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Society stripped away
June 18, 2006 8:17 AM   Subscribe

Naked in the Naked City. Artist Miru Kim takes curiously compelling nude photos of herself in gritty and deserted urban settings like sewers, subway stations, railroad tracks, tunnels, abandoned factories and asylums. (via)
posted by CunningLinguist (98 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nice stuff, thanks.
posted by melt away at 8:20 AM on June 18, 2006


Intresting.
posted by delmoi at 8:34 AM on June 18, 2006


Hope she has had a recent tetanus shot.
posted by scblackman at 8:36 AM on June 18, 2006


Take any scene and add a naked girl, and the result is art.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:59 AM on June 18, 2006


girls and nudes:
1. in most porn sites, girls are heavy titted and not very inviting
2. in professional photographer's sites, too much of artys cleverness downplays the attractiveness of the model.
3. in some sites such as domain or hegre, or met artthe model is center of focus, interest and the models are usually very attractive.
4. in this one, the setting obsucres the attractiveness of the model and the cleverness of placing a nude among the junk heap is less than attractive. A good bath seems called for
posted by Postroad at 9:09 AM on June 18, 2006


My personal opinion regarding this particular series of photographs is infinitely superior to everyone else's personal opinions regarding this particular series of photographs.
posted by wigu at 9:16 AM on June 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


Are we certain that she isn't just an unusually attractive CHUD?
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:23 AM on June 18, 2006 [3 favorites]


These are good.
posted by beerbajay at 9:25 AM on June 18, 2006


Postroad, I totally disagree, the attractiveness of the model isn't the point here. The contrast between the scene & the unexpectedness of any human presence, let alone a nude female adds a shocking element that changes your take on the image.
posted by jonson at 9:26 AM on June 18, 2006


she's not a CHUD, she's a Boomer.

also, jeffrey rowland is correct.
posted by dorian at 9:27 AM on June 18, 2006


And, she's going into and exploring these places by herself - a diminutive asian woman - hauling a tripod and flashes. For me the implied adventure, her experience in doing this, elevates it far above some cheescake photoshoot.
posted by Flashman at 9:36 AM on June 18, 2006


Postroad, I agree. If only she were holding up signs decrying the latest sins of the Bush Administration, maybe with a single URL of a CNN or NY Times news story printed underneath, then this would be a worthy FPP. As it is, this sort of thing is clearly not what MetaFilter is for.
posted by Zozo at 9:36 AM on June 18, 2006


Take any scene and add a naked girl, and the result is art.

Take any art and add a snarky comment, and the result is MetaFilter.
posted by Jairus at 9:37 AM on June 18, 2006


She has a nice bottom.
posted by bz at 9:41 AM on June 18, 2006


I don't even notice the human presence in theses photos. The compositions are so chaotic and without focal point that I barely recoginze "the scene".

IMHO, these are just poor photos-as-art, nudes or not.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:42 AM on June 18, 2006


I get a different impression. I see it as old meets new, or more specifically, old meets old-new. To me the scenes remind me of what would happen if a primitive person happened upon a modern ruin.

I see a cavewoman discovering "our" relics. Archeology in reverse.

Of course, maybe I have an overactive imagination, but it evoked something, so that meets all the requirements for art in my mind.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:58 AM on June 18, 2006


I had the same reaction as scblackman. Looking at the pictures, I didn't think "OMGNUDE!" as much as I thought "OMGBAREFOOT!"
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:58 AM on June 18, 2006


I found most of these shots to be neither well composed nor well lit. But, anything showing T & A is sure to be successful.
posted by trbrts at 10:01 AM on June 18, 2006


Thank you, CunningLinguist, for this beautiful and intriguing exploration of rebirth and life amidst decay.

Funny thing - as I was clicking though, I was thinking in my head "please let there be a set at the ship graveyard, please let there be a set at the ship graveyard," and lo and behold, here it is. (previously mentioned)
posted by Afroblanco at 10:01 AM on June 18, 2006


Meh.

How many artists do we need who think that they themselves are the most compelling subject possible for their art? Cindy Sherman notwithstanding, they can't all be right.

Does photographing yourself nude and calling it art make it a mutual masturbation?
posted by Methylviolet at 10:03 AM on June 18, 2006


That's just unsanitary.
posted by ColdChef at 10:06 AM on June 18, 2006


I liked the sewer photo and the second asylum photo.

Where did you hear about AnimalNewYork?
posted by jason's_planet at 10:11 AM on June 18, 2006


I liked the sewer photo and the second asylum photo.

CL, where did you discover AnimalNewYork?
posted by jason's_planet at 10:12 AM on June 18, 2006


Photoshop is hell of a program.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:14 AM on June 18, 2006


hope she's not a school teacher.
posted by brevator at 10:15 AM on June 18, 2006


I'll go along with Ynoxas on the 'remains of a past civilization' theme, very well done, very thought-provoking.
posted by mk1gti at 10:16 AM on June 18, 2006


Variation of the "nude-in-an-old-barn theme. A classic for aging camera club photographers now remixed as a post-feminist artistic statement. Outcome: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
posted by cccorlew at 10:21 AM on June 18, 2006


I get a different impression. I see it as old meets new, or more specifically, old meets old-new. To me the scenes remind me of what would happen if a primitive person happened upon a modern ruin.

That's kind of what I thought as well. Not so much "Cave woman" as "the human animal". Kind of hard to describe, but I like it. I didn't find the work particularly sexual in nature.
posted by delmoi at 10:36 AM on June 18, 2006


Probably not 'plagiarism'*, but still not nearly as good** as Lea Crespi's work.

[disclosure, Lea's a close friend]
*(It's a big world and people happen on the same ideas all the time...)
**Of course, I'm not objective.
posted by adrien at 10:38 AM on June 18, 2006


If she's really going on these shoots alone, she's gutsy as hell. This place alone would scare the bejeezus out of me.

And this place looks like it could be loaded with asbestos.
posted by crumbly at 10:40 AM on June 18, 2006


Hm. Having now seen it, I prefer Crespi's work.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:46 AM on June 18, 2006


Apart from the old buildings thing, these works have nothing in common! Crespi's pictures tell a completely different story to Miru Kim's.
posted by Flashman at 11:02 AM on June 18, 2006


bz: She has a nice bottom.
Yeah... I was gonna come here and say that MFA must now stand for "Muri's Fine Ass". But then on reflection I realized that would be crass, and decided against it.
posted by hincandenza at 11:03 AM on June 18, 2006


Great locations, but the photos aren't very well done. That said, I'll bet she had a lot of fun taking them. I know I'd enjoy climbing around in places like these, except... you know... clothed.
posted by brundlefly at 11:04 AM on June 18, 2006


Thanks you CunningLinguist for this post. I find these photographs extraordinary and interesting, very much what I like in art, a complex visual adventure. The contrast of her physical innocence, smooth healthy skin and simply naked body bravely next to another kind of innocence, the jagged, unsanitary, grotesque decay of ordinary life; a live body visiting and peeking into rotting parts of the urban, landscape. A living person on an autopsy table.

There are times when living alone in the city may feel desolate but it may not show on one's face. Miru Kim depicts some of that desolation in neglected places. It reminds me of the young girl who motorcycles through the devastated area around Chernobyl.

Like sandalwood perfume next to the smell of wet, old construction debris. Living and dying juxtaposed. The prettiness of her body compared with the ugly underbelly of the city with its sewers, subways, underground tunnels, which support that prettiness. The cared for and the neglected deliberately side by side, in each other's company. Decaying past meets thriving present.

There is something compelling, even while nauseating to some degree, about the mystery of long neglected places, where bats and spiders live, their secrecy and being hidden, unknown and rich with history. Spelunking and exploring urban caverns.

I like her writing too.
posted by nickyskye at 11:14 AM on June 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


Very cool photographs, excellent post.
posted by justkevin at 11:15 AM on June 18, 2006


Good photos, better without her indulgent presence in them I imagine.
posted by econous at 11:18 AM on June 18, 2006


The catacombs were fucking creepy, and she gets beaucoup points (in my book) for laying down in a pile of femurs and skulls.

On one hand I believe these shots to be good art. She comes off as something out of place and surreal in settings abandoned and rife with decay. Her presence there brings back the human element of the origin of those places and highlights our own fragility in the face of our creations.

On the other hand, I wish she'd been closer to the camera so I could see more of her naughty bits.
posted by Parannoyed at 11:20 AM on June 18, 2006


i particulary liked the sewer shot. The reflection really makes it work. Though the last picture in the tunnels link reminded me of The Ring and therefore freaked me out.
posted by quin at 11:24 AM on June 18, 2006


Nice photos , interesting subjects. If anything her nakedness doesn't disturb the scene (suggesting she fits the surrounding) nor enhances it (suggesting she isn't really uplifted by the surrounding). My sensation is that of perfectly good urban archeology photos kind of ruined by a naked girl going around.
posted by elpapacito at 11:27 AM on June 18, 2006


Probably not 'plagiarism'*, but still not nearly as good** as Lea Crespi's work.

Eh, I find that stuff a lot duller. The out of focus style is boring, the poses are all exactly the same, and the scenery isn't as intresting.
posted by delmoi at 11:36 AM on June 18, 2006


Unfortunately, everything is art.
posted by rob paxon at 11:36 AM on June 18, 2006


Juxtaposition for the win!!!!11one
posted by public at 11:37 AM on June 18, 2006


My favorite line from the FDA article on tetanus linked at the top of the thread:

The connection between a wound caused by a rusty/dirty nail and the necessity for a tetanus shot is fixed so firmly in the public mind that even the television cartoon character Homer Simpson knew he had to get a tetanus shot after stepping on a nail.

Can't get more scientific than that!
posted by LooseFilter at 11:44 AM on June 18, 2006


I love art threads.

This was an interesting thread, especially when you contrast the photos in the "teacher who got fired thread" linked above. The art teacher was saying she was cool and beautiful.

This artist is saying something about industrialization and the humanity. People create all kinds of hostile enviornments in spite of the fact we are still fairly delicate creatures.

Then I got to the photo of the artist walking through the pipes and tunnels. Pipes and tunnels do have uses as sexual slang and metaphor and while most of the photos are quite unerotic despite the presence of a very good looking female nude, putting her among the pipes and tunnels introduces a sexual metaphor - which is not about this woman's body, and still fts in with the rest of the collection but brings the viewer in a roundabout way back to the female nude as an erotic image.

I like nudes and its hard to create a nude images that I can hang in my office , this artist did it. Good job, I wish she wasn't asking $400/print.
posted by Deep Dish at 11:50 AM on June 18, 2006


Nice post. Thanks, CunningLinguist.
posted by sveskemus at 12:27 PM on June 18, 2006


WHEN the flush of a new-born sun fell first on Eden’s green and gold,
Our father Adam sat under the Tree and scratched with a stick in the mould;
And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart,
Till the Devil whispered behind the leaves, “It’s pretty, but is it Art?”

The Conundrum of the Workshops, by Rudyard Kipling
posted by Citizen Premier at 12:39 PM on June 18, 2006


Nicely said, nickyskye.

The Lea Crespi photos feel entirely different to me. They seem ironic and distant and composed, while Kim's photo's feel like an innocent exploration of places that are intimately familiar. The rot seems kind of inviting to me. Although her shoelessness makes me cringe a little.
posted by maryh at 12:58 PM on June 18, 2006


Great stuff, thanks CunningLinguist!

I've been trying to find some inspiration for self-portraits, but I don't think I'm up for crawling in the sewer. My hat is definitely off to this woman!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:10 PM on June 18, 2006


Now that I'm thinking about it more, they have the same sort of effect on me that those lovely artless shots of Timothy Treawell's that were included in Grizzly Man. That sense of wanting to follow someone into a fascinating place, while inwardly screaming, "My god! Don't touch that!!
posted by maryh at 1:14 PM on June 18, 2006


I see a nudist lesbian exploring the post-armageddon world after her type first destroyed the moral fabric of our great country and then brought god's wrath upon us leaving nothing but rotting corpses, wandering hellbeasts and utter ruin.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 1:22 PM on June 18, 2006


she's not a CHUD, she's a Boomer.

If these were nude photos from inside a shadowy cylon basestar, then she'd be a Boomer.
posted by SenshiNeko at 1:56 PM on June 18, 2006


I see someone stretching to make a questionable point, weretable.

Overall I really think there's a stupid amount of snark in this thread, these are awesome. I thought thesepictures were great. The sugar factory one in particular was interesting: there were still documents lying around? And the children's hospital doesn't look long abandoned at all, in fact it seems just like they're closed for the day.

I think it says something about how utterly we abandon our wasted places that she was about to do this without fear of public indecency charges.
posted by JHarris at 1:56 PM on June 18, 2006


I was totally prepared to hand out my standard "meh" comment I usually give to photo collections, but this one does capture my imagination. The adventure of the shoot is captured in several of the photographs where she seems to be cautiously navigating the landscape, almost afraid of encountering.... what, we're not sure.

And she has a nice bottom. ;- )
posted by Doohickie at 2:15 PM on June 18, 2006


curiously compelling nude photos of herself in gritty and deserted urban settings

I guess I have seen too many undergrad & grad portfolios where the photographer/model or photographer and model use this trope of nudes and abandoned/industrial sites to find these either curious or compelling.

This is not to say that I do not find them interesting or that there is no room for this or more of this. I just think that if one hangs around art schools and artists long enough one realizes that it is a fairly common exploration for artistically-coming-of-age photographers to examine the nude, especially the female nude, in settings that break with the anticipated "beauty-of-the-nude" by juxtaposing either with decaying or mundane surroundings.

Nice, but not exceptional, sorry.
posted by beelzbubba at 2:43 PM on June 18, 2006


The annoyingness of side scrolling takes overshadows the pleasure i would have gotten from looking at the pictures.
posted by afu at 2:53 PM on June 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's my finding the idea of nudity=honesty/transgression dull, but like others have said, these don't do much for me.

Decent urban exploration shots, but marred by what I'm interpret as being the artist's distractingly high handed narcissism.

I'd much rather read about how she finds, chooses, and accesses the locations.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:22 PM on June 18, 2006


All these people who are commenting are completely missing the point.
posted by Flashman at 4:29 PM on June 18, 2006


I guess I have seen too many undergrad & grad portfolios where the photographer/model or photographer and model use this trope of nudes and abandoned/industrial sites to find these either curious or compelling.

Right, I took a million of these photos as a sophomore. From a technical standpoint, the compositions and especially the lighting here are nothing extraordinary.

This one is interesting, but as a series not much of interest going on.
posted by dgaicun at 4:43 PM on June 18, 2006


I liked these a lot. I loved the human animal aspect of it. Thanks Cunning.
posted by dejah420 at 6:11 PM on June 18, 2006


She's a cop-out. Some of the shots aren't bad, but would anyone be interested in these photos without her being nude? I think not.
posted by disgruntled at 7:00 PM on June 18, 2006


I've never seen photos like Miru Kim's before. Please, if there are sooo many already out there, just like this and sooo much better, kindly pass on the links.

would anyone be interested in these photos without her being nude? I think not.

Gee, if there were no sunflowers/Mona Lisa/subject in the picture it wouldn't be interesting would it? That's the point, that she IS in the picture in the places of decay, her presence is part of the image. To take away part of the subject of a work of art is to have a fragment.
posted by nickyskye at 7:18 PM on June 18, 2006


As mentioned above, despite any post-industrial feminist whatever or daring setting with naked flesh,

Mediocre Composition + Nude = Mediocre Photo

Find a new way of photographing sewers that involves a nude model and you've got my attention. Take the same old way of photographing sewers and add a nude model, and I'm so distracted by the image's triteness that the nude is hardly of interest.
posted by VulcanMike at 7:19 PM on June 18, 2006


Said another way, in response to nickyskye:
That's the point, that she IS in the picture in the places of decay, her presence is part of the image. To take away part of the subject of a work of art is to have a fragment.

So what?
posted by VulcanMike at 7:25 PM on June 18, 2006


You people are dorks. Man, I used to think I was snarky and pretentious.
posted by nyxxxx at 7:48 PM on June 18, 2006


Yeah, no one's ever juxtaposed nudes and industrial decay scenes before. People making snark here hate art, and the artists that create it.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:03 PM on June 18, 2006


Are you guys being serious about nude women in sewers being so common as to be trite? Are you actually suggesting nude woman in an abandoned subway station is so pedestrian as to be a device?

It's so hard to tell around here the snark from the sincere.

dgaicun: if you took "millions" of these you should post some online, they may be interesting to some of the readers at MeFi who are neither professional photographers nor professional art critics.

Email me and I'll be happy to make a link to your work to avoid self-linkage.

I think those heavily immersed in the arts sometimes do not remember that us poor saps in the peanut gallery have not seen everything already.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:04 PM on June 18, 2006


Please, if there are sooo many already out there, just like this and sooo much better, kindly pass on the links.

Visited any stock photography sites lately?

Arnaud Frich Photographs, so, so much better. Stunning really.
posted by disgruntled at 8:05 PM on June 18, 2006


To expand, I've seen lots, and lots, and lots, of nude photos. Some very good.

I've seen lots of urban decay photos, some very good, many pointed to me by posters at MeFi.

I, until today, had never seen the two together. And, so far, I've only seen 2 artists work that portray it (the main post, and the comment with Crespi).

Again, with total sincerity, if this is as common as photos of sunsets or old barns, I would love to see more from other artists.

Why don't you guys with the superior art knowledge lead us to some you find worthwhile?

on preview:Visited any stock photography sites lately? No. Not something I would have any need to do on any regular basis.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:09 PM on June 18, 2006


Um, yes, disgruntled, those are pretty, but panoramic shots of the Paris skyline and various cathedrals have absolutely nothing to do with the nude-in-decayed-urban-settings stuff presented in the post. Yeah, they're all photographs, but beyond that... nickyskye was, I think, expressing the same surprise that Ynoxas did - he or she wasn't aware that the combination of [somewhat subtle] nudity and urban decay was all that common, and was hoping that if it really is something that scads of artists have done, someone would post links to superior sites that deal with the same theme. Additionally, judging some of the other comments, it does seem to be the case that people are interested in nude-less photos of urban decay as well - I know I am.

[Like maryh, I think that Miru Kim's photography works better than Lea Crespi's. In the latter, it's almost difficult to pay attention to the setting - the nude body is big, blurry, and in the foreground. Kim's stuff seems to be much more subtle; the nudity has a more organic feel to it, despite the fact that the settings are similar. Her presence lends a scale to the settings she's in that you don't really see in urban decay photos, and the contrast of her visible vulnerability with her settings is pretty interesting to see.]
posted by ubersturm at 8:23 PM on June 18, 2006


Hey, I'm just saying, if you dig these pics, more power to you. To me, they seem like the equivalent of someone getting a copy of FruityLoops audio software, and a sampler, slapping together some noise tracks with a thump-thump beat, and calling it some dope new music. There's certainly someone who'll appreciate it, and that doesn't lessen the artistry, to them. I'm still free to call what I see as an empty work an empty work. I might as well call up my cousin with the 3rd nipple and have her walk around construction sites nude while I take snaps. The nudity here is a gimmick, in my opinion. The easy road, taken quickly.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:27 PM on June 18, 2006


flickr: abandoned+nude: 1, 2, 3, 4

Like everything else under the sun, it's been done. Doesn't mean it's bad or worthless, just not novel.
posted by unmake at 8:29 PM on June 18, 2006


ubersturm and Ynoxas, Well said.

Something doesn't need to be novel to be fresh. Portraits, done millions of times by countless artists, may be fresh and exciting when the artist invites the viewer to see things in a new way. That's what I come away with from Miru's images.

Visited any stock photography sites lately?

Yes, and? There are trite images of predictable contrast, sanitized, uninviting, like the small handful unmake posted. I don't feel the nude is part of the landscape, merely framed in it/by it. Miru Kim's work feels like she is connecting with the place, I feel her naked feet on the gritty floor, I cringe at the asbestos flakes, smell the mold and hear the water dripping down dank walls. It's engaging.

Arnaud Frich Photographs, so, so much better. Stunning really.

Oh please. Post cards with technique. meh. It isn't remotely a similar subject matter as Miru Kim's work.

Yeah, no one's ever juxtaposed nudes and industrial decay scenes before

So? Lots of people have taken pictures of the same subject matter, portraits, landscapes, whatever. If there are better nudes in industrial decay landscapes please do give links. I truly haven't seen those images. When I put "nude industrial landscape" into Google Images, this is all I come up with.

When I Googled "nude industrial" I came up with a small handful of images that are slick, impersonal, forced and don't offer the intimacy, adventure and sensual depth of Miru Kim's work.
posted by nickyskye at 8:50 PM on June 18, 2006


The addition of her nudeness does not make the pictures better, just nakeder. Which isn't bad, I just don't necessarily think its art.

It would have been more cutting edge if she weren't attractive and didn't have a nice body.
posted by fenriq at 9:56 PM on June 18, 2006


Oh, it's art. We can argue if it is good art or bad, but it nothing but art.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:17 PM on June 18, 2006


Okay, then I don't think its good art. Let the argument continue.
posted by fenriq at 11:04 PM on June 18, 2006


Just imagine if it was a guy instead of a girl, would it still be Great Art?

The pictures are ok, but not stunning. I see better on Flickr on a daily basis.
posted by Poagao at 12:13 AM on June 19, 2006


Wow! I find these really marvelous. This one, especially, shows how out of place the human form can look among our own creations.
posted by Drexen at 6:14 AM on June 19, 2006


Wow, I am surprised at the reaction to the photographs, even if I should know better by now.

First off, just because it has a nude person in it, doesn't mean you should expect fine art nude. Clearly some people are, which is bizaare.

Secondly, just because it has been 'done before' is irrelevant unless the artist is making claims of novelty (which still doesn't affect the art actually). I see no claims of novelty by the poster or the artist, so why all the discussion?

Thirdly, there is certainly a ton of fine-art-nude style photographs done in abandoned settings; it is pretty much a genre unto itself. If you can't tell that these are not fine-art nudes in an abondoned setting then you are either blind, extremely biased or didn't even look at the photographs. Seriously, it is ridiculous to even remotely consider them the same. The fine-art nudes in abandoned settings are still about the nude. These are about more, possibly not about the nude at all.

Fourthly, not all photographs need to be "well lit", or pretty, or perfectly sharp, or in any other way idealized. Idealized photo's are the domain of the technician and product/fashion/other pro photographer. Otherwise the photograph can be in any state the artist feels suits the subject, and that may very well be dark and gloomy and not terribly well lit. As for composition, well, are they badly compose on general principle or do you have some specific complaint?

It drives me a little insane when people say 'these suck, look these paris skyline pictures are soo much better'. What the hell is the relationship between the two? Do you just lump all art purely by medium?

You don't have to like them, or think they are great, but at least they could be considered on their own.

Lastly, she does have a nice bottom. But that is part of the point I think. Me, I am not sure if I like them or not, but at least I'll look at them instead of just tossing them into some category and ignoring them.
posted by Bovine Love at 6:48 AM on June 19, 2006


I with the 'cavewoman exploring remains of former civilisation' camp. These photos aren't fantastic, especially in terms of composition, and I wouldn't bother hanging any of these prints on my wall, but they do capture an interesting mood.
posted by nihraguk at 6:51 AM on June 19, 2006


Just imagine if it was a guy instead of a girl, would it still be Great Art?

The pictures are ok, but not stunning. I see better on Flickr on a daily basis.
posted by Poagao at 2:13 AM CST on June 19


I'm not prepared to call it "great art" yet, but i do think it is interesting art, which is 1/2 the battle.

And, for me, it would have been more interesting and compatible with my totally constructed interpretation if it had been a male nude. Preferably with a scraggly beard and long unkept hair, and copious amounts of body hair. Not because I like naked hairy men, but I think it would have looked interesting given the setting.

Look, you can see literally millions of pictures of naked women in much greater detail, higher resolution, and better lit, all over the internet. These pictures are not about a naked chick, at least not to me.

For people who this IS about a naked chick, let me introduce you to search engines sometime. Your world is about to spring wide-fucking open.

On preview: Bovine Love is saying this much better than me. "These are not fine-art nudes". That's precisely the phrase I needed.
posted by Ynoxas at 6:52 AM on June 19, 2006


These pictures are not about a naked chick, at least not to me.

Um, yes they are. She's the one subject that's in all the photos. It's all about her. She's a cop-out. A mediocre photographer that takes her clothes off for attention. Her photographs are boring, pretentious and pointless.

Oh please. Post cards with technique. meh. It isn't remotely a similar subject matter as Miru Kim's work.

Typical snide remark that's made by snobs who spend all their time talking about art because they can't produce it themselves.

I like pictures of homeless people in these types of settings. They say something about society and life. Her photos say nothing, and I don't find the juxtaposition of images interesting in the least.
posted by disgruntled at 7:53 AM on June 19, 2006


These kinda remind me of the Miss McDonald photos, but, y'know, nude.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:31 AM on June 19, 2006


because they can't produce it themselves

Wrong again.

These are about more, possibly not about the nude at all.

What comes across is the person of the nude, her moods and explorations.

The addition of her nudeness does not make the pictures better, just nakeder.

ooh, nicely said fenriq.

As CunningLinguist said as the thread title, "Society stripped away."

There's a sadness that comes through too along with a feeling of exploring.

I realise now that I like the nakedness in the images, not the nude-in-the-landscape or the mere rawness of the blight. For me these images are not merely about urban decay, there is a narrative in the photographs, that a person is part of the place, not just framed by it for effect.

Exposure.
posted by nickyskye at 8:49 AM on June 19, 2006


Meh.

Yet another artist takes him/herself way too seriously, pushing to the world how despairingly deep he/she is.
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:57 AM on June 19, 2006


Um, yes they are. She's the one subject that's in all the photos. It's all about her. She's a cop-out. A mediocre photographer that takes her clothes off for attention. Her photographs are boring, pretentious and pointless.

I think you're missing my point.

The pictures are not "nudie pictures" in my opinion. The fact that they have a nude person in them does not mean that is the sole subject of the photo. Maybe it is, but it doesn't necessarily have to be so.

Consider a photo of Muhammad Ali standing in front of an old gymnasium. Now consider a picture of the Lincoln Memorial with a random tourist walking in front of it.

Which picture is about the person, and which picture is about the setting? Are both about both? Neither?

Even with such clear-cut examples, there is room for ambiguity.

So I think that by saying these are just glorified nudie pictures either you are being too shallow or I am being too deep. If it is my fault, it is out of ignorance. What is your motivation?

I don't at all understand what you mean about her nudity being a cop-out. You asked above if anyone would look at the pictures if she wasn't in them, and I think the answer would be yes, considering the response other threads at MeFi have gotten about abandoned subway stations, factories, hospitals, etc. They didn't have any nude chicks but seemed to be quite interesting anyway.

I don't think these photos are "teh bestest pictares evar!!!!1" but I do think they are interesting, which to me is a welcome relief since so much art seems completely inaccessible.

I look at a naked girl in an abandoned factory and I "get it", or at least, I get something.

I look at a harshly lit photo of a screwdriver next to a piece of broccoli with the word "Continuum" written in large script on a piece of paper underneath, and I don't "get it".
posted by Ynoxas at 9:58 AM on June 19, 2006


So I think that by saying these are just glorified nudie pictures either you are being too shallow or I am being too deep. If it is my fault, it is out of ignorance. What is your motivation?

I never said they're glorified nudie shots. They're boring. She's a mediocre photographer at best. If she wasn't naked then we wouldn't be talking about her photographs. Period. Look at the title of the thread: "Naked in the Naked City." So what if she walks around naked in a sewer or a subway tunnel? Big deal. There's no meaning to it. It's no different than a B-movie director who puts a nude scene in a film to get people to watch it.

I've been a Graphic Designer for fifteen years. I love art and photography, including nudes, but her work is pretty lame.
posted by disgruntled at 10:30 AM on June 19, 2006


Put me in the boring camp. Not because I don't like the idea, I actually think if she was going for that "caveman" idea, it'd be fantastic.

But why as a self portrait? Why not use a model? The schism between the scene composition and the portrait comp would likely disappear if she had framed it with a model.

Great idea, but I'd like to see her do it again without having to deal with all the self-portrait aspects.
posted by butterstick at 10:34 AM on June 19, 2006


The photos have sparked a respectful discussion, even when people are disagreeing. So they've done something.
posted by raedyn at 10:39 AM on June 19, 2006


Yeah, no one's ever juxtaposed nudes and industrial decay scenes before

So? Lots of people have taken pictures of the same subject matter, portraits, landscapes, whatever. If there are better nudes in industrial decay landscapes please do give links. I truly haven't seen those images.


Francesca Woodman? (She's not naked all the time, but i think she can be taken seriously at the very least. And is completely different from this Miru while still sort-of satisfying the above criteria.)
posted by xanthippe at 1:14 PM on June 19, 2006


Those girls are teh naked, you know.
posted by jonmc at 1:23 PM on June 19, 2006


Why not use a model?

Oh I dunno, maybe she couldn't afford it? Or, there isn't anyone who will model nakkid where she lives/photographs or the models who would, are short balding men with hairy dimpled butts?

Can put me in the meh camp, I don't get the feeling she really thought through what she was trying to do/say.

xanthippe, some of those shots by Francesca Woodman are wicked.
posted by squeak at 2:54 PM on June 19, 2006


ooh xanthippe, There are some lovely photos among those, thanks. I especially like the one of her in the trees roots underwater.



There are some black and white nudes in decay but they are typically arty somehow, still life, ghostly. I like the exploring Miru does, the color too, not so arty but as if she is discovering a whole new world of decay, a forgotten world that is there all the time, like a parallel universe in the city.

After a number of people here in this thread saying there is SO much out there of wonderful, interesting nudes in urban decay, so much better than Miru's, I don't see it.

No, after some thought and looking at other sites I really like Miru Kim's work, think it's intelligent, interesting and beautiful.
posted by nickyskye at 3:24 PM on June 19, 2006


I don't know art, but I know what I like. And I like these pictures just fine, thanks.
posted by Doohickie at 7:18 PM on June 19, 2006


Thanks be to GAWD you didn't feel the need to paste NSFW all over this. Can we just stop that shit please?!
posted by filchyboy at 9:27 PM on June 19, 2006


I'm interested in the question: "Why didn't she use a model?"

How do you know she didn't and why does it matter?
posted by filchyboy at 9:41 PM on June 19, 2006


I got a sense of Eve (pre-fig leaf, natch) coming back to the Garden of Eden and finding it changed beyond recognition now that humanity has mangled it. I found the photos beautiful, and would like to see more, if this kind of thing has been done so often.
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 4:05 AM on June 20, 2006


ducksqueezer: though your screen name absolutely perplexes me (despite reading your profile page), I really like your interpretation.

I'll do you one better: these environments are what Eve was put into after being cast out of Eden. This is the land outside of Paradise.

Or something.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:12 PM on June 20, 2006


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