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Knot for everybody
April 18, 2012 2:16 PM   Subscribe

(NSFW) The contemporary meaning of Shibari describes an ancient Japanese artistic form of rope bondage.
Hikari Kesho aka Alberto Lisi is an Italian photographer, some of whose Shibari photography could be called sublime.
Fotofest 2012 Biennial – The Art of Contemporary Shibari Exhibit is currently running with these artists, all of whom have links to their websites, some of which are more extreme than others.
posted by adamvasco (50 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sublime gave me the most sublime message:

> Tasto destro disabilitato!
> Attenzione, il materiale di questo sito è protetto da copyright.
> L'uso non autorizzato di queste immagini è perseguibile per legge

However
After enabling scripts
No image displayed
I right clicked
Despite the warning
And the page closed

The imagery of bondage
Is really a metaphor
For our submission
To technology
Sexualized
Fetished

Ephemeral
Like the sudden closing of a web page
Or a door
Blown shut by the wind
posted by Xoebe at 2:24 PM on April 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


Images on his site aren't showing for me. Firefox 11/Mac.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:27 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


They don't work for me either. I'm on a PC. I tried Firefox 11 and IE 8 just to be sure it wasn't Adblock or some other add on causing the trouble.
posted by dortmunder at 2:29 PM on April 18, 2012


No luck with Safari, either.
Maybe the Italian release of Opera???
posted by Thorzdad at 2:33 PM on April 18, 2012


If you go directly to his site and then click on galleries you can get there. I'm not really super impressed but the whole "naked ladies...BUT DIFFERENT" thing gets porny and old to me rather quickly.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:36 PM on April 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Nor Chrome.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:37 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


the whole "naked ladies...BUT DIFFERENT" thing gets porny and old to me rather quickly.

Are you certain: the young rope-rider?
posted by psylosyren at 2:44 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chrome/Ubuntu no go either. I think shes a broke.
posted by 2N2222 at 2:53 PM on April 18, 2012


If you go directly to his site and then click on galleries you can get there.
AH!
That works!
And....

I'm not really super impressed but the whole "naked ladies...BUT DIFFERENT" thing gets porny and old to me rather quickly.
Yeah. This.
I think you kind of really have to be into it.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:01 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


borkland....tried in 3 browsers.

Java warning was the best that came out of it.
posted by lampshade at 3:09 PM on April 18, 2012


Firefox Ubuntu with all blockers disabled gave me no images for either.
posted by Ahab at 3:12 PM on April 18, 2012


Metafilter is a place where people would rather document browser failures than talk about artsy bondage.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:19 PM on April 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


Yeah, I agree with a couple of the other responses. Macrame with titties...yay. Pretty boring.
posted by txmon at 3:19 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm all like "go art! yay!" and then my wife comes over to see what I'm looking at and no amount of explanation seems to help my predicament.

"WHAT are you looking at."

"But honey, they're Fine Art Nudes™. You know, it's, er, tasteful." I guess I'll be going then. Hello again, couch...
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:20 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Its so NSFW it is NVAAAW (NotViewableAtAllAtWork)
posted by lampshade at 3:22 PM on April 18, 2012


Creepy. But at least they're repetitive.
posted by Pathos Bill at 3:25 PM on April 18, 2012


Don't care for many of the photos, some of the (male) artists' bios seem to be calculated pervy nonsense - but LOVE the title of this post:)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 3:28 PM on April 18, 2012


I posted about my latest order of Fancy Expensive Rope (tm) on Facebook, with a picture of said items (in a very nice blue), and was slightly worried about what my mother would say in response. Her only comment was "I like this color, but teal would be prettier."

I later laughed that of all the crazy things I post to FB, a picture of a USPS Priority Mail box and some rope got the most comments and discussion so far.
posted by mrbill at 3:40 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


the old zen thingie:
an IRON FLUTE...makes the most profound music.
posted by Postroad at 3:43 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


an IRON SKIN FLUTE...makes the most profound music.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:48 PM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah none of these work.
posted by smoke at 4:03 PM on April 18, 2012


After using the work around (which shouldn't be necessary) in order to actually view the photos I found myself quite underwhelmed.
posted by asnider at 4:05 PM on April 18, 2012


Every time I think I'm free of Shibari they rope me back in.
posted by Splunge at 4:26 PM on April 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'll be the first to admit I'm pretty cranky right now, but I'm getting to the point that I don't want to see photographs of women any more. I get so tired of women as symbols, women as decoration, women as objects of desire, women as toys, women as art, women as media for exploring one's own issues, etc., etc., etc.

I'm not any of those things. I'm a person who happens to be a woman.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 5:26 PM on April 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


Macrame with titties...yay.

Kind of what WorkingMyWayHome says, kind of this. My response is mostly along the lines of one of the most damning-with-faint-praise things you can say about art: it's obviously well-executed, but... The biggest emotional reaction I get from this is from looking at the ones of the very pregnant woman, and wondering how long it would take to get her free if she went into labor, and all of a sudden I'm imagining it being 2022, and the sidebar comment of the day is from a young MeFite who's saying, "You think the videotape of your birth is embarrassing? Let me tell you about the visual record of my mom's labor, and how I discovered it..." and I'll be thinking, my god, I remember that FPP, I was only forty-seven then!
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:55 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I actually really like shibari and found these meh too. Not exactly sure why.
posted by Specklet at 6:08 PM on April 18, 2012


Thanks for this, some of these are great, and I didn’t know the name Shibari.
posted by bongo_x at 6:36 PM on April 18, 2012


Can't see the pictures on my Blackberry Playbook.

Also not working on my MSN WebTV.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:21 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Adding to the crowd for whom no worky.
For those that can see: some of the pictures are kind of pretty, I guess? But, as for the shibari I can see: as always, I don't get it. It's fine for those who do get it, of course, but knot-fetishism has always seemed, to me, entirely separate from actual D/S dynamics.
posted by longtime_lurker at 7:43 PM on April 18, 2012


Give your fetish a Japanese name, now it's art.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:34 PM on April 18, 2012


Bind trees, not people!
posted by BinGregory at 10:36 PM on April 18, 2012


Plenty of these are good rope work with shitty (or boring) photos. Dave Naz (NSFW) takes some nice Shibari shots.
posted by klangklangston at 11:42 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not getting the hate here (other than the links not working, that is understandable...) So you are not in to Shibari. Not everyone is. I am. Heck, there are photos of me on the net in shibari/kinbaku situations, and they are artistic and if you like that kind of thing you will probably like the pictures. Some are part of a series exploring binding in everyday situations juxtaposed with shibari. But I get it is not everyone's cup of tea. But just because you do not directly identify with it 'I'm not any of those things. I'm a person who happens to be a woman.'* does not mean you can't appreciate it. I am not a naked sportsman but I can appreciate many a Classical Greek statue. Of course badly done/cliched pictures should not be excused, but they should not be used to extrapolate to say all photography of women is cliched.

*Sorry WorkingMyWayHome, not meant as a personal go at you, it just seemed to sum up the attitude I am questioning.
posted by Megami at 12:56 AM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you need to ask if it's art or porn, it's invariably the latter.
posted by falameufilho at 4:20 AM on April 19, 2012


If you need to ask if it's art or porn, it's invariably the latter.

Ulysses? Lady Chatterly's Lover? Lysistrata? All suspected of being porn at one time or another. No, this rule doesn't work.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 5:19 AM on April 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


The other thing that bugs me about this is that some of it looks dangerous as hell and I get really tired of porn being like "oh hey women love this dangerous and harmful activity! Seriously!"

Suspending someone over a body of water or by a tree branch is just...ugh. UGH. Not safe.

But I get it is not everyone's cup of tea. But just because you do not directly identify with it 'I'm not any of those things. I'm a person who happens to be a woman.'* does not mean you can't appreciate it.

The problem is not that I don't find it hot or that I don't like bondage or whatever. I actually do, hence the name. I just get tired of seeing women as passive objects over and over and over again billed as something new and different because it gets someone (a man) off.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:12 AM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Her only comment was "I like this color, but teal would be prettier."

The teal rope I have really is beautiful, so I agree with your mom I guess.

And, as always there is a group on Fetlife for people from Metafilter.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:21 AM on April 19, 2012


Plenty of these are good rope work with shitty (or boring) photos.

Yeah, I was actually fascinated by some of the rope work, even though it's not my thing, but the photos were uninteresting and boring.
posted by asnider at 7:25 AM on April 19, 2012


I don't know, I enjoy fancy rope bondage and I still find these photos really boring. Maybe it's because I'm a mostly-straight woman, and kind of tired of seeing skinny white and Asian women being used as the models almost always, especially when they're photographed in ways that make them look like things instead of people with personalities.
posted by purplecrackers at 8:29 AM on April 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


kind of tired of seeing skinny white and Asian women being used as the models almost always

Try the "boundless" gallery.
posted by ook at 8:42 AM on April 19, 2012


purplecrackers and the young rope-rider said it better than I could have. I mean, when you saw "ancient Japanese artistic form of rope bondage" in the post, was there any doubt that the ones being tied up were going to be young, skinny, white women? Was there any doubt they would be nude? Any time anybody wants to communicate anything regarding sex, young, skinny, nude white women are the "tools" used to do that. Yes, it's "women as passive objects," "things instead of people with personalities."
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 8:45 AM on April 19, 2012


"The other thing that bugs me about this is that some of it looks dangerous as hell and I get really tired of porn being like "oh hey women love this dangerous and harmful activity! Seriously!"

Suspending someone over a body of water or by a tree branch is just...ugh. UGH. Not safe.
"

When done properly, it's actually really safe. The rope is a harness which supports weight well and spreads out the stress. You can tell when it's poorly done, because the models end up with welts and cuts from the rope. But when it's done right, it's no more dangerous than lying in a hammock.
posted by klangklangston at 11:35 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


The issue is more the "over water" and "by a tree branch" part. If they had to cut her down in an emergency it doesn't seem like it would go well. Also I am scared of nature. What if bees attack her? Squirrels? A SKUNK?
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:13 PM on April 19, 2012


Also I am scared of nature. What if bees attack her? Squirrels? A SKUNK?

Very few animals will actually go out of their way to attack a human, especially a human who is being passive and not trying to bother them.

The biggest problem with outdoor BDSM is being safe from discovery by other humans. Properties small enough to be fenced effectively tend to have sightlines from beyond the fence, and properties large enough to be immune to that tend to have borders which are porous to hunters, prospectors, and birdwatchers who think those "no trespassing" signs are meant for other people than themselves.
posted by localroger at 5:03 PM on April 19, 2012


I did learn one thing from this post. I didn't know that before there was erotic japanese bondage there was an art form of actual prisoner restraint, and that the ridiculously complex techniques were invented partly to convey status for the prisoners. That makes a certain amount of sense.

And that said, I'm sure I like images of women in bondage more than most people, but I've gone from being mildly indifferent to rope bondage to being really annoyed by it. As IIRC Pat Califia once said, bondage is high-tech sex -- and rope bondage is low-tech high-tech sex. It's the fucking 21st century, and you can get handcuffs and leg irons and chains and locks and all kinds of shit that is actually convenient to use and effective for the cost of a chain restaurant dinner, unlike in 17th century Japan where that kind of shit was hella expensive even for nobility. The idea of spending hours weaving macrame that can really only be done with the sub's cooperation (presumably secured at swordpoint in ancient Japan) and can be cut by a would-be rescuer with a $1.99 utility knife does not do anything for the inner fantasy life.
posted by localroger at 5:12 PM on April 19, 2012


ook, I'm not sure that the inclusion of a ghetto gallery for fat women is much of an improvement. The skinny women are clearly still the default, while the fat women need a special explanation, where he assures and reassures the viewer that we're not to find them sexually attractive, and possibly we're not even supposed to see them as human:

"...they express their values for what they are: plastic shapes, sometimes expressed at the limit of abstraction, other times maintaining their anthropomorphic connotation, but never providing a carnal or erotic interpretation, and without any form of morbidity or moralistic intent."

No men in any gallery except where used as a prop in women-focused erotic photos and even then with their lower halves safely covered, because fat women's bodies might be unbangable but men's bodies are just too gross to be seen.

Even if there was a real balance of models I would still be creeped out by the way the models are portrayed. Most people who are tied up will still have facial expressions and other such human quirks, and if you are a person who enjoys tying up other people, these things add to the enjoyment of the bondage, not take away from it. But the artist seems to prefer tying up bodies. He talks a lot about bodies and not much about people. As someone who's been on both ends of the fancy bondage, it feels really weird and artificial.
posted by purplecrackers at 11:22 PM on April 19, 2012


Well, I would say the men are clothed because their bodies and their privacy are their own, but women's bodies belong to men.

But I might be a little cynical about that particular issue after all the recent attempts by state legislatures to make clear who women's bodies belong to.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 5:54 PM on April 20, 2012


He talks a lot about bodies and not much about people.

Are you not allowed to do that in art?
posted by bongo_x at 9:29 PM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


purple crackers, I don't really disagree with you: there are a handful examples of not-skinny women in the other galleries, but some of them are pretty darn problematic (that shot would've been just fine if he hadn't felt the need to put her on a table full of food.) And he'd be much better off if he'd left all the introductory text off of all of his galleries; it's unintentionally revealing in all kinds of ways.

I'm just not sure that of the many available criticisms of this guy, "he only shoots skinny girls" is the most on-target.
posted by ook at 5:15 AM on April 21, 2012


> I actually really like shibari and found these meh too. Not exactly sure why.

Yep, yep, that was my reaction, too.
posted by desuetude at 9:35 PM on April 22, 2012


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