Sunday, March 3, 2013
The Adorous and Tania Shcheglova
I challenge you to find something better to do with your time then sip green tea while scrolling through The Adorous website after having a long night out. I'm not very a terribly experienced night owl but I do have my certain rituals and protocols for feeling less crumby when my brain has been harvested- no! Squeezed like half an orange and I am left with proverbial pulp (yes I have used this metaphor before but it's my favourite coined literary device to use). There are many a wonderful photographer featured on this website, many of which are women and come from a Canadian background. I never realised how cute the accents were for Canadian guys until last Friday enjoying a hardcore music festival and that it is in fact a big creative hub. As opposed to being America Junior or something like that which I have now come to realise is totally untrue and not cool. Seeing the photographs and works on this particular website, from different people with different themes and topics just makes me appreciate and respect the different facets of life and general big headings.
As painful as the Winter snow can be, some models are braving the very worst to bring awe-inspiring images with snow, stringy fir trees and sickly looking fields all brought together in a sweet culmination. I've always thought bridal veils to be really beautiful things and my personal favourite component of the strange, ceremonial costume but when the dress and trail drag across the ground... well I usually think it's very over the top and frankly garish. But never in all my wildest dreams centralising on DIY crowns, Frida Kahlo portraits and a general love for decorating oneself with flowers did I envision something that could swallow and indeed, encompass the whole body. It's brilliant- it's like Cousin Itt from the Adam's Family swallowed a whole lot of fertiliser, survived the possibility of blowing up and became stunningly beautiful. If I were more of a free spirit and general hippie like Jessa from the HBO series 'Girls' I would practically demand something like this at my wedding. The interwoven colours of champagne and rose are particularly poignant against thick, fake and glossy leaves. I wonder where this piece is, I hope it one day hangs in a museum or I'll be forced to build a shrine in tribute to it's glorious state of being.
I feel pretty awkward when discussing religion because it feels like I am in the middle of a circle of toes and any advance could prove to be a wrong move... but in the name of attempted (mock) journalism I will try my very best to tackle what seems to be a huge part of the Tania Shcheglova experience which seems to conquer all national boundaries appearing in the Shanghai selection of female portraits. I have no idea if this is symbolic but in general there's a Christianity viewpoint of crucifixes that worms its way into some of the really spectacular shots. I enjoy the large cross almost weighing down the beautiful, but admittedly under dressed/ under-prepared woman against a background of frozen hay bales. The way I see it, if you let religion or just any aspect of life become too huge in your life it weighs you down and eventually can be your undoing. Being too close can make you lose perspective when tragedy strikes, but at the same time many people believe being close to God comes through dedication/ prayer/ meditation/ obedience. I admire people who have the discipline to follow a faith but I never really see it becoming something huge in my own personal routine. But that's sort of a general, national attitude and apparently has been since the 1960s in Australia.
A popular saying you may be familiar with is 'as fresh as the driven snow'. Maybe you've heard of it dropped in pseudo-intellectual hipster conversations outside of libraries that they secretly never go inside or sipping expensive coffee, when it's really a Shakespearean reference used to describe a character's purity. However with all the nudity staring back at us from some of Shcheglova's works it rarely intermingles with such frosty weather and it is understandable. I don't see that comparison of integrity/ sexuality and the snow, rather the way it blankets the landscape... oh wait. That's what it always does naturally being a weather phenomenon. But perhaps we will see more from such a promising master of her craft and she will find a model with daring bravado and beauty to match for a new project emphasising the two together. I think it would be interesting to see the two elements brought together without looking like a sad and abandoned forest hiker attacked by some hyperactive and raucous wolves. From her neck of the woods, colder weather doesn't seem to be in short supply for part of the year in any case. I thought the way stark snow combined with the landscape in contrast to the decadent red lipstick was pretty powerful with traditional head wear and cheeky costumes, along with knitted knee high socks. But yeah, like I said, I yearn for more.
The female form seems increasingly beautiful me when captured artfully through a camera lens and less of a potential battleground for straight-white-cis-male politicians to debate over. It's getting back to what it represents on an anatomical and more poetic level rather than something sanctioned or controlled. I lost any chance of Google paying any me any money from blogging after I had a bit of a satanic black and white photograph of a woman baring all- and the experience did make me feel a little bitter and angry that it had been labelled as "pornographic" and therefore with porn sites gaining so many hits my site was sort of blacklisted. It's as if they lost the notion of content and everything else I had written, found a loophole to get out of an agreement I had clicked and generally just did what big business is well-known to do: step on dreams.
But from the ashes of my bitter disappointment and feeling liberated with such art I can hold my head up high and realise that just because a naked body is there, doesn't mean it's disturbing. Petra has a project called "we all have nipples" which I will write about later I promise which makes the point that men and women have the same body parts but it's socially acceptable to see one pair in public and not the other. When I was six and on a hot day decided not to wear a shirt my older brother was outraged but my mother let me carry on. And you know what? I felt damn smug about it. I just wish people would stop freaking out and cover their bodies so much. I'm not saying you have to love yourself and necessarily put it out there for everyone to see, but being accepting that it is a totally normal part of life would be freaking great.