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Estranged Sex
February 15, 2011 3:15 AM   Subscribe

Estranged Sex, by photographer Sandra Torralba (extremely NSFW). "With a broad and holistic understanding of sexuality and sex and after years of honest and stark introspection and reflection upon existence and society begins “Estranged Sex”: a work about a sexuality that is both strange and estranged, natural and alienated."

The cowboy and the bunny made me laugh.
posted by bwg (45 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sandra, she works hard.
posted by jscott at 3:34 AM on February 15, 2011


there's a weird depiction of a rape scene in here for anyone who wants to avoid that sort of thing.
posted by artof.mulata at 3:35 AM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is the frustratingly slow flash gallery supposed to be a therapeutic measure?
posted by quoquo at 3:37 AM on February 15, 2011


I keep deleting comments here.. Maybe the best of them is that some of these do perfectly capture the loneliness and alienation present in some relationships. And that's actually more confronting than all the cocks and balls and tits and bits..
posted by Ahab at 3:42 AM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well, she's not into Jewish guys.
posted by a non e mouse at 3:43 AM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like. Thanks.
posted by rmmcclay at 3:50 AM on February 15, 2011


This is terrific stuff, although I have to agree with artof.mulata - the rape scene is weirdly depicted and seemed totally out of place to me.

I'm not sure what it says about me, either, that my reaction to the shot of the girl hanging upside down, gimp on the left, guy in armchair on the right was that it looked like a pretty straight-ahead BDSM/fetish shot to me, in other words it didn't seem to be making as much of a statement as the others.

Regardless - great post bwg, thanks!
posted by kcds at 3:52 AM on February 15, 2011


It's definitely weird - that's an AK in the foreground, but the soldiers are wearing Bundeswehr flecktarn.

But is it supposed to be a rape scene? Or is it meant to be a working girl with German soldiers?

Or is the ambiguity in dress/equipment/body position/facial expression supposed to be part of the deal?

(Sincere question. Not trying to start a fight, or even really take a position on it.)
posted by Ahab at 4:05 AM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ahab, I had the same question and the answer might be in the video, but I'm not sure what is being said. Can someone translate?

If the Flash is too slow, there is a .pdf file with all the photos.
posted by Houstonian at 4:13 AM on February 15, 2011


Jeeze, it isn't bad, but you had to post it before 7am? What an odd way to start my day.
posted by paisley henosis at 4:28 AM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


So I wasn't the only one intrigued by soldiers in Spain wearing German camouflage. What nerds we are.
Could a clue to the scene's meaning be that the flecktarn pattern is based on a design developed exclusively for the Waffen SS?
Or, maybe it just looked good down at the local army surplus.
posted by Flashman at 4:29 AM on February 15, 2011


Thanks Houstonian, I reckon the answer might be in the third video, which is a "making of" vid about that particular photo. But my Spanish isn't good enough to understand what's being said. Translation anyone?

(And I was wrong about the gun. Not an AK).
posted by Ahab at 4:30 AM on February 15, 2011


I also liked the Sleepy People photo series.
posted by orme at 4:31 AM on February 15, 2011


paisley henosis: "Jeeze, it isn't bad, but you had to post it before 7am? What an odd way to start my day"

I'm in Hong Kong, and here it was 7.15pm.
posted by bwg at 4:33 AM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I didn't parse that picture as a "rape scene." If anything, her facial expression read more like concentration that might be expected from that sort of semi-acrobatic sex.

Some of these I like quite a lot, like they're portraits from a more perfect, laid back world. Roommate wants to masturbate while I'm cleaning? Don't stop because of me! Roommates fucking on the couch? "Ssh, 30 Rock's back on."
posted by explosion at 4:47 AM on February 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Houstonian: "Ahab, I had the same question and the answer might be in the video, but I'm not sure what is being said. Can someone translate?"
Quick translation:

Intro: She says that one day she dreamed about being kidnapped and abused by some military guys. That sometimes you can't acknowledge your desire due to guilt, fear or pain so you project that desire to someone else who takes you by force, but just the appropriate amount of force, as pain in a dream doesn't hurt.

Making off: She had the fantasy when she was 7, 8, 9, etc. The original one was in an helicopter. That some fantasies seem to be forbidden and that the reality of them is not the same.

That the series is not about moralizing or judging, she's not interested in that. It's about completing a vision of modern sexuality, showing things that happen but that are not talked about. Normal events and some that are not so normal. Natural acts that have been denaturalized and even condemned.

That estranged Sex XVII (the picture) talks about a fantasy, among many, that doesn't have to be good or bad and that it doesn't want to become true. It talks about desire, dreams, secrets and, like the rest of the series, it tries to revive the discussion about sexuality being more animal, human and complete.
posted by Memo at 5:05 AM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thanks heaps, Memo.
posted by Ahab at 5:15 AM on February 15, 2011


I saw a number of these at MoSex a few weeks back, and was quite taken with them for some reason. More so than I am now seeing more of them. Maybe it was just the juxtaposition of them in that setting versus on my computer screen, I dunno.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 5:17 AM on February 15, 2011


the rape scene is weirdly depicted and seemed totally out of place to me

I think the whole gallery is meant to be weirdly depicted and out of place, and that maybe different people bring different things to the party.
posted by jscott at 5:36 AM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


But is anyone really shocked by this level of fetish anymore? It seems like this has all been done before. The photography is beautiful and staged nicely but it doesn't shock me or anything like that.
posted by Fizz at 5:57 AM on February 15, 2011


I liked those. I didn't find them shocking, but there were some that were really well composed and quite funny. If it makes you think, it's doing its job; these did that and were striking, as well.
posted by Forktine at 6:04 AM on February 15, 2011


Creative indeed!
posted by friedbeef at 6:36 AM on February 15, 2011


Could a clue to the scene's meaning be that the flecktarn pattern is based on a design developed exclusively for the Waffen SS?

I don't think there was this much thought put into it.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:01 AM on February 15, 2011


Gosh, a young woman taking photographs of herself. Whatever next?
posted by unSane at 7:13 AM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


> Gosh, a young woman taking photographs of herself. Whatever next?

The home office is really happy with your work and has expanded the scope of your disinterest to include Anne Geddes' photographs and pinhole cameras. Suggested templates include:

"That baby is a lettuce AGAIN."
"I'm going to make a camera out of a cereal box, whoop-dee-doo."
"This flowerpot infant series ... was a pinhole camera used? So 1997ish."
posted by user92371 at 8:04 AM on February 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


I liked these a lot. Really captured the artist's intent. And I didn't see that particular scene as a rape scene at all.

Actually, if any one of them gave me pause, it was the pic of the passed out woman with the guy on top of her and his buddy filming with the cell phone. That seemed the most invasive.
posted by misha at 8:30 AM on February 15, 2011


"The photography is beautiful and staged nicely but it doesn't shock me or anything like that."

I think that's to the point. These images have little prurient value. They still show all the mechanics, the anatomy, and all that. But these aren't even clinical. Alienation is a good word. Ennui may be a good one for this.

I find them hilarious.
posted by Xoebe at 9:14 AM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been seeing these popping up on photo tumblrs and chans but didn't know who the artist was, thanks. Great stuff IMO. Can anyone recommend any other photographers doing similar work?
posted by stinkycheese at 9:36 AM on February 15, 2011


Not estranged, vacant. Might as well not have the people in there. Hate every single one.
posted by eeeeeez at 10:18 AM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gosh, a young woman taking photographs of herself. Whatever next?

That's cheap. Either you didn't get anything she packed into the photos, or you're just doing recreational condescension.

I don't think these are perfectly realized by any stretch, but I like the direction she's going in. It's kind of a nice photographic complement to this thread.
posted by everichon at 10:42 AM on February 15, 2011


I don't really "get" this. Is the photographer depicting estrangement from sex, estrangement from someone who would be loved, or just being jaded? (Or are these distinctions meaningless? Don't think so...)

But even though this doesn't seem to answer the questions it raises, it's still interesting to me. Maybe I'm just slow.
posted by softjeans at 11:39 AM on February 15, 2011


"even though this doesn't seem to answer the questions it raises"

Play can be a way of finding an answer. Sometimes we look for an answer by recreating variations on the circumstance which puzzles, emphasizing or eliminating certain differences or consistencies. Children figure out the adult world this way.
posted by idiopath at 11:43 AM on February 15, 2011


Marvelous! Porn for the discerning, monocle wearing, chap.
posted by dougrayrankin at 11:45 AM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I didn't see that particular scene as a rape scene at all.

I guess the artist didn't convey her intent clearly, then, as it was a rape fantasy scene according to her commentary.

I mean, I know the whole "death of the author" thing is cool and all, but I am missing the point of folks saying "Well, I didn't see that as a rape scene" when the artist has a commentary saying "This is about my rape fantasy where I am abducted by soldiers."
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:07 PM on February 15, 2011



I guess the artist didn't convey her intent clearly, then, as it was a rape fantasy scene according to her commentary.


The FPP links only to the image gallery, which is devoid of commentary.
posted by explosion at 1:17 PM on February 15, 2011


Oh, hey, mom.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:18 PM on February 15, 2011


They're good photos, but there is a part of me that can't help but wonder whether I, as a man, would be viewed as an artist if I were to take a series of pics of myself surrounded by naked, copiously tattooed women, or if I'd just get general MeFi disdain and a job offer from Suicide Girls. It's not necessarily a bad double standard, given that she's a woman reacting to a genre that mostly caters to men, but even so.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:37 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think they're brilliant.

Also, having just viewed them, I've never felt less inclined to touch another human being in my life. I ought to keep these mental images around for when I'm bored and starting to daydream. They make me feel like parsing texts instead.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:43 PM on February 15, 2011


Sad.
posted by swlabr at 4:21 PM on February 15, 2011


I didn't see it as a rape depiction, Sidhedevil, because without commentary I looked only on the figures involved, and the woman didn't look, *to me*, like she was crying or screaming or distraught. YMMV.

Also, rape fantasy ≠ rape. May look like the same players, but the woman is in control. And, honestly, that's how I took it, knowing the photographer was the woman in control of the shoot.
posted by misha at 4:36 PM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nevermind any quibbles about composition, shock value, level of creativity, etc. - it's her lazy eye that makes many of these work quite as well as they do.
posted by Graygorey at 10:15 PM on February 15, 2011


It's not necessarily a bad double standard, given that she's a woman reacting to a genre that mostly caters to men, but even so.

Well yes, exactly. It's a double standard, and it's a double standard that the artist is partially exploring. What happens when the object to our subject doesn't behave?
posted by muddgirl at 9:15 AM on February 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


muddgirl: the study linked in that article is a good read, thanks!
posted by idiopath at 11:41 AM on February 16, 2011


Well yes, exactly. It's a double standard, and it's a double standard that the artist is partially exploring. What happens when the object to our subject doesn't behave?

What bothers me about that is our need to know the identity -- specifically, the gender -- of the artist in order for that to come across completely. Like: We know that these are a woman's photographs, but what if we didn't? Would they mean the same thing? If we thought these were a man's photographs, would our reading of them be the same at all?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:12 PM on February 16, 2011


If these were by a man or about a man then they wouldn't be the same images.

you can't just exchange a man for a woman, a black person for a white, and expect that the dynamics will remain the same. They don't. This stuff is playing off of our understandings of status and institutionalized attitudes.

It's why I can say 'nigger' and it's understood that it's an entirely different statement than when someone who isn't black says it.
posted by artof.mulata at 10:21 AM on February 17, 2011


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