art or porn or hoax?
July 13, 2006 3:31 AM   Subscribe

kama3d ~ Made by an anonymous French artist, this series of sculptures of kama sutra positions was supposedly exhibited at the Chambéry Modern Art Museum (Musée d'Art et d'Histoire) recently. Now you can virtually walk around them. Reminscent of that sculpture of Britney giving birth on a bearskin. But are they real? *NSFW* (Note: FLASH)
posted by crunchland (36 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have my doubts about whether these are really the marble statues they claim to be. First, the hair on the guy looks more like a wig -- too brittle to be real marble. Second, marble is heavy. Remember that weird support jutting out of Britney's belly? There are no weird supports here. But I'm not much of an expert.

Nevertheless, it's an interesting site to visit.
posted by crunchland at 3:34 AM on July 13, 2006


They're obviously renders. Look at this one, there are polygons that don't line up on the guy's butt. The rendering is really good, but the scene itself is pretty cheesy and doesn’t look like very much like any real museum. The whole thing is very lazily done.
posted by delmoi at 3:36 AM on July 13, 2006


You forgot to mention that for every sculpture, you can submit information on your demographics, and your own personal experience with the position...
posted by Jimbob at 3:45 AM on July 13, 2006


Yeah, also it would have cost a fortune to film these 360° shots if they were physical objects.
posted by delmoi at 4:04 AM on July 13, 2006


Add that the url for the site is part of the platforms on each sculptures.

I think it's interesting that the guy (and I'm sure it's a guy) who made these felt he had to legitimize them by concocting this story about them. I mean, I dig the smooth scrolling of the flash, and the 3-dimensional effect of moving around the sculptures. I don't think I'd appreciate them less if he just came out and said he rendered them.
posted by crunchland at 4:08 AM on July 13, 2006


Poser, and not even especially well done Poser (the broken polygons all over the place). At first glance, I considered they might have been created from 3d model files with a rapid prototype machine (I've seen that done), but the room they are in? Totally unnatural ... and rendered. Aside from other things, notice how the base appears to float on the floor. I don't care how good your lighting set-up is for a photo shoot, you will end up with a few more light variations and shadows than what I see here.

I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.
posted by Orb at 4:32 AM on July 13, 2006


for the artist's sake I hope it's poser. these things have a comic book understanding of anatomy.
posted by shmegegge at 4:55 AM on July 13, 2006


art and porn is hoax.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 5:12 AM on July 13, 2006


pfft, what a pathetic back story, nobody will fall for that. agreeing with crunchland.
posted by dabitch at 5:14 AM on July 13, 2006


Check the bloke's hair - you get floating polygons all over the place, and that level of thin-ness would be impossible in marble, I reckon.

I wonder if he ought to get out more...
posted by dowcrag at 5:25 AM on July 13, 2006


To their credit, these "sculptures" are actually more educational and illustrative than the Britney/Bearskin sculpture, which, if I remember correctly, was supposed to have been some bizarre anti-choice statement. At least with these you get a pretty clear sense of the mechanices of the poses. (Assanas? Whatever.)
posted by DenOfSizer at 5:27 AM on July 13, 2006


Had they presented it as "look at these renders of Kama Sutra poses I put together", I would have thought "how cool." Trying to pass it off as marble sculptures that have been shown in a real room somewhere just sort of puts me off. They are cool, but as renders, they could have been improved with just a little post-render work. More careful attention to detail, and it might have been harder to say they weren't real.

And yeah, I've done a little work with marble (very little), and that hair? Not so sure that would be possible at all in that medium.
posted by Orb at 5:59 AM on July 13, 2006


Hey, I've had sex in all those positions, and I never read any Kama Sutra.
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:24 AM on July 13, 2006


Funny how the 3D presentation heightens the impression that you're looking at pornography rather than art.
posted by interrobang at 6:44 AM on July 13, 2006


delmoi,

"Yeah, also it would have cost a fortune to film these 360° shots if they were physical objects."

One tripod, one digital camera, one minimum wage lackey to move it around. How much could that cost?
posted by sindark at 6:46 AM on July 13, 2006


The pricey bit is paying for a mover who can cart each of those statues in and out of the room through that small hole in the wall so they can be photographed in the present pine-boards-and-oddly-featureless-walls setting.

Also, probably establishing a "Chambery Modern Art Museum" was a nontrivial enterprise.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:05 AM on July 13, 2006


Great site, great idea, lame excuse. Really, we don't need fabulous backstories to think something is cool.
posted by cardoso at 7:11 AM on July 13, 2006


Well, for what it's worth, there is a "Musée d'Art et d'Histoire" Chambéry.
posted by crunchland at 7:16 AM on July 13, 2006


But you're right, Wolfdog. Based on the size of that tiny doorway, these sculptures would easily be double life-sized. The text says the artist was born in 1963, making him 43 years old. Considering the scale, and the time it would take to carve each of these out of marble, and add that there are no stylistic changes between any of them, I can't see how it'd be remotely possible. Complete bunk.
posted by crunchland at 7:27 AM on July 13, 2006


I find the most fascinating artistic statement on this page to be the default choices in the drop down menus for reporting your experiences.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:35 AM on July 13, 2006


I thought is was nice of the sculpturer to carve the website name in marble.
posted by F Mackenzie at 7:38 AM on July 13, 2006


Regardless of whether the sculptures are fake, the chick's tits definitely are.
posted by adamrice at 7:38 AM on July 13, 2006


MetaFilter: The whole thing is very lazily done.
posted by mwhybark at 8:01 AM on July 13, 2006


Yes, it's definitely Poserish. Just for the fun, here's a quick and dirty attempt to replicate the setup (QTVR, 7Mb, some polygonal nudity) in Cinema 4D with some big area lights and low quality global illumination (hence the artefacts). Took 30 mn to render. I don't have finalRender near at hand right now otherwise it would have been better.
Interestingly, it's the second time in a row that I see someone trying to pass off a rendering as a photograph.
posted by elgilito at 8:50 AM on July 13, 2006 [2 favorites]


Not only that, but, if my reading memory serves me right, there was no "The 69" per se in the Kama Sutra...
posted by Samizdata at 9:00 AM on July 13, 2006


Samizdata,

That was my point in my post above.
posted by eustacescrubb at 9:20 AM on July 13, 2006


Those are absolutely not physical sculptures. They're nicely done, but they're 100% digital.
posted by JWright at 9:36 AM on July 13, 2006


The dead give-away for me, is the name of the web site "carved" into the base of each statue (in relief no less).

Just as a visual antidote, how about some Rodin perhaps his Cupid and Psyche, or even la Danaide which strikes me as disturbing and erotic in its emotional charge. These don't even strike me as pornographic because even pornography is grounded in the illusion that someone is having fun. These have all the clinical emotive content of medical photos.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:47 AM on July 13, 2006


I see that everyone has beaten me to the Poser, as it were.

Not that Poser stuff, in itself, is bad, but this particular set isn't very good. The poses were probably purchased, and applied without any knowledge of how to modify them or textures. The background is pathetic, the lighting is abysmal, the clipping and broken polygons make the baby jesus cry.

But, good poser can be done. Horus, Pieta, and Venus, for example.
posted by dejah420 at 9:47 AM on July 13, 2006


crunchland writes "The text says the artist was born in 1963, making him 43 years old. Considering the scale, and the time it would take to carve each of these out of marble, and add that there are no stylistic changes between any of them, I can't see how it'd be remotely possible."

How long would it take to carve a life sized statue of two people entwined out of marble? Within the limits of the craft, no impossible hair etc.?
posted by Mitheral at 10:51 AM on July 13, 2006


I'm certainly no expert, but I'd guess it would take months to make just one.
posted by crunchland at 12:07 PM on July 13, 2006


Here's an article about a stunning marble piece first sculpted in clay and plaster and then carved from the marble by a milling machine. It took the machine three months, and then they had to finish it by hand doing the undercuts and smoothing/polishing (they don't mention how long that took -- from start to finish she mentions 2 1/2 years, though that may have been from conception not beginning the work). The guessimate to do what the machine had done by hand was a year ... which would have still left all the hand finishing to do.
posted by Orb at 12:35 PM on July 13, 2006


Does anyone else find their facial expressions creepy? The juxtaposition of the girl's enjoyment with the man's impassivity is distressing.
posted by schroedinger at 4:09 PM on July 13, 2006


Three thoughts:

1. I don't care that it's fake. I liked it.

2. This would be a stunning way to reproduce famous sculpture for online viewing. Part of enjoying sculptures in an art museum is the kinetic aspect, viewing the pieces from all sides, observing how they seem to "move" as you interact with them. Imagine being able to view the Venus de Milo this way without going to the Louvre.

3. Is anyone doing this with porn? 'cause if not, they should be. You'd have to get a fancy rig like the kind they used to do "bullet time" in the Matrix, but think how much more interactive your porn could be if you could manipulate the angle to get the one that really, ah, does it for you.
posted by spacewaitress at 5:40 PM on July 13, 2006


One tripod, one digital camera, one minimum wage lackey to move it around. How much could that cost?

Well, yeah, but that wouldn't have the smooth perfict motion seen in the video. You would have to use a robot, It would cost at least $10k, I imagine, which isn't really a 'fortune' but if they were really going to do it would make more sense to just use a rotating platform...
posted by delmoi at 5:57 PM on July 13, 2006


Wait ... they sell data for figure rendering software that allows you to render people having sex? Right out of the box?

O brave new world that has such people in it.
posted by crunchland at 6:11 PM on July 13, 2006


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