the body, the rock
November 10, 2013 12:44 AM   Subscribe

 
There is something beautiful about this...
posted by mazola at 1:01 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would not object to some naked dudes thrown in there for the sake of variety.


I mean, this is about the spirit of climbing. And I know for a fact dudes climb stuff.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:02 AM on November 10, 2013 [56 favorites]


That said, I salute these women.

Rocks are scratchy and sometimes pointy as well. It takes a brave soul to clamber around upon them in the altogether.



OH and spiders like to hang out in crevasses so that is something to ponder as well. How do you feel about spiders seeing you naked?
posted by louche mustachio at 1:05 AM on November 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


I would not object to some naked dudes thrown in there for the sake of variety.

Nor would I. However, this photographer decided to limit himself to female nudes, which is his prerogative, of course.

One wonders if it might not be perhaps difficult to find males willing to do this?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:07 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw an interview with him somewhere where he said he did a male series as well, but nobody bought it (book? calendar? I don't remember). I'll try to find that and link it when I have a few minutes.
posted by taz at 1:09 AM on November 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


> One wonders if it might not be perhaps difficult to find males willing to do this?

Not that hard, really.
posted by tim_in_oz at 1:14 AM on November 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not that hard, really.

Well, there was *one* there.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:28 AM on November 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's a shame really. Most male climbers I know wouldn't have the slightest hesitation in getting their kit off in photos like these. The issue isn't finding climbers willing to do it, more in finding publishers and consumers interested in looking.
posted by tim_in_oz at 1:33 AM on November 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Well, that definitely challenged my picture of climbers as tweed-clad pipe-smokers in bobble hats.
posted by pipeski at 1:49 AM on November 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


In the words of Pete Conrad: "That's the terrain for me!"
posted by ShutterBun at 1:52 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


These are pretty but they fill me with dread and terror
posted by NoraReed at 1:56 AM on November 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


No shoes?
posted by cthuljew at 1:58 AM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, the Iron Sheik.
posted by cthuljew at 1:58 AM on November 10, 2013


Oh, Stone nudes, I read Stoned nudes.
posted by Mario Speedwagon at 2:31 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


[A couple of comments deleted. Metafilter: still not the place for your boobies and butts jokes.]
posted by taz at 2:38 AM on November 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


Just to hammer on louche mustachio's point... As a straight dude, when I look at the Stone Nudes pictures, I am just a passive spectator. I see them, I think they're pretty, and then I forget them. When I look at ESPN's equal-opportunity gallery of athlete nudes that tim_in_oz linked to, I can connect with them -- I think: These people are pretty awesome. I want to be like that dude. I should work out more.

see, the patriarchy hurts everybody
posted by narain at 2:42 AM on November 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Climbing gritstone naked would not be fun. Swearing would be involved.
posted by arcticseal at 2:46 AM on November 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Ow.
posted by goo at 2:52 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


when I look at the Stone Nudes pictures, I am just a passive spectator.

I flagged this post for just that reason. None of these women are named. We have no idea who they are. There is no biographical information about them whatsoever.

he did a male series as well, but nobody bought it

And yet 10 years on, the French rugby calendar, books, and DVDs Dieux du Stade still have strong sales. (Named men on named teams.)
posted by fraula at 3:08 AM on November 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


I don't understand why it's important to know the name of a person depicted in an art image. Do you know the name of every Gauguin model? If you're thinking these are about sex, I think you're wrong.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:02 AM on November 10, 2013 [17 favorites]


They're performing feats of athleticism as well as modeling, it feels like the accomplishment of that is part of the piece; the fact that historically models are undervalued is pretty sexist and continuing that trend is problematic.
posted by NoraReed at 4:11 AM on November 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


Climbing mountains.

Bouldering. No less technically difficult, but usually done safely without ropes. This is really free clmbing in its purest sense.
posted by three blind mice at 4:39 AM on November 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


My dour, stifling puritan ancestors would be pleased to know that nudity has become offensive again, though they'd be disappointed to learn that it's under the auspices of a secular religion.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:50 AM on November 10, 2013 [15 favorites]


One wonders if it might not be perhaps difficult to find males willing to do this?

Maybe dudes are really sensitive about the aforementioned crevasse spiders looking at their junk?

I mean, who could blame them, really.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:56 AM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I dunno, these feel pretty porny to me. Although that could be in part because this one dude I knew thought having sex, say, on top of a mountain was the biggest win life had to offer.
posted by angrycat at 4:58 AM on November 10, 2013


Although that could be in part because this one dude I knew thought having sex, say, on top of a mountain was the biggest win life had to offer.


I hope he imagined a rather short mountain. Otherwise, I suspect he hadn't really thought that one through. I suspect that a side effect of altitude sickness is acute boner-death.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:02 AM on November 10, 2013


From The Guardian, September 27, 2007 — Strippers with Altitude:
At last. Everest has finally been conquered by the Nude Mountaineering Society. But instead of being praised to the skies, it seems to have drawn a deal of mean spirited criticism.

When news broke of a Nepali climber who stripped off last year on the 29,035ft summit to celebrate his oneness with the elements, the Nepali climbing fraternity didn't like it. "There should be strict regulations to discourage such attempts by climbers," said Ang Tshering, president of Nepal's (Fully Clothed) Mountaineering Association. Everest is a holy mountain to the Nepalese and many felt it had been defiled by the heretical stripper. They haven't seen it as the act of tribute and worship it truly is. The irony is that modern nude mountaineering started on Everest.
Don't ask how they fly the flag.
posted by cenoxo at 5:38 AM on November 10, 2013


It would have been nice if the site had more info about the climbers. I don't know what kind of information the calendar has, but from the table of contents shown in the PDF excerpt from the book, the women are identified (some or all, I can't tell) and some have contributed what look like essays or maybe anecdotes about the shooting session. (btw, one of the subjects, Kate Rutherford, has some videos up on a climbing video site. I just watched the first one, and it's pretty amazing.)
posted by taz at 5:47 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


...acute boner-death

{writes this down} And there's the name of my future heavy metal band right there.
posted by Wordshore at 5:50 AM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


cenoxo: "Don't ask how they fly the flag."

"The monsoon season also provides survivable temperatures. The Everest summit temperature ranges from an average of minus 4 F to minus 31 F but the temperature is generally warmer as the winds blow more gently from the end of May until the third week of October."

Pretty sure I can eliminate at least one option.
posted by jquinby at 5:51 AM on November 10, 2013


None of these photograghs are of naked women climbing mountains. They are of naked women posed on rocks.
Why?
posted by manoffewwords at 5:58 AM on November 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


I dunno, these feel pretty porny to me.

I'd call it more generic cheesecake. The only thing that distinguishes it from the eleventy-gazillion photos online of conventionally attractive naked women shot in pseudo-arty black and white and with careful attention to showing just the right amount of T'n'A (butts yes, genitals no) is that these women appear to be legitimate athletes, doing actual climbing.

Aside from that, it's as cheesy and conventional as anything else out there.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:05 AM on November 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


they seem to accentuate the fact that the female body form is just beautiful -- you could put guys there but just not the same effect.
posted by skepticallypleased at 6:08 AM on November 10, 2013


I'm not offended, they are beautiful; it shows the body beautiful performing athletically. Yet.. it feels gratuitous all the same. I ask myself if I'm feeling puritanical and I honestly tell myself that I don't believe I am. It just seems like any old random thing (cooking, building, fishing, rockclimbing or the whatnot) needs some nudity to um ? raise its profile. I don't quite get it (while at the exact same time appreciating an image or a body in isolation).
posted by peacay at 6:15 AM on November 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


None of these photograghs are of naked women climbing mountains. They are of naked women posed on rocks.

This. The athleticism angle seems to be window-dressing.
posted by odinsdream at 6:20 AM on November 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


On the plus side, these are clearly athletic women. That said, I don't find to many of them photographically interesting. My favorite is on page 2, 2 down, 2 across where the ripples in the stone complement the ripples of the model's muscle. Even that one, though, could be cropped just to show only her torso (and the one leg) without losing a thing.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:24 AM on November 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


This post is a good excuse for me to link to J.F. Willumsen's painting En Bjergbestigerske ("The Mountaineeress").
posted by WalkingAround at 6:34 AM on November 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Any nude human body scrambling around large rocks reminds me of Gollum. Even if they are beautiful women.
posted by Fig at 6:36 AM on November 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


They're perfectly nice images that you're not going to send to other people, nor save as and use as desktop wallpaper. If anything, they make me wish the photographer had gone a bit further, shot from a different angle or what have you. Some of them come close to mirroring the beauty of an athletic body in the formations of texture of the rock, but never quite reach it for me.

If I had to pick a favorite, it would be this one because of the way the curving rocks mimic the powerful and grace curves of the human body in the photo.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:36 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


they seem to accentuate the fact that the female body form is just beautiful -- you could put guys there but just not the same effect.
Haha, oh clueless straight guys. You love saying this stupid thing, regardless of how many people point out to you that it's hilariously wrong. It's a good illustration of how you decide to universalize your own personal experience to everyone on the face of the planet, despite the obvious fact that you can't.

The male form is just as beautiful, sexy, graceful, and prone to objectification as women's bodies are, it's just that it's so rarely done you're allowed to get away with thinking and saying utterly silly things like that.

Anyway, I do like seeing athletes do their thing, but the nudity doesn't seem to add anything. It feels like it shifts the focus away from "here's an athlete doing something amazing" and towards "here is a hottie." Which is fine I guess? But especially the photos of women just laying there, twisted weirdly so you can see their boobs? I dunno. It seems like it would be more compelling to concentrate on what they can do.

If I had to pick a favorite, it would be this one, for reasons similar to Brandon's.
posted by kavasa at 6:41 AM on November 10, 2013 [84 favorites]


Didn't Leni do this, back in the day? Both the climbing and the photography?
posted by Ideefixe at 6:44 AM on November 10, 2013


It would have been nice if the site had more info about the climbers
Perhaps the author and the climbers wanted to avoid that those pics become the first google hit for the climbers' names, which would immediately happen if the names were linked to the images. The semi-anonymity here may be a good compromise.
posted by elgilito at 6:50 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can tell it's art because it's in black and white.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:14 AM on November 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


Didn't Leni do this...

Perhaps you're thinking of the nude athletes in Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi-sponsored paean, Olympia (1938). Opening sequence [NSFW] at Critical Commons.
posted by cenoxo at 7:21 AM on November 10, 2013


The TSA published a nude caving calendar about 6 years ago, which combined good caving photography, not an easy thing by itself, and volunteers from the Tx. Caving community. It came out really nice, & ranges from full frontal to naked, but no naughty bits showing, with a wide age range & body types represented, as well. I found it refreshing in that it wasn't just representing the archetypal concept of female beauty. Cavers in general aren't the physically shy type though, as there's often no way to de-mud from a trip than to just stip down wherever there's water & get the job done, so it really didn't come across as prurient since we all see each other naked all the time.

These pics don't bug me, but they don't thrill me, as rock climbing is just not my bag, but nude photography that's not expicitly pornographic is a thing that's been going on for a long, long time with a pretty pedigreed history amongst the best photographers in the medium, and technically these are pretty well-composed and executed photographs.

Also, being naked in nature is a cool thing, and I should hope that consenting partners might enjoy that together whenever it strikes them to do so without the Internet sitting in judgement.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:58 AM on November 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


(sorry, TSA = Texas Speleological Association)
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:05 AM on November 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


thanks for explaining that acronym because otherwise whoa
posted by angrycat at 8:08 AM on November 10, 2013 [30 favorites]


I reckon Cenoxo's got a point there.

It's only very tangentially about the nudity. It's not really about athleticism.

I very recently returned to climbing after a break of about 16 or 17 years (excepting trees, breaking into my own apartments, hanging off bridges with banners locked on). My clumsiness and lack of strength and flexibility were a hindrance, but my understanding of the reasons I'd previously loved it developed as I struggled, and came flooding back on a single easy route that I aced. For me, the joy of it's similar to that found in surfing, cycling, riding a motorbike too fast on winding hilly roads.

Only it's more complex.

It's often an intellectual puzzle that needs solving fast (what's the route from here, are those holds I can manage, do I need to assess the strength of the rock, am I adequately protected); it's a question of physical capacity (three finger hold, do I have the strength to get an arm out and up to it then hang on, do I have a third balance point after I'm hanging onto that, do I have the flexibility to follow through with a foot to that same finger hold); it's about impulse and risk and split second judgements between the two that transcend time to think; it's about being truly up close and personal with something timeless and (hopefully) solid, because even the ugliest rock is old and beautiful; and it's a three dimensional waltz with gravity. Changes in position and balance are something that you feel immediately and viscerally throughout your body.

Think of a solo game of speed chess, tai chi, and acrobatics rolled together into one and played out somewhere beautiful and quiet and calm, and you'd be gettin close.

Nude or clothed, male or female, it's an act of worship.

Anyway, I'm in bed naked, my climbing gear's at the foot of the bed, I thought I might hang out here for a while, but it looks like I just found something to do.
posted by Ahab at 8:26 AM on November 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Here's an imgur album of the same images, presented with even less context but with bigger pictures in a single scrolling window.

On the porn/art spectrum I'd place these closer to porn, but I find them sort of charming. The photographer clearly is enthusiastic about naked women and found some beautiful women happy to be photographed naked, doing a very demanding physical activity. Most of the women look happy. Male gaze and not High Art, but as middlebrow modern pinups they're nice.

I'd love to see a male version of these. That's my preferred gender for prurient art. Also it'd be interesting to see this same treatment freed a bit from the context of questions of exploitation of women in erotic art.
posted by Nelson at 8:31 AM on November 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I love these. Great, unusual poses.

The book seems to be out of print, except for an iBooks only version.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:46 AM on November 10, 2013


Perhaps the author and the climbers wanted to avoid that those pics become the first google hit for the climbers' names, which would immediately happen if the names were linked to the images.

I don't think this hypothetical situation has happened to any men who have done nude calendars. Perhaps if those photos are the only photos throughout their entire career in which they have been named.
posted by elizardbits at 8:53 AM on November 10, 2013


These seem really bad to my eye. Just cliched, unimaginative calendar art.
posted by jayder at 9:28 AM on November 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


these are fantastic. for some reason they call to mind frank frazetta.
posted by echocollate at 10:42 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


My dour, stifling puritan ancestors would be pleased to know that nudity has become offensive again, though they'd be disappointed to learn that it's under the auspices of a secular religion.

Puritanism is one thing about which both far ends of the political spectrum can agree. Sex and eroticism are bad, and if you're going to engage in them, you need to meet a bunch of extremely strict conditions. Even if you meet the conditions, it's all still frowned upon...
posted by Fists O'Fury at 11:05 AM on November 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm so tired of this whole "real women cling to rock faces in the nude" campaign. Women who don't cling to rocks are just as real.
posted by orme at 11:22 AM on November 10, 2013


I'm so tired of this whole "real women cling to rock faces in the nude" campaign. Women who don't cling to rocks are just as real.
posted by orme at 11:22 AM on November 10
[+] [!]


Projects like this that are claimed to be serious art are usually suspiciously devoid of plus-sized women or women who aren't attractive. Why is it that these attempts to celebrate the female form completely leave out bigger women? Are all rock climbers lithe and gorgeous?
posted by jayder at 11:28 AM on November 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


jayder: "Are all rock climbers lithe and gorgeous?"

Lithe ... i am sure if they have been rock climbing for a while. have you ever seen a fat rock climber?

gorgeous is kinda subjective.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 11:40 AM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's a difference between "not fat" and, for example, this sprinter and a typical model.
posted by kavasa at 11:53 AM on November 10, 2013


The male form is just as beautiful, sexy, graceful, and prone to objectification as women's bodies are, it's just that it's so rarely done you're allowed to get away with thinking and saying utterly silly things like that.

Thank you thank you thank you.

I really enjoyed the ESPN series posted upthread (and previously). Both male and female athletes show how beautiful and powerful the human body can be.
posted by randomnity at 12:02 PM on November 10, 2013


Thank you Anne Brigman.
posted by adamvasco at 12:07 PM on November 10, 2013


I dunno, these feel pretty porny to me.

Are you saying you know it when you see it?

Honestly, this thread. Art should not be defined (or undefined) by what someone might do while looking at it, or else we would have no art at all.
posted by JHarris at 12:07 PM on November 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


have you ever seen a fat rock climber?

While I don't climb currently, I used to do so regularly. Then, as now, I was fat.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:14 PM on November 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Here's some male/female balance for you!
posted by gman at 12:33 PM on November 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Because it's there.
posted by four panels at 12:53 PM on November 10, 2013


Are you saying you know it when you see it?

Honestly, this thread. Art should not be defined (or undefined) by what someone might do while looking at it, or else we would have no art at all.


It has nothing to do with who's jacking off to these (at least not to me, I am not so pompous as to need black-and-white calendar?? photography to masturbate to), it's about the way it's just attractive thin women contorting their bodies to show off their ~beautiful, feminine~ breasts and asses once again.

I kind of hate it and it makes me kind of queasy. Take pictures of naked women or take pictures of women climbing, why in the fucking world do you need naked women climbing rocks (talk about scrapes and bruises). If you're going to photograph naked women climbing rocks there should be a reason beyond "I need a good excuse to take pictures of naked women and call it art." Create some actual art. At least some art that doesn't lead to comments like "well the female body is just naturally beautiful," because if that's true then photographing them without additional thought is the lazy equivalent of photographing some OK flowers in your garden.

ftr I thought the ESPN ones were awesome because the bodies were shot so interestingly and powerfully. These are just bullshit. Even if they were of men I would consider them basically cheesecake/soft porn.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:18 PM on November 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


I wish that more (any) of these said "athleticism" to me instead of "posing." It's sad that people would ever look at female rock climbing (awesome, awesome) and think "pretty" instead of awesome. If men were doing the same "pretty" poses, everyone would assume it had nothing to do with rock climbing and everything to do with maleness/the male form/perfume ads.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:26 PM on November 10, 2013


Some of the shots are really strong, but they tend to be the ones where the women are really strong — pulling off some pretty amazing moves. The ones where they're just sitting there?

I went looking for the Stieglitz O'Keefe nudes, which were shot in similar terrain (though obviously not with the climbing) but have a depth that makes these rather suffer by comparison. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any decent galleries online.
posted by klangklangston at 1:55 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess some of them seem to be more about nudity and showing it off, but the first few I saw (linked from this thread as the "good" ones) didn't give me that impression at all. Looking at the whole gallery, it seems to me that more of them aren't about gratuitous nudity and are more about taking a somewhat commonly seen athletic snapshot and putting a new spin on it. In the distant shots, I find that my expectations of nature set against artifice are spurned and I am instead given nature and more nature, and in a not uninteresting way. It's not often one sees the full human form clinging to a rock. Usually most of the action of the climbing effort is hidden away by brightly colored oil.

That's all to say that I don't think it's as bad as some people are making it out to be, but neither is it a particularly excellent collection. It's an interesting idea, IMO, but the execution could be better. More aggressive editing would have been very welcome.
posted by wierdo at 2:00 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one thinking that sounds kinda dangerous? Doesn't one normally wear a helmet when climbing? And can't rocks be rather sharp and cut tender bits of the body?
posted by Canageek at 2:07 PM on November 10, 2013


What's wrong with soft porn? Seems kind of charming in this day and age.
posted by Greener Backyards at 2:19 PM on November 10, 2013


My favorite is on page 2, 2 down, 2 across where the ripples in the stone complement the ripples of the model's muscle.

This one? That one, this one and the one that Brandon pointed to are the three best, imo.

It's an interesting idea, IMO, but the execution could be better. More aggressive editing would have been very welcome.

Hear, hear.
posted by homunculus at 2:19 PM on November 10, 2013


Am I the only one thinking that sounds kinda dangerous?

What's wrong with dangerous?

Doesn't one normally wear a helmet when climbing?

There are many subtypes of "climbing", and this one is called "bouldering". It's about solving complex physical puzzles, not about getting high up into dangerous places. One typically wears shoes and some basic clothing, and there's typically a crash pad on the ground below you, but you don't get more than maybe ten feet off the ground so there's no other safety gear.
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:41 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a short Vimeo clip where the photograph talks about his work. (Contains mainly blurred nudity)
posted by Wordshore at 3:49 PM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's fascinating how some people see porn in this, just because the women are naked.

It's also fascinating how quick some people are to dismiss the obvious skills of the women involved.

With a few exceptions, they are all pictures of naked women climbing up rocks. Many - almost all, in fact - of the climbing shots make it clear that the woman climbing has some serious climbing skills. There is simply no other way she could have got to where she has got to in the shot. And without injury. Largely looking as if she is enjoying it.

But because she is naked, some only see a naked woman, regardless of what she is actually doing. She can't possibly be *climbing*. She can't possibly have skills. There is no agency there. It is posed. Her nakedness somehow negates her ability. The idea is, it would seem, that naked women can't climb, and even when presented with photos of women very obviously climbing, their nakedness makes it difficult for some to parse what is being presented to them.

It is very specifically that inability on the part of some to see the very obvious agency and skill being demonstrated by the climbers that - for me at least - makes this art. Whether it is good art or bad art is another matter. But it's certainly interesting.
posted by motty at 4:04 PM on November 10, 2013 [14 favorites]


Art sites. Once more Noscript comes between me and pix of naked women. Darn you, Noscript.

It's true Noscript has never come between me and seeing a real naked woman. But then it's never had the chance to try since I installed it, has it?
posted by jfuller at 4:06 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Happily, there's a really convenient if questionably ethical imgur gallery for the Noscript contingent among us.
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:20 PM on November 10, 2013


Climbing and bouldering photography is a well-established genre, and the only thing that's unusual about this is that the photos are female nude studies. Even the black-and-white is pretty common.

It's not hard to find pictures of ripped dudes climbing amazing rock faces. (If you want them naked, do your own search, but it shouldn't be hard to find - most of the male climbers I knew back in my misspent youth were body-proud and would have been flattered to be asked to strip down for a photo shoot.)
posted by gingerest at 4:23 PM on November 10, 2013


Everest is a holy mountain to the Nepalese and many felt it had been defiled by the heretical stripper.

As opposed to the congo-line of clueless tourists traipsing up and down the thing leaving streams of shit, rubbish, discarded climbing gear and occasionally bodies.
posted by smoke at 4:33 PM on November 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


fraula: "I flagged this post for just that reason. None of these women are named. We have no idea who they are. There is no biographical information about them whatsoever."

I don't know; A little blurb with name, town, biographical information or likes/dislikes would give these pictures a firm push towards porn and detract from the art.
5'3" Bunni hails from Nebraska and is a member of the Cornhusker's bouldering team. She is majoring in politcal studies with a minor in nursing and hopes to be a positive change for the future when she graduates. She lives in a three story,off campus walk up with John her football playing boyfriend and three cats. When she's not hanging upside down from a big chunk of rock she enjoys driving and working on her '09 Chevy with a 10" lift.
That would be pretty weird for any kind of art involving models. A lack of name and biographical information isn't something you hear very often about say Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring or Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres' Grande Odalisque or the Mona Lisa.
posted by Mitheral at 5:32 PM on November 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


If they fall from great heights, at least they can rest easy knowing that no clothes were needlessly destroyed.
posted by macrowave at 6:39 PM on November 10, 2013


These are nudes. Nude photography. Long history of that sort of art, you know. Painting, photography. Nudes. Nothing new. These particular nudes are exhibiting great skill in climbing. And many of the shots not only portray this skill admirably (as documentary photography), but also very beautifully capture the human form engaged in strenuous and, as far as I'm concerned, very impressive activity.

I found the images to be rather wonderful and inspiring. A celebration of life, of ability, of brave endeavor, and of physical beauty, the beauty of the human form.

So I'm thinking of those here who suggested that they are porn. As if, yeah, nude = porn. Uh-huh. I'd say that says a whole lot more about you and your thought processes than about these photographs.

Or those who would actually go so far as to flag a post because the photo subjects are unnamed! Incredible! Chances are very, very great that these climbers INSISTED that they remain unnamed on the internet. Flagged. What a laugh.

Then those who have a problem that there aren't any fat people portrayed, or that there are no men, and whatnot. Those who say the images should be more this or more that, less this or less that, in order to be valid, or to meet some arbitrary minimum requirement set by some government agency or something. Jesus christ. I mean, you don't have to *like* the photos. You may think they're total crap. All well and good. But when, exactly, did art become some sort of zone where the artists is required to represent every physical type, or even both genders, to conform to some sort of "equal time" rule? As if his or her art were some sort of public service announcement or something?

So many of these responses are examples of simple prudishness, nit-picking and/or misguided and ill-thought-out political posturing. Exactly the kind of responses that make one less and less likely to post anything here to Metafilter. Disappointing, and becoming all too familiar.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:48 PM on November 10, 2013 [16 favorites]


Thanks motty. I enjoyed your comment.

I'm just in awe that these women can climb and pull moves like they are doing. Celebrate it!
posted by BlueHorse at 7:48 PM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I dunno, Flapjax, people are entitled to disagree about something. It's one of the things I enjoy about the site, and I think people can disagree with each other in a constructive, valid way.

Mods feel free to remove if this is a derail.
posted by smoke at 7:51 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I dunno, Flapjax, people are entitled to disagree about something.

Of course they are. Just as entitled as I am to express my opinions concerning their opinions, statements, positions, etc. Which is what I just did.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:53 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't have flagged it, but I can see the argument that when you're making nudes out of people engaged in exceptional athletics, you might include a name, as a recognition of their skill.

Dean "Bullwinkle" Fidelman has a forty-year history of taking portraits of Yosemite climbers. The Stone Nudes book arose from the nude calendar he started in 1999. He made a male calendar and it didn't sell (but here's one of his male nudes). Here's a little clip about him and his photography that shows him (and one of his models) working.
posted by gingerest at 8:52 PM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


An interview.
posted by gingerest at 8:53 PM on November 10, 2013


"So I'm thinking of those here who suggested that they are porn. As if, yeah, nude = porn. Uh-huh. I'd say that says a whole lot more about you and your thought processes than about these photographs."

On the other hand, man, there are some that are pretty much just softcore, like the lady sprawled out in the hammock, or some of the ones where they're posing on the rocks. They're not shot like straight studies, they're shot with at least a modicum of prurient view. I think seeing just that is missing the point a little, but not seeing it at all is just as odd.
posted by klangklangston at 8:58 PM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Meh, I find these kind of boring. Apparently I'm just not up for looking at naked people these days, it's just not interesting to me. Them all being pretty, thin women makes it even less interesting to me.

If other people want to be naked or look at people that are naked then that's fine, I'm not upset. And if people want to label me as a prude or whatever other negative thing they come up with because I'm not interested in looking at naked photos then whatever. Apparently this is something unwinnable, either you're shamed looking at porn or you're shamed for being too uptight and meh. The photos are still boring.
posted by shelleycat at 11:25 PM on November 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


These are nudes. Nude photography. Long history of that sort of art, you know.

They're about one step up from that tennis player scratching her arse, boring, conventional pseudo-art for people who are too chicken to get real porn.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:30 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Most of them look a bit faked. that the are not actually 'climbing' and it really just seems on the verge of porn.
posted by mary8nne at 1:16 AM on November 11, 2013


So, some people don't like these, because they aren't good enough art. OK, your favorite artist sucks, too, but thanks for sharing.

Some people don't like them because they see porn in them. They can tell, because they've examined all of the available images very thoroughly, to the point that they're describing images I didn't see at all.

Me, I'm not going to buy the calendar, or the book, or spend any more than a few minutes on those images, but they're all right. My judgement is: not porn, in any world more advanced than 1950's Playboy World.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:06 AM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think they're porn. I just think they are banal, boring, unoriginal work of a hack photographer with a really bad concept of what "art" is if that's what he was aiming for.

To me, you'd find these on a calendar that would possibly be sold at a mall kiosk at Christmas time and people would buy it for their 21 year old nephew because hey, he likes rock climbing and he likes nekkid women.
posted by jayder at 8:59 AM on November 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


To me, you'd find these on a calendar that would possibly be sold at a mall kiosk at Christmas time and people would buy it for their 21 year old nephew because hey, he likes...

Yup, just like Ansel Adams.
posted by heyho at 9:35 AM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bios for the models. Yeah. That would kill the objectivizing, for sure. But anyhow, I look at the calendars only to see what day it is.

In truth, though, I admire female bodies. I don't feel the need to assuage the PC cops, either by juxtaposing photos of male nudes, or cluttering the page with superfluous biographical info. (Nobody ought to be required to take off her clothes so she can tell me about her hobbies.)

Anyhow, I would be overly generous if I assumed the photographer had some sort of theme in mind, other than the women's obvious physical attributes, because I thought the photos were a bit too cheese-cakey to be interesting. I would have responded better if the photographer had made more of an effort to contrast flesh and stone. He had some awesome topological material to work with--the human body and boulders--and it seems to me that he didn't do either of them justice.
posted by mule98J at 10:02 AM on November 11, 2013


Edward Weston. [NSFW]
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:27 AM on November 11, 2013


Edward Weston was about a thousand times better as a photographer; he was likely at least 10 times the lech.
posted by klangklangston at 12:11 PM on November 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


IROS 2013: JPL's Microspine Rock-Climbing Robot

Warning: robot is not wearing any clothes.
posted by homunculus at 2:43 PM on November 11, 2013


Definitely robot porn. The composition in those photos is awful.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:51 PM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's funny that he talks about joining with a climbing community in the 70's, because that's exactly the response I had to these photos. These pics are just what I used to see coming out of the 70's and 80's. Jack-off naked-women-in-nature "art" photography.

I remember explaining to a gallery owner that the women in the pics he was showing had dead eyes -- they weren't telling a story, there was no relationship forming between the viewer and the women. The relationship was between the photographer and the viewer. The photographer is delivering naked pictures to the viewer, and saying, at the same time, "Yes! I'm the guy who gets women to pose nude for me. Jealous?"

There aren't any eyes in these photos. But that linked interview with him confirmed the alignment of those 70's and 80's photos and these.
posted by vitabellosi at 4:17 PM on November 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can't help but think these would have been improved by colour. While it doesn't have to be in colour, of course (Ansel Adams says so!) I wonder if nuderock dude is doing it in B&W to nudge it closer to Art than Not Art.
posted by Jacen at 9:22 PM on November 11, 2013


Warning: robot is not wearing any clothes.

And Ansel Adams would've taken much better pictures of it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:06 AM on November 12, 2013


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