a n d the m o re a m biguous field of m e n ta l i l l n ess.

Not all physicians were ent h us iasts, however. For those who had long depended on the primacy of touch in the diagnosis of i l ln ess, photography was of l i m i ted i n te rest . Even those who were appreciative of i ts powers saw i t as a secondary or back-up techn i q ue, a way of vali dating what had al ready been see n : 'The value of the art of photography to m ed ic ine and science [ is] . . . as a means o f reco rdi n g the experience of the eye,' noted the Medical Times and

Gazette in 1 8 66, though one area in which photography was unco n tested was photo m icrography.


As i n certa i n other b ranches of science, such as botany and zoology, medical photography had to co mpete w ith a wel l-establ ished t radi t i o n of i l l ustration dati n g back to the Renaissance. Some exponents of d rawi n g re isted photo­ graphy on pri nciple, argui ng that the hand would a lways rem a i n superior to the lens. O thers fo resaw a t i m e when photography would catch up and surpass d rawing. I ts superior stre ngths were outl i ned i n the Photographic News: ' Fi rst, 1 06

i ts cheapness; second, its s i mpliciry; th i rd , i ts power of i n fi n i te reproduction,

Etienne-J u les Ma rey 890 9 I Chl ollophologl-aphy Ol� movin g Mil" WIJli Ifl.' I

I rim

1 07



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and fo urth, l ast, and most i m po rtant of all, i ts absol u te truth and fidelity. I t

cannot lie.'


O ne o f the advantages of medica l d rawi ngs over photography was that they observed well -establ ished conven tions whereby one body part was made distinct fro m another. In d rawi ngs of d issected bodies, for exa m ple, clear l i nes and d i fferen t shad i ngs made bou ndaries obvious, whereas photogra p hs were d ifficult to read fo r t hose without experience o n cadavers. I n add i tion , many textbook i l l ustrations were schematic or d iagra m matic, and here photography coul d not possibly compete. Yet even the superbly honed ski l ls of n inetee n th-century i l l ustrators only partly exp lain the pri macy of the drawi ng: a fu rther and i m po rtan t factor was that h ighly elabo rate tec h n i ques of reproduction were i n p lace to d isse m inate these i l l us trations. Fine l ithographs were plentiful and cheap i n the 1 8 20s and 1 830s. And though engravings and etchings were m o re expensive, they were sti l l available i f needed; for t h e depictio n o f certai n s k i n conditions, for exa m ple, stipple e ngraving and aquat int were considered ideal . The m i d- nineteenth­ cen t u ry scie n ti fi c photograph, on the other hand, was n o t a c rystal-clear document. O n l y late in the cen tu ry woul d reasonable tonal rep roduction become a p ractical option . Befo re then, doctors and stude n ts rel ied o n textbooks fil l ed with d rawings . Where we do fi nd very early medical photographs, as i n the work o f L. H aase of Berl i n i n the 1 860s, they serve as a kind o f record-keeping o f orthopaedic patien ts' co nditions, rather t han as a body o f i magery which wo uld be com m u nicated to a wider c i rcle ( 2 5 5 ) . Nonetheless, the poten tial of photography was recogn ized. The j o u rn als continually repo rted novel appl ications o r suggested paths which m ight be explored. In the 1 840s a British p hys ician and amateur photographer, H ugh Welch Diamond, began to m ake portraits of the i nsane, in whose face ( i n keepin g w i t h t h e widespread faith i n p hysiognomy) he hoped t o register 'the permanent cloud, or the pass ing storm, or the sunshine of the soul'.3 Worki n g , in t h e same a rea some twen ty years later, w i t h a more sophisticated notion o f what photography could ach ieve, D r Noyes of New York experi mented with compo ite port raits of men tal ly ill patients (each composite bei ng made up of a n u mber o f patients' faces) , in the expectation that his tool would reveal what

1 08

patients suffering a im ilar affliction had i n co m m o n .

the ubj ect of u n usual work u ndertaken i n the mid-


1 8 50 by the Fr nch neurologist Guil laume-Benjamin Duchenne ( 1 7) . Aided


Facial expres ion wa al


by the photographer Adrien Tournachon (brother of Nadar) , Duchenne de

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Bo ulogne, as he is known, analysed facial expression by applyi ng an electrical curren t to specific m uscles 0 1 G) . Also a subscriber to physiognomy, Duchen ne set out to construct a vocabulary of facial expressions, each of which co rrespo nded to a pecific emotion, or, as he put i t, 'an experimen tal living picture o f the passions'.4 The principles whereby hu man bei ngs expressed their emotions were 'universal and immutable' and created by God. Duchenne saw h is fi ndin gs as i nval uable to artists; without understanding the mechan ism of physiognomy, he argued , no one could expect to render expressions accu rately.s In 1 879 t h e Photographic News described a 'pulsograph', by which 'the state of the heart' could be measured, while in Fran kfurt a Dr tein overcame what he saw as the defect of the M arey sphygmograph , which was that of friction caused by the movement of the pen agai nst the paper as the pulse was traced; i n place o f the pen the doctor sub t i tu ted ' rays o f l ight' and for the ordi nary piece o f paper, a sheet photo-sensitively treated.6 A few years later we read of St Bartholomew's H ospital in London purchasing 'a photographic apparatu ' to i nstruct tuden t .7 In

1 8 8 8 Professor Coh n of B reslau produced 'marvellously detai led

photographs of di eased eyes'. Cohn used 'the magnesium flash l ight, and, r markab ly enough , the patients are none the wo rse' .8 Sadly, Coh n's work, and that o f other pioneers of whom we have written reports, seems to have vanished without trace.' ) As stated earlier, t he fi rst photographs of sick patient

were taken i n the

man ner of po rtrai t , as i f the dign i ty of the si tter and his or her iden tity as a perso n were the pri mary co n ideratio n . Gradual ly, however, photographers di pensed with the props and decorative treatments and focu ed closely on the disea d ect ion or abnormality, on a cancerous growth, kin condition, wound, deformity and


on (254 , 2 5 7 ) .

A phy ician of 1 894 i nt erested i n t h e role of photography would b e amazed by the panorama of imaging systems and tech niques avai lable a centu ry later. ertai nly any re ervations he might have had concern ing th relative meri ts of d rawing over photography would have be n long di pel led . 1 0

1 09

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I n The Fabric ofthe Body ( 1 9 9 2 ) , a stu dy of European tradi t i o n s of anatomical i l l ustrat i o n , authors K. B. Roberts and ]. D . W Tom l i nson explain that pho tographs are now considered i ndispensable i n the i nstruction of anatomy. They give as prime examples Ralph T. H utch i ngs's 1 977 studies of the m uscles o f the back o f the hand ( 1 2 1 ) . H av i ng been give n both the photographs and an actual d i ssected speci men, the stude nt 'sho ul d h ave no d i ffic u l ty in identifying the m uscles o f this regio n . ' 1 1 The elaborate d issections req u i red by modern anatomy a nd the techn ical problems they pose for photography call for exceedingly i ngen ious and ti me­ cons u m i n g solutions. H utch i ngs took seven years to photograph all the s u rgical procedu res for a book dea l i n g w i th the reco nstructive s urgery of the rheumatoi d hand. For a photograph o f a skeleto n , h e flashed h is l ight source 2 5 0 t imes over a 1 8 0-degree sem i c i rcular path to make one si ngle exposure. Such care allowed h i m to 'wrap his light around each bone' . 1 2 I n fact, this painstaking techn ique dates back, naturally in a more pri m i tive form, to the 1 880s, when it was call ed 'pa i n t i ng w i t h l ight'. I t was a sol ution to the problem of very s low fi l m . The all-embraci n g eye of the camera, as H utch i ngs p u t i t, has taken many fo rms in the new medicine. A modern physician o r researcher has recou rse to a battery o f tec h n i q ues w i th which to read the i n ner body. A sci n t i gram, o r gam m a camera scan, involves a rad ioacti ve tracer i n order to map t h e b r a i n a n d spi na l cord ( 1 30) . A false-colour scan n i ng electron m icrograph (SEM) may be employed t o show a section thro ugh the i n ner ear, the cel ls of the l e ns of the eye ( 1 3 3 ) , or bony lamel lae on the fem u r ( 1 3 1 ) . A transmission electron micrograph (TEM) w i l l show the h uman serum prote i n molecule ( 1 34) . A polarized l igh t micrograph m ay be used to show the structure of bone. Fo r the layman, the techn ical terms themselves defy understandi ng: false­ colour, freeze-fract ure transm ission electron micrography; d i gi tal subtraction angiography;



i f one



Schl ieren

photography (showi ng the air ,t urbulence caused by sneezi ng, cough i ng or simply exhal i ng [ 1 36] ) ; and Colourvi r X-rays. So rap i d are advances i n tech nology that certa i n of the tech n iq ues p u t a t the disposal o f physicians have yet to fi n d spec i fi c u es. Fo ll owi n g the pio neer· ng and j ustly acclaimed endoscopic photography I 10

produced by Lennart N i lsson i n the


60s, the tec hnique has become fam i l iar.

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J ulius Rien



An-angement for taking composite photographs of skulls 1 885 Albumen pnnt

H ere, Alexander Ts iaras provides an endo. co pic i mage of the hu man foem


lIillo after eleven weeks (preliminary pages) ; it makes clear the extent of the foot's devel opment , which is shown


have been more rap id than that of the leg. The

endoscope i a serie of lenses with a fibre optic l ight source which has been i nsert ed thro ugh th cervix and man ipulate u n t i l a 'wi ndow' i nto the am n iotic ac is fo u n d (t hat i , an area where the wall is th i n ner) . Ment ion m ust al

be made of non-photograph ic i magi ng syste m wh ich are

revolutionizing m edici ne, notably com puted tomography, magnetic resonance l " I I

and ultra o u n d , l h each of which offers peci fic diagnostic advantages. I n some


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areas the use of co nven tional photography wi l l disappear. For i nstance, digital s ubtraction angiography, used to examine blood vessels, is n ow supplanting conventional film angiography. B ut all the new methods are close cousins to photography in that they extend the great medical tradition of naturalistic represen tatio n . The all iance of old and new is nowhere better demonstrated than in the digital cadavers of the u.s. National I nstitutes of H eal th . These teachi n g aids, w h i c h d o away w i t h the need fo r actual cadavers, are composed of tho usands of i n d ividual slices (cross-sections from head to foot) , each of which is made from an original photograph , thus a llowing the stude n t si tting before a computer screen to 'travel' through the l ength of the body. As we have seen i n the i ntroduction, measurement and class ification of the body were central to the emerging disc i pl i ne of anthropology in the n ineteenth cen t u ry with i n the co ntext of race and evolution. At that time, the wo rd ' race' encompassed more than d ifferent physical characteristics. I t connoted moral character, i ntellectual capacity, even the capacity for 'civilized' behaviour. Because races could be arranged i n a h ierarchy of superiority, i t was though t that photographic docu ments would help slot each racial group i nto the grand scheme. One such project called for a s tudy of the 'Typical Races of the British Empire' . 1 7 A n even

more ambitious u ndertaki ng for an

' Ethnological

Photographic Gallery of the Various Races of M an' was begun in the 1 870s by photographers workin g for the BerLiner GeseLLschaft for AnthropoLogie. This map of man started at the top with the 'Germanic and Teutonic' types and worked downwards, arrivi ng eventually at the Australian aborigi nes . There was an u nconscious racism at work here, and one arbi trary assumption was pi led upon another. Notes anthropo logist Roslyn Poignant: 'This gradation [of types] is paralleled visually by a transition from d ressed to undressed; a l i n e o f descent from manufactured clothing via trad i tional o r ceremonial costumes to natural garb of fibre and skin' . 1 8 Photographs, whose objectivity was accepted at face val ue, 'proved' to Europeans their own superiori ty. The ant h ropologists T. H . H uxley and John Lamprey were concerned that the typical early eth nological p hotographs were not, as H uxley put it, 'un i form and wel l-considered', and that they fai led to give 'that p recise i n formation 1 12

respecting the proportions and the co n fo rmation of the body' that the ambitious

typologies req uired . I'l The different methods each propo ed whereby ertam parameters of h uman bodies could be preci ely measured, compared and classified have already been discussed ( 1 26, 1 27 ) . But it should be noted that not all anth ropologi t

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ub cribed to the anthropometric method. Everard im

Thurn, who worked closely with the I ndian peoples of Guiana in the 1 8 80s and 1 890s, argued that 'the purely physiological photographs of the anth ro­ pometrists are merely pictures of l i feless bod ies' , as m isleading a vision of native peoples as 'ord i nary photographs of uncharacteristically m iserable natives . . . [which] seem comparable to the photographs which one occasionally sees of badly tuffed and distorted ani mals.'l0 The human body features as prime subj ect in the investigations of movement by Eadweard M uybridge and Etienne-Jules Marey, who proved to scientists and artist alike that the evidence of the sen es could not be trusted to un ravel the secrets of bodies in motion 0 1 8- 1 1 9 , 1 22) . M uybridge's method of arresting consecutive phases of motion required a marvellous piece of Victorian electro­ mecha nical i ngenu i ry. The Philadelphia Times described it in some detail in 1 88 5 : The photographs are taken by three batteries o f cameras, with twelve lenses to each battery. These batteries are placed at right angles to each other [sic] . . . and are all focused on one subj ect. When the model or object under consideration is photographed, thi rry-six negatives are obtai ned . . . [ rep resenti ng] differen t stages of m uscular action from the th ree different point of view . . . In thi way every inch of a man's or beast's progress can be photographed, no matter what the speed .21 Artist were much i n fl uenced by what M uybridge's camera revea led, and debate raged ove r the i m pl ications. Many artists, l i ke Thomas Eakins ( 1 1 9) , were wi l l i n g


revise thei r concepti o n o f how bod i e i n motion h o u l d be

rep re en ted . But not al l : ' M r Muybridge's photographs are, perhap , rather of i n d i rect i m po rt a n ce to the artist, as showi ng h i m what actua l l y take place, than a a d i rect means of assisting him to represen t what the eye actually sees,' wrote the Photographic News in 1 8 8 9 . 22 At least one signi ficant voice was ra ised in agreement : Augu te Rod in rejected the camera' awkward evidence in favour of the a rt ist's right to i nterpret, citing the more convi ncing walk of hi s wn St

John the Baptist.



1 13

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H. Goulton M ay Cerveau Mongollque (Mongoloid Bram) Albumen pnnt

1 14


1 880

Roger Fenton Skeleton or Mon and lh Mole Gonflo Albumen print


1 86 1 1 15

Dr Guillaume-Benjamin Duchenne with Adrien Tournachon From Mecanisme de la physlonomle hlimOtne Oll analyse electro-physlologlqlle de i'expresslon des passions (published 1 862) 1 852-56

1 16

Alt ' Jr 'en prints

�t5ic�t5mll s'efn Slll'� Yom a1in -d\ fco�ofJnjecfion fUm· lDorfesul)$ iiber �unsf - J\natomie

ltD. $. 1904/5.

priip. 'JOpu� .

Anonymous Face Muscles FIxed by a Formalin-alcohol Injection Lecture on me Art or Anawmy 1 904 05 GelatIn silver pr'inl

1 17

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Marey, i n

tu rn ,

would have disagreed with Rod i n . H is passion for getti ng at

the h eart of the movement was equal to M uybridge's and h is i n fluence was as great if not greater. We see ech oes of h is famous 'stick figures' (the result of h i s subj ect's wearing a black s u i t with reflective metal strips or b u ttons attached to it which alone would be seen in the exposu re) metamorphosed in the wo rk of early twe nt ieth-century avan t-garde artists - Giacomo Balla, the B ragagl ias and Marcel Duchamp, fo r example.



Etien ne-Jules Marey Sout Uump) 1 88 3 Geometric chronophotograph ( right)

Thomas Eakins Man Jumping. with photographer's notations 1 884-85 Albumen print



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Wilhelm Konrad Rontgen X-ray of a hand 1 895 Transparency

Ralph T. Hutchings Deep muscles. back of the hand. of a I 20-year-old specimen; two views taken to demonstrate anomalies 1 977

1 20

Colour transparencies

Eadweard Muybridge Tumlng around m Surprise and Runnmg Away. Plate 73 from Animal Locomotion 1 887

1 22

Albert Londe de moulinel du mpmb,e supeneu(, vilesse moderee (CIlCU/Of Movemenr of lhe Upper Limb, MorielOle Mouvemenl Speed) c. I 890 Gelatine silver bmmlde pnnt fmm glass negative

1 23

Ralph T. Hutch i ngs L' 'I ( ) 1

.'1 / S p l fl d l . t' I'teb' de ( seen Il'om l e ft

Ide) Bones 0 1 the lo\\;el leg. fr-on� behind

dl' t 1 1 end 0 1 the lemu l , t i bia. I bula, pdtel lcl. Ribs Colo ' I

�c1nSp,lI en(le�


1 25

John Lamprey Malayan male. Anthropometnc study c. 1 868-69 Albumen p rint

1 26


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Anonymous Two of four views of a South Australian aboriginal female, 'Ellen', aged 22. Photographed according to T H . H uxley's 'photometl-ic' Instl1JCtlons c. 1 870 Albumen prints

1 27




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Anonymous The human foetus after 1 4 weeks 1 984 Colour transparency N e i l Bromhall T h e heac a n d hands of a human foetus after 1 9 weeks 1 988

1 28

Endoscopic IMa e. ColoUl" transparency




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(opposite) Anonymous SCintigram of the human central nervous system 1 987 Gamma camera scan. Colour transparency

Professor Pietro Motta Compact bone lamellae in the thigh bone 1 99 2 False-colour scanning electron micrograph. Colour transparency




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Professor Pietro Motta Filiform papillae on the surface of the tongue 1 99 2

1 32

False-colour scanning electron micrograph. Colour transparency

Pro fe ss o r

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tro Mo tt Ce lls o a f th e len s o f th ; 'CO nn in e eye 1 g elect 9 92 ro n m " "'g"p h. C

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Dr Gary Settles Schlieren photograph of a pel "Son exhaling. showing the air turbulence that such an action causes 1 985

1 36

CO'OLr transparency

Harold Edgerton Multiple-flash photo of golfer Bobby Jones c. 1 9 3 5 Gelatin silver pnnt


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F LES H The twentieth century has restored and deepened the notion offlesh, that is, ofanimate body. MAU R I C E M E R L EAU- P O NTY

' Man and Adversity' , 1 964

' F l e s h ' h a s b e e n to t h e twe n t i e t h c e n tu r y w h at t h e ra refi e d 'fig u re ' w a s t o t h e n i n e te e n t h . Fo r n i n ete e n th - c e n t u ry p h o t o g ra p h e rs o f t h e n u d e , m i n d was t h e g reat a n d wo rthy fac u l ty, b o dy m e re ly the lowly vehicle which housed and transported it. Their wish was to en n oble the human bei n g by risi n g abo ve brute corporeal fact. Flesh, which represented all that was base i n m a n , was e x p l o re d o n l y by t h e m e d i ca l p h otogra p h e r w h e n , i n s i c k n ess, i t gave p ro of o f i ts own c o r ru pt i b i l i ty.

I t is flesh i n the figurative o r metaphoric sense that is i m p l ied i n our usage here: 'flesh a n d b l o o d ' , the w h o l e p h ysical s ub s ta n ce of t h e b o dy - m uscle, o rgan, fluid, bone. The French poet Paul Val ery o nce said, 'The deepest thing in m a n is the s ki n , ' and t h e i mages which fo l l ow s h ow t h e wisdom of I

this o bservation. Natural ly enough , the fragment is ofte n the p refe rred approach for photograph ers concerned with the fles h ; the subject seems to call for extreme close-ups of cars, birthmarks, l u m ps, b um ps, c reases and h a i rs, such as we see in the imagery o f Robert Davies ( 1 40 , 1 4 1 ) . It was the unexpected textures and shapes which resul ted from large-scale blow-ups of fruit and vegetable surfaces that p rompted Davies to focus on h uman skin , in particular tiny areas which have general ly received l i ttle atten tio n . I solated from the rest o f the body these cavities and p rotuberance take o n a strange aspect, suggesting alien landscapes 1 38

r:uher than fam iliar h uman forms.



John Coplans Sel( ponrolt 1 984 Gelaltn stiver pnnt

1 39

Robert Davies Nipple I 1 99 2 1 40

Gelatlf'\ si lver pnnt

Robert Davies Belly Burton I 1 992 Gelatin silver pnnt


"T1 I m Vl I

With J o hn

oplans's fragmen ted self-portraits , the viewer is o n more fam i l iar

gro und; there is n o q uestion of anythi ng but notions of ' body' springing to m in d when we a re co nfron ted with this massive trunk of male flesh ( 1 39 ) . I say 'tru n k' rather than 'to rso' because of the sense it s uggests of what is densely packed inside - hard-worki ng o rgan s , rel iable systems of p l um b i n g and co mm un ications. U nderstandably t h e t r u n k is somewha t t h e worse for wear, hav ing faithfully transpo rted i ts master's co n te nts for a lmost th ree­ quarters of a century. Bu t this is a body which can also l augh at i tself - ni pp les whi ch are eyes, a navel which m i m ics a petulant mouth. This picture's forthright acceptance o f t h e p hysical facts is of a completely d i fferen t o rder from t h e i dealized versions of the body which vie for attention from a thousand b i l lboards and magazi nes. Coplans's torso, densely matted with hair, dotted with mo les and marks, scarred an d l i ned with age, yet stil l defian tly vertica l , stands as an i n dictment of this other, flesh-d enyi ng p ractice, which leads people to fear and belittle their own unique physicali ty. Flesh is also dealt with boldly and honestly i n the colossal Po laroid composites of C huck Close, some of wh ich are seventeen feet wide and some seven feet h igh ( 1 5 1 ) . There is nothing coy or fli rtatious in the gaze of the model in a Close n ude; poses and express ions are frank and open, i nviting cl i nical exam i natio n . As each of the panels which make up the composites (up to five i n a horizontal fo rmat) is made from a si ngle Polaroid negative o f the same size, there is virtually none o f the gra i n characteristic of h uge b low-ups, and deta i l borders o n the microscopic. Unexpectedly, perhaps, the gargan tuan scale of the bodies strips them of erotic overtones, and we are left to scruti ni ze the flesh with a more obj ect ive eye. Close's strategy cal ls to m ind 'The Physical Self', an exh i b itio n curated by the fi l mmaker Peter G reenaway in 1 992 at the B oymans-van Beuningen Museu m , Rotterdam. Amo ng t h e original �rtwo rks (painti ngs, d rawi ngs and photographs - i nclud i ng the above-mentioned Coplans i m age) and functional i mplements, G reenaway i n ters persed displays (in glass cases!) of l ivi ng, n aked men and wome n . These fu nctioned as 'templates' , rem i nders of the fu ndamenta l 'givens' . of the h u man body, ag nst which the artwo rks - that is, the cultural

1 42

re? resen tations and i n terpretation - coul d be com pared and considered.

Raoul H a u man n , rh famou

adasoph' of Berl i n, arti t, writer and poet,

wo uld have approved of contemporary efforts to co me to gri p with the body; by 1 92 7 Hau mann had decided to devote h i mself to photography, convi n that it


., I m (/) I

l ucid eye, unencumbered by the stale visions of An, could offe r

human i ty a fresh con ciousne s of i tself ( 1 44 , 1 4 5 ) . FIe h i s se n differen tly, perhaps more existentially, i n two i m age from the late 1 920s and early 1 930 . In the fi r t, an i m age of a woman's body by Germaine Krull ( 1 46) , flesh is seen as a constricting garment; the model wear her ' uit' unco mfortably, as if chafed by it. By comparison, the naked male i n the image by Rudem ine ( 1 47) eems to revel in hi ela tic uit of flesh. That fle h is a burden which inevitably accom pan ies age is the message conveyed by Em met Gowi n's frank study of his wife Edith ( 1 57) . It comes as a shock to real ize how rarely in photography we are allowed to share i n such i nt i macy. Here is a body seen by a lover and hu band of long standi ng, a vulnerable body, weary and res igned, and without a shred of va n i ty or self­ consciou ne . Ed ith's wholehearted trust i n her spouse is eviden t; she vi rtually emb races the camera. ' I could be myself j ust as I was at that moment,' she wrote recently, 'and yet, I could be something wh ich only existed in the photograp h . '2 There i a certain beauty here too, not the stock, formulaic beauty of the glossy magazine, but a radiance nonetheless. Gowin had been photograph i ng Ed ith si nce 1 96 1 , possibly i nspired by the exam ple of his teach r H arry Callahan, who had hi mself begu n an extended portrait of h is own wi fe, Eleanor, in the 1 940s. Here, in an image which h i nt s at the unfathomable wonder of childbirth, she is seen pregnant with thei r daughter Barbara ( 1 48 ) . I t i common for parent

to tra i n thei r cameras on the bodies o f their

off pri ng; it is far les usual for children to do the same thing to thei r parents. A mother's aged body i brough t i n to close focu thro ugh the lens of the French ph otographer Yves Tremorin ( 1 64 , 1 65 ) . H elene Tremori n's mas ive thighs here take on the character of someth i ng deeply roQ,ted , venerable and ancient, like a gnarled oak, wh ile her pendulous br ast

eem to flow earthward with the

con i t ncy of lava. We are culturally conditioned to see aged Ae h as decrepit and wa r i ng, bur Tremori n's respectful vision inve ts it instead with grandeur and olidity.



1 43

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RaGul Hausmann Sel( PortrOlt 1 9 3 1

Gelatin silver pnnt

1 45



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Germaine Krull Nude c. 1 928-29 Gelatin sl iver print

1 46

Rudemine Mole nude c . 1 9 30 Ge l atin sliver print

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1 47

Harry Callahan Eleunor, Ch1co'So 1 949 1 48

Gela'lf' "Iivel prmt

I mogen Cunni ngham Pregnant Nude 1 959 Gelatin silver pnnt

1 49

Regina Deluise Nude on Tire SWing. Northport NY 1 99 1 I SO

PIJllnur'1/� I ladium pnnt

Chuck Close Lauro Dlptych 1 984 Polaroid photographs

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1 52

Regina Deluise Stephanie In ChOIr, NYC 1 98 I Platinum/pal ladium print

Jed Devine Emmy Showenng. MOine 1 980 Pal ladium pnnt

Regina DeLui e's photographs of wo men are equally serene reflections on the natu re of the flesh, although her models are mere apl i ng by com parison with Tremorin' venerable subject. In the fi rst of two images ( 1 50) a sem i- nude young woman wi ngs on a ryre, the taut hard fibre of the rope in coun terpo i nt to the ft rou nded cont our of her body. There is a del icate balance here between the play of abstract form and attention to the textural nuance of the flesh. I n the second ( leji) , a young woman s its unselfcon

iously for an int i mate port rait,

gazing into the middle distance. How di fferent this is from the standard male vo lup tu ary approach


the female body, in which the primary focus is

inevitably on accentu ated cu rves of breasts and buttock . We are re mi nded that en ual i ty can mov u quite i ndependen tly of eroticism.

1 53

Sally f1a n n


1 54


1 992

si lvel print

The bod i e of chi ldhood and adol cenc , with all their tribulation , are the primary, ustai ned fo u of ontemporary U.

. photographer Jock turg


ally Man n , each of whom ha produced an oeuvre of p ychological int n i ty and formal elegance. Fu ndamental to both visions of youthful fle h i thorough fam i l iari ty with thei r subjects:



m Vl I


turges has been photographing the

arne n ud ist fam i l ies in France year after year, watching the children grow int o young ad u l t ( 1 5 8-60) . Mann photographs her own children negotiating the turbulent waters of childhood ( Left and below) . Both photographers have settled on a hol istic approach, believi ng that too close a focus on the physical body ri k leavi ng the person beh ind. Their work should rem i nd us that the purely physical di mension... o f flesh is only one th read in the body' fabric.


Sally Mann Lost Light 1 990 Gelatin si lver pllnt


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1 56

John Coplans Self-portrOit 1 984 Gelatin silver pnnt


Emmet Gowin Edith. Danvtlle. Virginia 1 97 3 Toned silver pnnt

1 57

Jock Sturges Ananne and Fronc;ols: Monto/IVet, France

1 99 2

Gelatin silver pnnt

Jock Stu rges Gue/e. MUllne \u/entlll and Mane-Claude. Monto/lVet. France 1 58

Gelatin s i lvel- pnnt

1 987

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Jock Stu rges Donlefle; MonCO/lVet. France 1 989 Toned silver pnnt

Richard Sadler John oc Aries 1 98 1 1 60

Gelatin silver pnnt

ad isi c Pie rr e R 4 anlau 1 9 8

M r pnnt Gelatin silve \ 61

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Ernestine Ruben Wrinkles I f Boer 1 984 G lat i n silvel pr I n t

1 63

Yves Tremorin De cette femme 1 9 8 5 - 8 6 Selenium-toned silver pnnt

Yves T remorin De rene ferrum 1 9 85 8 6 Selenium-toned si lvel print

P ROWESS It is strange that no one has thought oftaking an instantaneous camera to the recent fight. Such is the interest in the event, the photos would have sold like wildfire. The Photographic News, 1 3 Jan uary 1 8 8 8

I n th e n i n eteenth ce ntu ry, p rowes s was d efi n e d as an e s s e n t i a l l y m as c u l i n e attr i b u t e . It c o n n ot e d ce rtai n q ua l iti es of � m a n ly vigo u r' : bo l d n es s , b rave ry, stre ngth a n d fo rtitu d e . I n twe nti eth - c e n t u ry u s age , this gender specificity has been substantia l l y eroded; now the ter m is more l ikel y to signify physical abi l ity rather than virility, dexterity rather than brute strength, expertise rather than fearl essness. A century ago a fema l e b o d y b u i l d e r w i t h r i p p l i ng m usc les wo u l d h ave b e e n c o nsi d e re d a travesty of n atu re , a sid eshow freak. N ow a n i m age o f a h igh ly d eve l o p e d fe m a l e p hys i q u e , s u c h as t h e p h o tog ra p h o f L i sa L

("'I n

by R o b a rt- M ap p l eth o rp e

(200), sca rc e ly ra i



e b rc


Prowess i n the n ineteenth centu ry was also class based: 'gen tlemen' had prowess. I n Paris, at m id-cen tu ry, the entrepreneur Triat opened private gym nas i u ms in which rows of d isci p l i ned gym nas ts, thei r m uscled torsos stri pped to the waist, perfo rmed q uas i-balletic m ovements before spectato rs of the oppos i te sex. ' La cultu re physique' was a gro up or collective activity rather than the i nd ividual regi men that it has beco me today. To modern eyes, the earliest photographs of sporting activi tie look somewhat ridiculous. The need for lengthy exposures meant that pic tu res had to be made i n s tu d io s , fo r t he most part w i t h backgro u n ds w h i c h were o ften whol l y 1 66

i n a p p ro p ri ate to the s port d e p i cted, so that a s kate r c oul d b e seen whi zzi ng

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Anonymous Sturgess. the Champion Walker c . I 890 Cigarette card

along the ice i n fro n t of a lush summery landscape. Noth i ng co u l d really be in m o t l n , a n d w h i l e a co n to rt i o n i t ( 1 76) o r two wrestl e rs ( 1 7 5 ) po ed n o pro b lem , a moving body o r thi ng, such as a bal l , had to be held u p with wire or th read and later retouched out i n the negative, with for the most part wholly u nconvi ncing re ults. e neral ly, the pectacle of porr a we know it - o f teams ofh ighly co ndi tioned bodie locked i n co mbat - di d n ot yet exi t i n the p u b l i c sphere. M or ove r, ordi nary

uropeans and American d i d no t yet have access to exh i b itions a n d

m useu m where they cou l d rudy t h e bodies o f

reek and Roman statuary o r

those o f Re nai an ce pai n t i n g and c u l p ru re. The era of the photograph ical ly i l l ustrated n w pap r and review wa al o i n the future. I n horr , the famil iari ty of the average citiz n with the u perbly onditioned athletic body wa m i n imal. u per


ng men were vi ible to the mas es at fu n fair and arn ival , but t hey were

regarded a fr ak rather t han a normal men wi th w I I -devel p d phy ique


1 67

The cult o f the sports celeb rity really begins i n the m id- 1 860s with the m ass­ produced cartes de visite ( 2 76) , cal l i ng-card-sized photographs of famous m If) If)

ath letes which were i nexpensive to buy and fun to exchange, not u n l i ke baseball cards today. Photographs of gym nasts and c i rc us performers were partic u larly popul ar. People rel ished the fact that they were seeing real people, rather than the ideal ized represen tations fam i l iar fro m p ri n ts, because it suggested that the well-developed body was w i t h i n their own reach . O n e o f the late- n inetee nth-ce n t u ry forces which would i n fluence people's atti t udes towards their bodies was naturism, a European m ovement which sought to cou n ter the i l l -effects o n the h uman body of the i ndustrial revo l utio n . Large n umbers o f people were encouraged t o take up exercise i n t h e open a i r, by h i ki n g, swim mi n g or cycli ng, or thro ugh 'physical culture' , that is, body­ b u il d ing. I n Europe and America the pio neeri n g bodybui lder Eugene Sandow p ro mo ted h imself effectively as a m odel of p hysical perfection rather than as a n exemplar of b rute strength, and i t was thro ugh p ho tography tha t Sandow got his m essage across . H is i mage appeared o n m i l lions of cartes de visite, larger­ format cabinet cards, and cigarette cards . Physical culture would take particular hold i n France, and some of the c red i t was owed t o p hotography. I n the 1 8 80s, t h e entrepreneur Edm o n d Desbo n n et i n troduced his own h ighly effective method of developing both male and female phys iques, p roving the effi cacy of h is method with befo re-an d-after photographs of h is graduates (279) and p ho tographs of h is own wel l - m uscled physique ( 1 7 1 ) . He also h u n g p ho tographs of fam o us athletes on the wal ls of h is m a ny salons a ro u n d the cou n t ry. Some of these were rem arkably accom p l ished, anticipating the m i n i malist male n udes of the next cen t u ry. A l t h o u g h t h e s t a t i c po rtrai t re m a i n ed t h e s t a n dard fo r m a t o f the s p o rts photograph well i n to the twe ntieth cen t u ry, the i ntroduction o f i ns tantaneo us photography i n the 1 880s signalled new poss i b i l i ties . The development of the h a n d - h e l d Kodak came ra a l l owed the a m a t e u r to record a t h l e t i c activit i es ou tdoo rs - a wi l l in gness to risk the l ives of o ne's s ubj ects was the o n ly additional requ i rement ( 1 79) . But t here is l i ttle of exceptional quality in sports photography until the 1 93 0s, by which time camera technology was up to the task. I t is to an amateur that we owe some of the most m arvellous early-twe n tieth-

1 68

century sports i magery. Jacques- H e n ri Lartigue was o n ly a child when he began

to document the antics of hi fam ily and friends i n France during the Bel le Epoque, but he quickly mastered the art of record i ng bodies j u m p i ng, fal l i ng, tripping and generally exhibiti ng joie de vivre. When as a young man he came across professional athletes the lessons of his early years stood h i m in good stead.

m Ln Ln

H is portrait-i n-motion of the champion Geo Andre i n training for the 1 924 Olympics is an early masterpiece of the gen re ( 1 8 5 ) ; the background of empty stands makes the viewer feel t hat he or she is a privi leged observer of a behi nd­ the-scenes event, and the rising form of the athlete, so evidently i n control, suggests a coo l ly anticipated triumph. Wi t h t h e G erman photographer Len i Riefenstah l , sports i m agery rose to n ew aes t h e ti c heights. Co m m issioned by Joseph Goebbels, she b rought he r considerable vis ual and o rgan i zational ski l l s to be a r o n both p h o tograp h i ng and fi l m ing the 1 936 Olympic Games. Although the fi l m Olympiad has become an acknowledged classic, her book of photograph , Schonheit im OLympischen

Kampf, no less spectacular in i ts own way, is less known . Sometimes Riefenstahl rel ied o n po es modelled on the antique Greek ideal, faithful to H i tler's belief that modern Teutonic man was 'feel i ng closer to classical antiquity' than he had ' i n possibly a thousand years' ( 287) . 1 But far more origi nal were her depictions o f s u perbly a t h l e t i c bodies soa r i n g g racefu l l y t h ro ugh the a i r and k n i fi n g e ffo r t l essly t h ro ugh t h e water ( 1 84 ) . Riefenstahl a p p l ied certai n devices c h a racte ristic of the new German p h o tography - strong d i agon a l s , ti ght c roppings, an d bi rd's-eye and worm's-eye views. No lo nger was the camera an earthbound witness; it took to the air and the water with the athletes . H i tler's adoration of the G reek ideal had not prevented h i m from closing the n u dist parks in 1 9 3 3 . Nudis m was too free t h i n k i n g an i deology to be accom modated with i n the Nazi ideal of regi mented bod ies i n the service of the state. Photography had done m uch to promote the l i be ration of the body, and i t was a staple of the many magazi nes devoted to the nudist movement. A co mmon motif wa the joyous leaping figure - youthfu l , supple, sun -wo rsh i ppi ng and free of earthly ca re.

erhard Riebicke's variation on the theme m ight wel l have

taken as it title one of the names of the movement i tself, LichtkLeid - 'dres ed in light' ( 1 93 ) . H erbert List also saw yo uthful male vigour as a marvellou gift, but it was clo e physical con tact with the soil and ea of his beloved he c lebrated, rather than blind worship of the un God ( 1 92) .

reece that 1 69

For the Russ ian u topian artist/photographer El Lissitzky, p rowess meant the body fun ct i o n i ng as a dynami c component of a m ac hi ne civil izat i o n ( 1 9 1 ) . H is m (J") (J")

u n usual p ictorial approach was characteristic of h is attem p ts to substitute the rep resen tati o n of energy for the representati o n o f m atter and to fi nd n ew ways of depicti ng space. L ike h i s avant-garde artist col l eagues, Liss i tzky believed i n e m b raci n g new m aterials and tech n iq ues and wou ld p robably h ave approved of the 1 9 5 1 B ul ova Phototi mer i mage of a track meet w in ner, with i ts wholly u n i n tentional but beaut i ful ly expressive transformation of m a n i n to b i rd ( 1 90) . British photoj ournal ist G eo rge Rodger, who travell ed extensively i n Uganda, Tanganyi ka, the Sudan and Southern Africa after the Second World War photograph i ng t ri bal l i fe, saw strength and bea uty i n a Nuba ' b racelet fighter' o f the v il l age o f Kao chal lenging an opponent fro m t h e neighbouri ng v i l l age o f Nyaro i n a ritual di splay of p rowess ( 1 83 ) . F o r American photoj ournalist Ken H eyman, who also worked in A frica, an i m p ressive physiq ue was best displayed hard at work ( 1 8 7 ) . T h e p rofess ional sports photographer did not co me i nto bei ng u n ti l after the Second World War. Befo re then , p ress photographers were expec ted to cover ath letic eve n ts along with everyth i n g else - a fl ood or fi re i n the m orni n g, perhaps, 'the strongest boy i n New York' or 'an eight-year-ol d c h i l d dancer and elocution ist' in the afternoo n ( 1 77 , 1 7 8 ) . T h e pos twar b reed of specialist was req u i red t o know hi s sporr a s wel l a s h i s craft i n o rder to p in po i n t t h e critical m o m e n t of a race or figh t, such as a knock­ out blow ( 1 89) , though often i n sports i magery i t is an u n i n tended v isual effect which catches our i nterest - an awkward 'dance' of two ten n i s p layers ( 1 97) or the 'syn thes i s' of two wresrlers' bodies i nto one ( 1 88) . Wh ere we fi n d i m agery i n which these ki n ds of correspondences are i n tended, however, it is usually i n the archives of whol ly i ndependen t photographers whose allegiance is to their own vision . Leon Levi nstei n's handball j i tterbug o r Helen Lev i tt's basketbal l ballet are the happy consequences of snap reflexes and keen eyes fo r chance occ urre nces ( 1 98, 1 99 ) . Aaron Siski nd o n the other hand actually sent bodies on exi tentia! journeys in h is 1 9 5 0s series,

The Pleasures and Terrors ofLevitation, suggesting that the p hysi cal thrill bodies 1 70

i n variably seek are fraught with u n known psychological perils (202 ) .




m l/'l l/'l

Walery Edmond Desbonnet

c 1 885

Gelatin sdvel pnnt

We are used to athl etes fi ll ing the fra me, overpowering us with their prese nce, but in h r basebal l photographs U . S . photographer Dan ielle Weil has taken the fa n' more d istant view, preferring to cast the pl ayers a heroic L i l l i putians, perform ing thei r arabesques on a vast geometric canvas . In The Delivery, a p i tcher unleashes the fo rces that drive the game ( 1 94 ) . Wei l resto red the sense of grace wh ich had been wrung out of basebal l by the media's hunger for c1ose­ ups. Fashion photograp her Aldo Rossi also proves that h i gh drama can be crafred wi th tiny forms ( 1 9 5 ) . H is unusual vantage point send di ver Mary Ellen lark hu rtl i ng l i ke a spacecraft towards a myste rious planet. Like spo rts ph otography, dance photography i

essent ially a twen tieth­

centu ry practice. In the earl y years there were no specialized dance photo­ graphers and art mpts to docu ment l i ve pet:formance were doom d


fai l u r .

ot unt i l the 1 930 was ca mera, fi lm and l igh ting technol ogy up to the ta k of producing dane photograph i n wh i ch the figure wer not blurred . I ro n i cal ly, it wa after the problem wa

olved , with the strobe, and dancer could be froze n

i n m id-ai r, that t he blur reappear d a an aesthet ic d vice.


Wiuel Studio. Los Angeles 1 72

red Shawn In Gnoss/ene 1 9 1 9 Gelat"

'Iver pnnt

Imogen Cunningham Martha Graham performing pnvately for the camera 1 9 3 1 Gelatin silver pnnt

I n evi tably the fi nest work in dance photography has been accompli hed by photographers who have refused to accept the hand maiden status of their medium

vis-a-vis dance, and have ins isted on an equal partn er h i p . Such mutual respect for what critic Elisabeth McCausland cal led the 'twin arts of dance and photo­ grap hy' sparked an afternoon of experi ment by M artha Graham and I m ogen unni ngham in which the dancer uncharacteristi cal ly performed partially nude

( above) . 2 There is an u n i n h i b i ted qual i t y' to

u n n i n gha m's pho tographs,

uggesting that the two arti ts were responding c reatively


each oth er.

Trad it ional ly, one way ro und the tech ni cal l i m i tations of dance photography ha been to photograph outdoors, where suffici nt l ight for qu ick ex posures is not a prob lem . At the

nd of the n i neteenth centu ry this outdoors motif

1 73

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W. G . H i l l The Combat 1 9 1 8 Car-bon pnnt

Anonymous Untitled c. 1 8 70 Albumen print

co rre ponded to a desire on the part of certain dancers to co mm une with the natu ral wo rld, thus healing the rift that wa

een to have opened between

nature and the human so ul. Isadora Duncan, Loie Fuller, Ruth h

t Den i and a

t of acolytes p ranced barefoot by the sea, head thrown back and arm

e tatical ly extended . Today these

arnest pictures appear naIve, if endearing. It m ight


strange, therefor , that the gen re has been revi tal ized by a photographer who ha cho n to record th work of a number of choreographer known for thei r hard­ no ed , ci ty-based art. How ver, this very amb ival ence ha invested the wo rk of Philip Trager with a certain p ych ological tens ion (203) . Far from finding contact with Mother Earth a co mforting ex perience, Trager's thoroughly po t­ modern p r tagoni ts greet it with t rep idat ion .

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S. M. Poppoff Bulgonon Contortionist c.

1 89 0

Al bumen pnnt

That there is a good deal of l i fe left i n the studio tradi ti o n of dance photography is p roven by the electrifyi ng i m agery of New York p hotographer Lo is G reenfield. For more than twen ty years the stars and hopefuls of the modern and postmodern dance world h ave catapu l ted themselves across her surprisingly d i m i nu tive studio, l ater to see their l ikenesses risi ng, flo ating and fal l i n g weigh tlessly in see m ingly i n fi n i te space ( 2 05 ) . B u t fo r all her contributions to the dance world, i t i s p ho tography o f the body in motion that remains G reenfield's passion. Dance is her vehi cle, or as she

p u ts i t, 'my landscape' .3 She nee �s the bodies of dancers rather than ordi nary

bodies because of their physical acco m plishment, their abil i ty to p revisualize themselves in space, to chart their t raj ectories and land with p i n po i n t accuracy. B u t she will not pose them. I nstead, tell i n g them to ' l eave their choreography at the door, ' she gets them dancing and, as critic Deborah Jowi tt p u ts i t, 'snatches 1 76

the image out of a field of motion' . 4 0

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1 77

Anonymous Eight-year-old Dancer and ElocuC/omst n.d. Gelatin sliver pnnt

Clowning 01

1 78

George Fiske Observation POint. Yosernte Volley c. 1 905 Gelatin stiver pnnt

National Commercial Photo. Co., C h icago Champion Johnny Meyers Putting the Finishing Gnp on H,s Foe. the Body SCiSSOrs and the Deep Half-Nelson n.d. Gelatin silver print

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Mary Ellen Mark Indlon ClleuS 1 989

Gelatin silver pnnl


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Anonymous Schoo/boy Welghtliftmg Prodigy 1 9 3 1 Gelatin silver pnnt

George Rodger The Chol/engel 1 949 1 82

Gelatin silver pnnt

Leni Riefenscahl The Winning High DIVer {)orothy Poynton-HilT. U.S.A. 1 9 36 Gelatin silver pnnt J acques- Henri Lartigue Pons. Stade de Colombes. Ie grand chomplon Geo Andie s'entrolne pour les Olymplques (Pons.· SWde de CoJombes. the Grand Chomplon Geo Andre In T'OInlng (or the OlympICS) 1 924 Gelatin silver pnnt

Rene- J acques I I lustr-atron 10r- 'Les O/ymprques' by Henn de Montherlant 1 94 8 1 86

Gelatin srlver prrnt

Ken Hey man Railspllt tel, La,gas, Nigeria 1 972 Ge latin silv el pnn t

1 87

Anonymous When Gleek Meets Greek 1 9 3 1

1 88

Gelatin sliver pnnt


Herb Scharfman

Rocky MorCiono Ko.'s Jersey Joe Wolcott 1 952

Gelatin si lver pnnt

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Bulova Phototimer photo James Gehrdes Winning the 60- Yard High H:xdles at the New York. AthletlC Club Meet February I 95 I Gelatin silver pnnt


Herbert List

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Gerha rd R iebick e L eaping Man c. 1 930 Ha lf- to n e repr O dU

ctio n

1 93

Danielle Weil The Delil'ery 1 99 0 Gelatin sl iver pnnt

1 94

Aldo Rossi Mary Ellen C/ork. US OlympIc DIVer, Hall o( Fom Pool, FOIl Loud rdole, Flolluo 1 99 3 Gelatin sl lvel' pnnt

1 95

Anon ymous Mo non Flttmg m Trammg, Pas adena A thletic Club n.d . m (J) (J)

1 96

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Anonymous Gettrude (Golg ous Gussy) Mown and MI Poe rodd. of Lo jolla, Coli/olTlla, Gelatin sl iver pnnt


\,v,mb/erlol 1 9')6 1 97

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Leon Levinstein Handball Players c. 1 965 Gelatin s i lver print

Helen Levitt BrookJyn 1 9 8 2 1 98

Gelatin sliver pnnt




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Anonymous Deformed foot. China c. 1 870 Albumen pnnt

Nadar (Gaspard-Felix T ournachon) Hermaphrodite I 86 1 Albumen print

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Anonymous James Moms. Elastic Skin Man c. I 890 Albumen pnnt

Anonymous A filipino Freak o{ Seven or Eight Years Old Hoving on Extra Pair o{ Legs Protruding {rom the PelvIs c. 1 900 Gelatin s i lver pnnt


Anonymous (French) Untitled c. 1 890 Albumen pnnt

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The i m p l ications of thi awareness - that a self- i mage could be constructed for the camera m o re o r Ie

i ndependently o f the ph ysical body - woul d not be

fu l l y appar n t fo r one h u n d red year o r m o re, b u t today i t i s co m m o n p l ace reality fo r mas -media enterrainer , who truly exist in a d isembod ied ether. o m et i mes a p h o tographer p rovi des us wi th a symbol o f o u r own e r rangement, as Antonin Kratochvil does in h is remarkable image of a man of almo t in co mprehensible obes i ty lyi ng in hi s lair at a Flo rida ideshow (269 ) . We gaze a t this sea of Aesh pel lbound, before being caugh t up shorr by a m i rror image of our alter egos, i n the window, gawp ing and i ncred ulou . It would be wrong to characterize or dism iss the photographic arr a i nherently ( r at lea t, m r Iy) voyeuristic. ometi mes a ubject will wi l l i ngly co ll aborate with a photographer in order to c mmun icate an a pect of elf, or elf-exp ress ion, a

tefan Richter's David does, albeit ambivalently (265) . Richter believes that

h i 'gentle i nt ru ion ' are r pectful t

the i nd ivid ual and enl igh te n i n g



vi wer, rev aling a d i men ion of ulru ral practice normally h ro uded in ec recy.�






© J 9 :l 4 E. S . C o . (left) Charles E. Ridenour Pnncess Wee Wee, The Smallest Peryecc/y Formed Lm/e Woman In the World, Age 23, Weight 1 2 Pounds, Height 25 Inches, May 20, 1 9 / 5 Postcard Anonymous The Human Ske/econ Weds the Fat Lady 1 924 Stereograph

But we m u t be careful to d isti nguish between this kind of photography mediated by compa ion and respect for the subject, l ifting the vei l on the h idden and perverse in order to engender understanding - and other form which explo i t d i fferent and di tan t bod ie and contribute to the estrangem nt of one body from another. Photography i

often employed to deceive , to

exacerbate anxietie and to rei nforce tereorypes and prej udice . T. Andrew' late-nineteenth-century theatrical depiction of sup po ed Fij ian can ni bal played i nt o the hand of m i ionaries and colonial ists who wanted evidence that d i tant tribal people were morally i n ferior, and therefore j usti fiably ubj ct to the control of more civi l ized peoples ( 24 1 ) . Mu h of the early photography of 'exotic' people seem by Iu t a wel l a � ar, I n th


have been inspi red

r at lea t by a fa ci nat ion with thei r relat ive naked ne .

m i nd of many Eu ropean photographer and their mal client , black


(opposite) Luigi Naretti Mesdames (Entrea) c. 1 885

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African wo men were pri marily objects of desire, d eply carnal creatures, amoral and yielding to the superior power of the wh ite, l i ke the Dark

onti nent i tself

( leji) , Arab women, too, were objecti fied in erotic terms (above) and the veil eem to have be n a particularly exciting pie e of cloth ing. 'These veiled wo m n are not only an embarra ing en igma to the photographer, but an outr igh t attack on h i m , ' wri tes Malek Alloula on the colon ial hare m , ' . . . this womanly gaze is a little l ike the eye of the camera l ike th photographic lens that takes aim at everyth ing.'(' 0


Will � ughby Wal lace Hooper Starving Indians. IViadros (South Indio) 1 876 Albumen print

Felice Beato CruCifixion of the Mole Servant SokJChl Who KJlled the Son of H,s Boss and Was Th 'refore CruCified. He Was 25 Years Old. 1 865-68 250

Albumen pnnt

Attributed to Alinari Brothers Cemerelo del CU(lpu' Inl, Ramo (Cemetery of (he CoppUCClnr, Rome) c . 1 870 252

Albumen pnnt

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O. G. Mason Veiled LuJy (Elephontlosls due to Scarlet Fevel) 1 878 254

Artotype (Hellotype)

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Patie nt of Dr Heim ann Wolff Bere nd, with olih opae dlc con ditio n c. 1 864 Albu men pnn t


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Anonymous Lipoma OssIfYing c. 1 9 1 0 Lantern slide

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Henry G. Piffard The Paisley Lady (Eryrhema Annulal ) Artotype ( Heliolype)


1 89 1 257

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Gelatin s i lver pllnt

ck Leh nert & Lan dro

1 900 (Bound Sla ve, Tun isia ) c. Esc/ave otto che e, Tun isia d bromide Arrowroo tJG ela tin gol

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Progress Studio The HtllOn S,omese TWins or T xos 1 92 5 Gelatin silver pnnts


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Stefan Richter David. Amsterdam i 989 264

From anginal colour transparency

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RA Q U E L WELC H ttarrln, 'n

' O N E M I LLI O N YEARS B.C' A Arts production

Anonymous Raquel Welch starTIng In One Million Years B.C. 1 966 From original colour print

Burt Glinn C�stopher Reeve as Superman 1 979 288

Colour tr nsparency

Not all photographers who dwell on the theme of the i deal body are concerned with the p ro m o t i o n of icons a n d i d o l s . Some prefe r to deflate myths. B u r t G l i n n's backstage deco nstruction pokes fun a t o n e of America's most beloved heroes, Superm an, here exposed as a weakl ing hardly fit to do battle with Charles Atlas (28 9 ) . Canadian photographer Lynne Cohen confronts the �eauty myth in Spa (above) . Cohen is preoccupied with empty roo ms of all k i n ds - offices , classrooms, lobbies, domestic i n teriors - spaces in which real bodies never intrude, having rel i n q u ished thei r rights i n favou r of two- di mensional vision of per­ fectio n . And with his Electric Beauty, the fash ion photographer Horst P. Horst puts his glamourizing lens aside fo r a moment and gently mocks the phenomenal 290

lengths to which many women will go in the pursuit of loveli ness ( right) .


(opposite) Lyn ne Cohen Sro n.d Gelatin silvcl pnnt (above) Horst P. Horst Elecrnc Bt'OUly 1 9 38 Gelatin silvel pnnt

29 1

Max Yavno S rod Ings by S,mdelson



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M I RRO R The mask is magic, character is not innate: a mans character is his demon, his tutelar spirit; received in a dream.


character is his destiny, which

is to act out his dream. N O RMAN O . B ROWN , Love's Body, 1 966

W h e n p h otograph s fi rst appeared a centu ry a n d a h alf ago, peo p l e we re asto n i s h ed by th e i r m i rro r­ l i ke fi d e l ity. Early re po rts ofte n refe rred to th e ' m i rro r of natu re' a n d 'th e m i rro r with a m e m o ry.' Although today the ubiquity of photographic imager y has largely drained it of this awesome, magical aspect, some photographers have remained enthralled. So much so that they have turned their own bodies to the camera a n d fou n d th at, far from b e i ng confi n e d to d u m b refl ections of su rface rea l i ties, the p h otograp h has offe red a m eans with wh i c h to p e n etrate the dee pest recesses of the self.

T h e e ar l i es t p h o tograp h e r to s t age s u c h a n i m age was t h e F re n c h m a n H ippolyte Bayard . H e called the i mage, which featured h i mself a s a half-naked corpse, 'po rtrait of a drowned man' , thereby voicing h is bitterness at not havi ng been acknowledged as one of the i nventors of photography. As early as 1 840, therefore, there is a precursor to the theatrical stagings of the self so p revalent in photography of the late twentieth ce � tu ry.


Oscar Gustave Rejlander SelF-portraIt c . I 857 Modem sliver pnnt

Another n i neteenth-century antecedent exists i n a self-portrait by the e m i nent Victorian photographer Oscar G ustave Rej l ander, who was known for hi s h ighly moralistic gen re scenes . Paradoxically, the photographer chooses on the one hand to expose h i mself to the camera, and o n the other to shy away from i t ; the body is h idden beneath


sheet and the face sh ielded by the arm, a lm ost as i f

Rej lander fo und the forthright gaze o f the lens too m uch to bear (295 ) . ' Th ere are other s i g n i fi can t l ate- n i n eteen th a nd early-twe n t i eth-cen t u ry p recede n ts . Edvard M u n c h , for i n s tance, made studies of h i s own naked o r sem i-naked body which convey t h e emotional a n d p hysi cal angst at t h e root o f h i s art. T h e Pol i s h avan t-garde p a i n ter, wri ter a nd p hotogra phe r Stanis l aw I gnacy Witkiewicz focused closely on his own face, believing i t to be a wi ndow through which the turbulence of the soul co uld be glimpsed ( right) . Such unfl i n ch i ng explorations would encourage many late-TWentieth-century photographers of the body. Whether i t is the camera's tyranny over the body, as suggested by Rossella Bell usci's self-portrait (3 1 9) , or the body l iving i ts l i fe as a shadow, as M i ch e l Szulc-Krzyzanowski p roposes (30 8 , 3 0 9 ) , there



fundamen tal urge to use photography as an i nstrument of self- discovery. The F i n n i s h-born photographer Arno Rafael M i nkki nen seeks a s p i ri tual rapprochement with the wide-open spaces of nature. Liste n i n g to voices deep within his psyche, he shapes h is body in reply, orren seem i ngly turning it i nside out (3 1 0 top and bottom, 3 1 1 ) . Some of M i nkklnen's transformations look l i ke totems, p ro tective tribal emblems which take the fo rm of real and i magi ned bei ngs . One s uch totem adorns the prow of a boat; others are c reatures which i n hab i t water; s t i l l another hovers m oti on l ess in the sky, l i terally suspended between heaven and earth, between spiritual aspi rations and earthly constraints . I n h i s series Immagini Scoperte ( Discovered Images) ( 3 2 0 , 3 2 1 ) , the D utch photographer Jo Brunenberg makes an elegan t blend of his photograp hs of the body with scientific drawings by Leonardo da Vi nci. Here too there is a desi re fo r transformation; we are rem i nded of the mythic fig ures of the constellations, ,

and those of legend



centaur, Icarus. The human body is en nobled, suggests

Brunenberg, by rhe faculties of reason and i magi nation.2 We find an earthier vision in the imagery of German photographer Dieter Appel t (3 1 4- 1 7) . Both body and psyche are bared in strange sacri ficial ri res 296

which h i nt at a pri meval past. ' I f the doors of perception were cleansed, every

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Stan islaw Ignacy Witkiewicz Sel(porrrol( c. 1 9 1 3 Gelatin si lvel- print

thing would appear to man as it is, i n fi n ite,' wrote Wi l l iam Blake, and Appel t yearns fo r this clarity of vision . He is more than ready to leave beh i nd the ro ugh , brittle ve sel of his body to ach i eve it; he wai ts i mpatiently in h is ' Eye Tower' , s an n i ng the horizon for a sign , or he l ies i n h is grave, wi l l i ng death on . 1 O f th i urge on the part o f artists to mi rror the perilous tate o f their own bei ng, the critic Max Kozloff ha observed : . . . th re runs through m uch of this wo rk a sh udder, as i f at the thought that every breathing moment brough t one closer to obl ivion . In the last fiftee n years a mental alarm of this general kind underl i es fanta ies of intolerable tress, o f levi tation and dying falls, of the body re ting i n suspended ani mation - a beautiful coma - and of afterl ives or rebi rths, organic or ev n earthy i n their origi n:' I n add i t i o n to p h o togra p h e r l i ke A p pe l t , Kozl o ff wa refe r ri ng



uro pean and North American arti ts who, begi nning in the 1 960s and 1 970 , took u p t h e body itse l f a t h i r med i u m , em p l oyi ng t h e camera - t i l l and motion - a a primary mean of document ation .







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' Body art ists' treated their own bodies as sculptural material - readi ly available :;:0 :;:0

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and capable of great plasticity. Some believed that the body had to be used j ust l i ke any other artists' material , subject to the same dispassionate tests and trials; others believed i t had unique attributes which were worthy of atte ntion, h owever banal . The simplest bodily functions - walki ng, b reathi ng, picki ng o ne's nose were i nvested with great solemnity. A spirit of Duchampian iconoclasm prevailed, tempered w i t h irony and wit. But there was also a more masochistic vein , i n which body artists cut, burnt, scarred, shot or otherwise abused their own bodies in order to bring neuroses and fears i n to the ope n . 5 These ' bodyworks' could b e h ighl y exhibitionistic public even ts or wholly solitary rites performed in the artist's studio. What they had in common was that they were all ephemeral. Here the camera p roved an i ndispensable tool ; what were transitory, unique, un repeatable moments were given permanent form in p hotographs. It is somewhat i ro n ic, in view of the distaste with which many such artists viewed the traditional art obj ect, that the photograph of the event, bei ng all that remained of i t, should i nevi tably take on this function . I t is also true that without photography the 'body art' movement would not have received such widespread attention. After all , it is thanks only to the camera that Bruce Nauman's fountain cont inues to send i ts j et of water skyward twen ty-five years after it was i nitially commemorated (304 ) . Al though body a r t i n general took n o acco u n t of the aesthetics of fi n e art photography, some artists did treat photography as an i ntegral aspect of thei r work rather than as a mere record-keepi ng device. I n 1 Box, an early bodywork by Robert Mo r ris , the art i s t h o used an i m age of h i s n aked body behi n d an 1 shaped door, t h us p u n n i ng o n visual a n d verbal ambigu i t i es conce rned with the essen ce of sel fhood and the extent to which i t could ever be truly revealed . For one of the artists who has conti nued to work with her body, photography is 'less a tool than a partner' .6 Si nce the early 1 960s, Carolee Schneeman n has made use of her naked body i n solo perfo rmances, m u l t i - media happeni ngs a n d i nstal lations and h as record e d he r work extens ively i n photography and fi l m (302-03) . Celebrating the visceral, the ani mal, the sexual and the i ntu i tive i n works of someti mes Dio nysian excess, she wields her body l i ke a weapon, i l l u m i n a t i ng a n d s ubve rti ng rep ress i ve c u l t u ra l i ns t i t u t i o n s a n d p ractices,

3 00

particul arly those which subjugate and degrade the female body and psyche.

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Robert Morris I Box 1 962 Construction and photograph

30 1

Carolee Schneemann Unexpectedly Research 1 963- 1 99 I 1 6 colour- prrnts

Sch neeman n also re l ies on p h o tography i n her resea rches - her 'visual archaeology'- as i t has been cal l ed - i n to sacred or obscene rep resentations of the female in matriarchal cultures . In exposi ng thei r own bod ies to the lens, all these artists and photographers lay themselves open to charges of narcissism and vanity. But i n tense crutiny of the sel f in the hope of gai n i ng some new i nsight abo ut one's bei ng, or about a generalized h umanness, is not the same as self-absorptio n . Even a photographer as self 'centred' as Lucas Samaras, with three decades of exploration of the body 302

beh i nd him, is constantly groping fo r Fu rther meaning and ever more profound

revelat i o n ( 29 8 , 299 ) . Nor was sel f- love the mo tivation fo r France ca Woodman's d ream l i ke elf- reAections - o n the co n tr a ry, they b t rayed a fea r that her body wa m erel y an appa r i t i o n or an object of fetishistic de i re (322, 323 ) . Why h o u l d these id i osyncratic i n vestigat ion i nt e re t u s a t a l l ? Because we bel i eve that somehow the a rt ists a re act i ng on o u r beh a l f, that we m ay lea rn om t h i n g of o u rselve from thei r s t ruggles, t h e i r angu i s h , t h e i r hope. A rn u l f Ra i n er's � v rish tw i tch i ng ( 8 ) speak

to ,

and fo r, a l l of us, and we a re left


wonder i f i n the end the h u man p i r i t can ever fi n d a com fo rtable acco m m odation w i t h the Ae h.



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( left) Suzy Lake Choreographed Puppets ('vVho Pulls the S tnngs) 1 977 Gelatin silver prints

(overleaf above) Michel Szulc-K rzyzanowskl Punw Boca. May 30 1 98·/ Gelatin si lvel p" nts (overleaf below) M i chel Szulc-Krzyza nowski BOJo Cali(ornlo. Feb. 2·/ 1 980 Gelatin silvel p" nts


3 08


(opposite) Arno Rafael Mi n kkinen KUOPIO, Finland 1 987 Gelatin silver pnnt Arno Rafael Minkkinen Fosters Pond 1 99 2 Gelatin si lver p �nt

(above) Arno Rafael Minkkinen Naraganseu. Rhode Island 1 973 Gelatin silver print

31 1


313 Alain Fleischer L t· C JU I Pl)lJ ,·i / j3arrowed ()V)ci. UX> rY) only -Por -rn i s 5000f •


Barbara K ruger Untitled 1 989 PhotosllksCleen/vlnyl


Richard Hami lton Fashion-plate 1 969-70 Photo-offset l ithograph. collage. screenprint. pochoir and retouching with cosmetics


Robert Walker Nice 'n Easy 1 97 6 3 M Color--rn-Color coprer pnnts/montage


Robert Heinecken ClIchy Vary/Fetishism 1 974 Gelatin sliver pn nt. coloured with pastel and chalk

Michelle Bradford Pierced Hermaphrodite 1 99 3 3 40

Photographic montage


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Helen Chadwick Enfleshmgs /I 1 989 342

Cibachmme transparency, glass, steel. electnc apparatus


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Helen Chadwick ErotiCism 1 990 Cibachrome transparencies. glass, aluminium, electric apparatus


Carolee Schneemann Forbidden Actions - Museums 1 979 Photosilkscreen


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Cindy Sherman Untitled. #224 1 990 Colour photograph







Lorna Simpson

Twenty Questions (A Sampler) 1 986 4 gelatin s i lver pnnts, 6 engraved plastic plaques Lorna Simpson


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T....o II .. ".,.. 8o m p i do u , Pa ris 43 © I C T, Berkeley,

Ly n n Davis;

R i c h ter, Reu t l i n ge n , G e r m a n y 83 Cou r tesy: V i n ce A l e n i ,


Roch es te r, New Yo rk 3 8 © 1 9 8 1 Estate o t


Cal i to rn i a 93 © 1 98 1 A r i zo n a Board o f Rege n ts, Cen ter to r C rea t i ve Ph orograp h y, Tucso n , A rizo n a ; Cou rtesy: The J . Paul G eny M u e U Ill , Cal i to rn ia 94 © 1 98 3 Estate o f Rober t M ap p l e t h o rpe; Cou rtesy: Esta te o f Robert M a p p l e t h o rpe, New Yo rk

95 Cou rtesy: Private Col l ecrio n , Lo n d o n 96 © 1 99 4 A r t i s ts Righ ts Society ( A RS ) , New Yo rkiA D AG P / M a n Ray Trust, Par i s ; Cou rtesy: H o u k F r i e d m a n G J l l e ry,

ew Yo rk

J - p K e rn o t ; Courtesy: , o t heby's, Lo n d o n

97 © 1 978 Lee F r i ed l a n de r ; Cou rtesy: Frae n kel G a l l e ry, San F rJ n c i sco 98 © 1 963

54 © 1 978 Ly n n Dav i s ; Cou rtesy: The a rt i s t , e w Yo rk 5 5 © 1 9 8 1 A r i zo n a B03.rd o t

99 © 1 98 4 Estate o t Robert M ap p l e t h o rpe;

Cou rte�y: The a rt i st, Prague 53 Copyrigh t ©

Rege l 1 [ \ , Ce n ter fo r C reat i ve Ph orography,

Tucso n , A rizoJu; Court e�y: Sotheby's, L o n d o n


59 © 1 98 4 J o h n C o p l a n s ; Cou rtesy: T h e a r t i s t , N e w Yo rk 6 1 Cou rtesy: The J . Pa u l

5 6 © 1 986 Pier re RaJ i � i c ; Cou rtesy: T h e

R u t h Bern h J rd ; Cou rtesy: S o t hcby's, Lo n d o n C o u r te y : Estate o f Robert

1 a p p l e t h o rpe

1 00 © 1 9 50 H o rt P. H orst; o u rtesy: The a rt i s t , New Yo rk 1 0 1 © 1 9 5 D i a n o ra

iccol i n i ; 'ourte y: The J rt isr,

e\ York

1 02 © 1 99 2 Ph i l i p Trager; 'oune y: The ani r . Fai rfidd. Con necri t� I ngre , Jean -Augu te Dom i n ique 22, 27


63, 1 1 3 , 1 1 4 ; 1 07, 1 / 8- 1 9

M aso n , 1 09 ; 2 54 M arusch ka 3 26, 3 3 2 ; 350 med ical phorography 1 5- 1 8 , 1 .


1 06- 1 2

Medim/ T imes and Caurte 1 06

Jacques, Rene 1 86 Jard i ne, Al ice 1 0 Jowi n , Deborah 1 76

Kandi nsk)" Wassi ly 27 K rtesz, A n d re 3 56-7; 36 1, 362 K i mbei, Kusakabe 63; 83 Kozloff, M ax 297 K raro h v i l , A n ro n i n 2 4 5 ; 26 9 K r uger, Ba rbara 1 0 , 3 3 2 , 3 3 5 ; 337

K r u l l , ermai ne 1 43 ; 1 -16 K rz) voblocki , Aleksander 390; 4 15

Me�sager, An nette 39 1 ; 408 Meyer, Baron Ado l f de 26 Metzker, Ray K. 30, 357; 36 M i chener, Diana - 3 9 ; 270, 271 M i l ler, Lee 2 3 9 ; 267 M i n k k in e n , Arno Rafael 30, 296; 3 1 0, 3 1 1

M iss w im (Anon . ) 2 8 3 ; 273 M i, Roben 2 1 4 Mole and Thomas 388; 387 Mole wo rt h , W. ee Pon m a n , M . V. Mol i n i er, Pierre 2 1 7; 232 Moore, Hen ry 67 Mora n , errrude ( Ano n . ) 1 70 ; 1 97

Lake, uzy 307 Lam p rey, J oh n 1 5 , I 1 2 , Lartigue, J acq ues- Henri

Nauman, Bruce 300; 30"1 N egrc, harl es 34 , 392-3 Neo ]a sicism 2 7 ' New bject i v i ty' 3 5-6 i c l i n i , D ianora 69; 1 0 1 i lsso n , Len nart I 1 0 N oye , D r 1 08 N uma-Blanc 66 N u red i n & Lev i n (at t ri b. ) 249 O ' Don n el l , Ron 3 9 2 ; 403 ' Keeffe, Georgia 27 O ra, Madame d' 283-4; 285

Manre , Lou i A medee and Ed mond loldsch midt 20 Mapplethorpc, Roben


H uxley, 1'. H .

M ausland, Elisabeth 1 73 M ac i n ty re, M a n ha 64 Ma kenzie, M a u reen 64 Mai ngot , Ro a lind 6 ; 87 Mandel M i ke 333; 352 M a n n , Sally 1 0, 1 5 5 ; 1 03, 1 54, 1 55


67; 86

H u t h i ng , Ral ph 1 ' .

Lorel le, Lucien 399 Lyne , G eorge Plan see Platt

Morris, Roben 300; 301 Mot ta, Profe sor Pierro I 1 1 3 ; 126 1 68-9;

1 85

Lecadre, J . E. 6 2 ; 71 Leh ndorFf, era + H olger Trulzsch 39 1 ; '-J 06 Leh nert and Lan d rock 2 1 0; 26 1 Lev i n ee u red i n & Levi n Lev i ns te i n , l c o n 1 70; 1 98 Lev i t t, Helen 1 70 ; 1 99 Lew i ns k i , Jorge 24 Lewi , H e n ry 305 lOp and bOllom L i fa r, . c rge (A no n . ) 20-1 List, Herben 1 69 , 3 8 9 ; 1 92, 3 9 5 Li . i tzky, I 1 70 ; 1 9 1 l i th ography 3 5 , 1 08 L nde, A l ben 1 6, 2 0 ; 123

J 0; 131,

132, 133

Moul i n , Frans;ois-Jacq ues

Parks, Bertram (and Yvon n G regory) 67 Penot, A l be n 209; 2 1 6, 2 1 7 Pen thouse ( magazine) 2 1 5 Pe me 1 68 ; 276 P h i l l i ps, h ristopher 2 9 P h i l l i ps, Dr David 1 P i ffard , H e n ry G . 1 09 ; 257 PiJotograpiJic News 1 2 , 1 4 , 1 8 , 60, 63, 1 06, 1 09 , I 1 3 , 1 66, 240, 24 1 , 2 8 2

phoro m icrogra phy 1 7- 1 8 , 1 06 PI Lischow, Gugl iel mo 2 1 0 ; 225 Pi asso, Pablo 27, 3 5 4 , 3 5 7 Picrorial ists 23- 5 , 64 Pier o n , Loui 3 2 Platt Lyne , George 2 9 Playboy ( magazi ne) 2 1 5 Pod adec k i , Kazi m ierz 2 8 , 389, 390; 404

Poigna n t , Roslyn 1 1 2 pol ice phorography 1 8- 1 9 Poppoff, . M . 1 67 ; 1 76 Porrman, M . V. and W. Moleswo n h 1 5 Pri nce, Doug 3 5 8 ; 370- 1 , -105 Progress tudio 2 3 9 ; 262-3



M u nch, Edvard 296 M u n kacs i , Marri n 2 7 M us ol i n i , Beni to 326; 327 M uybridge, Eadweard 2 0 , 3 4 ,

Racz, A n d re 390; 4 1 0 Rad i ic, Pierre 4 4 ; 44, 47, 56, 1 62, 366 63,

1 1 3 , 1 1 4 ; 20, 1 22

Mycrs, Eveleen

6 3 ; 75

adar ( G aspard- Fel ix Tou rn a h o n ) 1 6, 20, 2 4 9 ; 243 a rett i , Lu igi 2 1 0, 2 4 9 ; 248 ational o m mer ial Phoro. 0., h icago 1 80 natu r ist movement 6 - , 1 68

Rai ner, A rn u l f 39 1 -2 , 303; 8 Ray, M an 2 8 , 66, 67 , 3 5 7 ; 96, 383

Realism 27-8, 3 9 , 66 Rej lander, 0 car-C u�[ ave


296; 6 1, 295

Remarq ue, Erich Maria 2 5 -6 Richard 2 8 2 ; 278 Riches, Paul 1 6 , 20 Rich ler, tera n 24 5 ; 265 Rideno u r, ha rles 2 3 9 ; 246

43 1

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Riebicke, Gerhard 1 69; 193 Riefe nstah l, Len i 1 69, 284, 287;

184, 287

Rien & o. 1 1 1 Ri t ts, Herb 293 Rivas, H u m berto 7 5 , 77; 1 04 Roberts, Holly 392; 402 Roberts, K. B . and ] . D . W. Tom l i nson 1 1 0 Rockwood, Geo rge R. 1 8 Rodchen ko, AJexander 28 Rodger, George 1 70; 1 83 Rodi n , Pierre Auguste 1 1 3 Rontgen, Wil hel m Kon rad 1 8 ;


Rossi , AJdo 1 7 1 ; 195 Rozycki , Andrzej 306 Rou i l le, Andre 2 1 Ruben, Ernestine 44, 3 5 8 ;

45, 1 63, 378 147



Stu rges, Jock 1 0 , 1 5 5 ;


158, J 59,

Surrealism 2 8 , 36, 3 56, 388-90 Svolfk, M i ro 397 Symbolism 24, 27, 64 Szulc-Krzyznowski, M ichel 296;

308, 308-9

Takada M i flayosh i 390; 417 Teige, Karel 2 8 , 389; 414 Teslow, Tracy 35 Thorne-Thomsen, Ruth 394 Thurn, Everard i m 1 1 3 Tomatsu, Shomei 239; 266 Tom l i nson, J . D . W see RobertS K. B . Tomorrow's Man (magazine) 2 1 1 Tournachon, Adrien see Duchenne, Dr G u i l laume­ Benjami n Trager, P h i l i p 7 I -2, 1 7 5 ; 1 02,


Sadler, Richard 161 Salle, David 401 Samaras, Lucas 302-3; 298, 299 Sander, August 36, 39, 46 Sandow, Eugene 2 3 , 1 68 scan n i ng electro n m icrograph (SEM) 1 1 0 Scharf, Aaron 34 Scharfman, Herb 1 70 ; 189 Sch iele, Egon 39 1 , 392 Schl ieren photography I 1 0 sci n t igram 1 1 0 Schneemann, Carolee 300, 302;

302-3, 345

Schneider, Gary 420 Serrano, Andres 1 0; 1 1 Settles, D r Gary 136 S herman , C i ndy 332, 3 3 5 , 3 5 5 ;

344, 349

Si lverthorne, Jeffrey 240; 268 S i m mons, Laurie 348 S i m pson, Lorna 346, 347 Siskind, Aaron 1 70; 202 Sommer, G iorgio 253 Spell man S h i rrs, advertisement fo r (Ano n . ) 328 sportS photography 1 66-7 1 Sprin kle, Annie 336 S tach , J i fi 409 Stano, To no 44; 52, 58, 385, 409 Steichen, Edward 26, 27, 28, 64 Stein, Dr 1 09 Sterba k, Yana 333; 325 Stezaker, John 392; 407 Stiegl i tz, AJ fred 27, 28, 66; 35, 432


t ransm ission electron m icrograph (TEM) 1 ] 0 Tremorin, Yves ] 43 ; 164, 1 65 Trillzsch, Holger see Lehndorff, Vera Tsiaras, AJexander 1 I 1 ; preLiminary pages

Tucholsky, Kurt 26 Ubac, Raoul Umbo 42


Vacquerie, Auguste 32 Val lhonrat, Javier 72, 75; 1 05 Vanity Fair ( m agazi ne) 67 Vignola, A. 70 V i l l iger, Professor Werner 1 1 0 ;


Vogue ( magazine) 26, 67, 2 1 0

Vul l iez, Roger


Walery see also E l i is a n d Walery 1 68 ; 171 Wal ker, Roben 334 ; 339 Warner, Marina 324 Wei ! , Danielle 1 7 1 ; 194 Welch, Raquel (An o n . ) 288 Welch D iamond, .Hugh 1 08 Western Photography Guild 2 1 4 ;

201, 234

Weston, Edward 27, 28, 36, 645 , 66, 8 1 , 324; 3� 5� 93 Witkiewicz, Stan i law I gnacy 296; 297

Wi t ki n , Joel- Peter 392-3;



W itzel Studio, Los Angeles 1 72 Wgl f, Nao m i 272 Woodman, Francesca 322, 323 Woodman, George 384 Woodward, H . J . 1 7 Wrigh t, Holly 30, 3 5 8 ; 368, 369,

376, 377

X-ray 1 8 , 3 5

Yavno, M ax


Zitnbel, George S . 2 1 5 ; 230 Zoetmul ler, Steef 3 5 7 ; 382 Zul us 1 2 , 1 4 ; 13

W i l l iam A , Ewin

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