Because We Can RevisitedMonday, December 03, 2018
When I posted this blog with the accompanying photograph I immediately had the impression that there was something untoward about it all. My friend illustrator/designer/artist confirmed it when I broached the subject. It was the showing of the monitor screen with all the Messenger bits (icons) at the bottom and my face on the right with camera at eye-level that made it all seem “dirty”. The voyeur element pehaps? I have no idea if the term “dirty pictures” is still in use. Today as I write this my photography friends are in an uproar because of this:
Some of my friends (younger than I am) are taking lovely photographs of pristinely shaped women in a beach surrounded by sand and driftwood. These are taken in black and white. As soon as bits like nipples show up these photographers are banned by the social media in question for a month.
For me the exercise in protesting this kind of censorship is both fruitless and irrelevant. I have known for years that somehow a painting or a sculpture of a nude figure (within some limits) is never censored. For years nobody could see in any book Balthus’s famous/infamous 1934 The Guitar Lesson. The advent of the World Wide Webb ended that. If anybody has knowledge of that painting they will be able to find it.
Another factor in this century is the ubiquity of photographers and their photographs. When I took photographs of workers in lumber mills for annual reports it was always my obligation to get their permission via the now obsolete (is it?) photo release. I would understand why some of the lovely women in non-sexual photographs might object to their pictures appearing here or there particularly if they have secured good jobs as teachers or politicians.
Another factor is that in the last century when people took photographs nobody really saw them. I had a friend in that century whose wife worked at a photo lab. The workers of the lab (inappropriately, that word so much in vogue in our politically correct times) had a thick album with nude photographs that they got from the processed film. It seems that all Canadian men take at least one nude photograph in their life. This is a picture that begins with, “Honey why don’t we put you in the tub and photograph you showing our little baby in your stomach who is about to be born soon?” All these men somehow had reached to a conclusion that they thought was unique!
I was able to see that album and all I could do was smile. Most were badly taken snapshots that had charm in spades.
Any of those photographs if they were to be posted in social media now would be censored.
I believe that no algorithm in these social media entities would block my image. And yet I think that the photograph as opposed to those charming baby about to be born pictures is far more explicit.
I do not post photographs in social media or in my blog that show those bits that those algorithms are so keen on eliminating. My photographs that do show those bits can only be seen in the light of day at a gallery (not a chance in Vancouver!) or if I show them to friends.