November 16, 2006

… Same As the Old Nude

Mars pleads to Make Pluto A Planet Again but I haven't the heart, and I wander down to Moe's where I buy three books: Hal Foster's "Design and Crime", a small book on typography, and a reduced-for-sale "NERVE / The New Nude" put together by Nerve's Genevieve Field.

"The New Nude" is one of those very turn-of-the-century books published Before It All Went Wrong, when earnest playfulness and self-proclaimed transgressiveness seemed the very model of cool hipness. It's a sort of slightly down-market version of the rather tin-eared grownup stuff that Aperture's so good at (and that mostly just comes across as twee in this context).

But there's some good images in it, if you ignore the words — stuff I've never thought of, stuff by some of the unusual suspects like Robert Maxwell (no, not that Robert Maxwell…), Nan Goldin, FiLH (Frederic Goudal, who was one of the first people I linked to back in the Paleolithic era of the web when one did such things), or Sylvia Plachy — and after poring over it for a while at home I come to the obvious conclusion: I don't do nudes, I do nakeds. You'll probably never see my nakeds in the smooth City galleries (or in a nice coffee table production like "The New Nude"), unfortunately. Not because of the images themselves, but mostly because I can't do the words that talk up the subtext, that flesh out the gloss, that subtitle the obvious (and if you read "The New Nude" you might well come to the conclusion that the new nudes are just nakeds clothed in words…).


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