It might never happen
September 15, 2006 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Photographs By Francesca Woodman. (nsfw)
posted by sgt.serenity (57 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nice, but how about an NSFW tag?
posted by caddis at 11:13 AM on September 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


mmm, meatyardy
posted by rut roh at 11:39 AM on September 15, 2006


You work for the taliban ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:39 AM on September 15, 2006


NSFW tags are the SOP for this type of content. Corporate America is kinda like the Taliban, yeah.
posted by JJ86 at 11:47 AM on September 15, 2006


Sarge... the snark wasn't necessary... any nudity needs a nsfw tag. Simple as that.
posted by HuronBob at 11:48 AM on September 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


You work for the taliban ?

I work in an office where I would rather not be opening photos of naked people, as I believe many others do. The common courtesy we've developed for such people is to mark links containing such photos with the letters "nsfw". Whether or not you agree with that convention, is this really something you want to turn into a flame war by making ridiculous analogies? Because that's exactly what Hitler would do.
posted by scottreynen at 11:53 AM on September 15, 2006 [6 favorites]


Yeah, definitely second the NSFW tag. The photos are beautiful, but if i didn't have my own office i probably wouldn't want to open them at work.
posted by casconed at 11:58 AM on September 15, 2006


Great link. Thank you. Her whole family are accomplished artists.

Charles (brother) - video, interactive and performance
Betty (mother) - accomplished ceramicist and sculptor
George (father) - photographer

Tragic that she is gone.
posted by erebora at 12:19 PM on September 15, 2006


For reference: Meatyard
posted by photoslob at 12:24 PM on September 15, 2006


Corporate America is kinda like the Taliban, yeah.

Indeed.
posted by liam at 12:32 PM on September 15, 2006


Maybe it's a good idea to be doing your work instead mate , i'm uncomfortable with labelling this work as something offensive.
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:34 PM on September 15, 2006


i'm uncomfortable with labelling this work as something offensive

Not offensive to you, or me, but possibly so to the PC Poindexter at MegaCorp who fires employees when the nannyfilter redflags their IP address.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:43 PM on September 15, 2006


You don't have to label them as offensive, and indeed I don't think NSFW implies any offensiveness. A label like "art nudes" lets someone make the decision themselves as to whether they should wait until they get home to sample this work.
posted by caddis at 12:51 PM on September 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


i'm uncomfortable with labelling this work as something offensive.

It doesn't really matter what terminology you use. If you're uncomfortable with "NSFW," then write "contains nudity," unless you'd like to self-righteously debate what constitutes "nudity." This is just a subset of the general rule that context is helpful. You might also have provided a little background on Francesca Woodman.
posted by scottreynen at 12:53 PM on September 15, 2006


"I work in an office where I would rather not be opening photos of naked people, as I believe many others do. The common courtesy we've developed for such people is to mark links containing such photos with the letters "nsfw". Whether or not you agree with that convention, is this really something you want to turn into a flame war by making ridiculous analogies? Because that's exactly what Hitler would do."

Maintenance: Monitor clean-up in cubicle THX-1138.
posted by Mike D at 12:54 PM on September 15, 2006


swoon.
posted by nevers at 1:30 PM on September 15, 2006


Oh god. Is this supposed to be art? Because it looks like the same old tired pictorial nude photography in a dilapidated building.

This was considered to be trite in the 1930s.
posted by Sukiari at 1:48 PM on September 15, 2006


this post = ruined. mefi at its worst.
posted by erebora at 1:58 PM on September 15, 2006


"Not safe for work" doesn't equal offensive

mefi is a community and we're trying to help each other, that's all
posted by django_z at 2:01 PM on September 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


I would say that NSFW = "offensive to the kinda creepy guy a couple cubicles down and one hall over who has lots of those insipid successories posters and and insists of flushing the toilet 4 or 5 times before and after using it." You know the one.

Personally I kind of liked the one where they layed the model down, sprinkled talc (or whatever) and then carefully got her back up and put her in the chair nearby. It had that sorta shadow of the past feel that Ray Bradbury would lovingly show you just prior to pulling back the camera and revealing that the reason the paint didn't peel there is that it was shielded from the nuclear blast by the people that had been standing there. Only less apocolyptic.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:35 PM on September 15, 2006


it would be nice to go back in time and add a NSFW label so as to prevent the thread jack. the comments might have actually had something to with art instead of office pervs.

so glad I work from home
posted by photoslob at 2:43 PM on September 15, 2006


In my view it's perfectly safe for any kind of work , why on earth would an employee be sacked for viewing photographs by francesca woodman ? I don't think thats at all possible - therefore its safe for work.
There is nothing in this post thats not entirely work safe - i feel very sorry for you if you should think otherwise.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:46 PM on September 15, 2006


Have you never set foot in an office before?
posted by Holy foxy moxie batman! at 2:51 PM on September 15, 2006


To my eternal shame , i am not conversant with the vagaries of american offices , it may the only thing i regret on my death bed.
Quite frankly , a spot of unemployment may be quite beneficial to some of you , you'll be able to go out for long , country walks , devote more time to your families and finally get those shelves put up.
You should be GRATEFUL.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:54 PM on September 15, 2006


I really liked Francesca Woodman back in art school and haven't really thought about her for years. One might dismissively think her pictures are photographic cliché's, but I think that means something delicate and beautiful has been overlooked. Her subject was simply the female body. But the images emote something else - something blurry and sad, and lovely. The fact that she could demonstrate this visual maturity before the tender age of 22 is pretty amazing. Thanks for the post.
posted by dog food sugar at 2:58 PM on September 15, 2006


I think the office NSFW point has been made by the way. Perhaps if you want to argue about it, it should go over to the gray.
posted by dog food sugar at 3:00 PM on September 15, 2006


And my link is completely safe for work (background on Woodman article).
posted by dog food sugar at 3:01 PM on September 15, 2006


Wow... so having courtesy towards your fellow workers is now a bad thing? (or the just not wanting to get fired for sexual harassment)...

Anyways, the glimpse of the photos that I got didn't seem anything special, though I'll have to view more carefully @ home. (really, I just don't want to have enough time to finally put those shelves up, I've been putting it off for so long now, else I would open it up here at work...)
posted by hatsix at 3:04 PM on September 15, 2006


I'm sure that those of you who feel so strongly about this subject will have no problem constructing a metatalk post , which is the proper forum for these matters.
I really wonder what drove francesca woodman , i've never really seen anything of her background other than that her family were artists - she obviously suffered from something.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:07 PM on September 15, 2006


She didn't leave a suicide note but in one of her last letters to her closest friend, she wrote:

'My life at this point is like very old coffee-cup sediment and I would rather die young leaving various accomplishments, ie, some work, my friendship with you, some other artefacts intact, instead of pell-mell erasing all of these delicate things.'

posted by sgt.serenity at 3:19 PM on September 15, 2006


[added nsfw tag - if you want to discuss it further, there is metatalk]
posted by jessamyn at 3:29 PM on September 15, 2006


You asked for it, you got it.
posted by scrump at 3:37 PM on September 15, 2006


This is really great stuff. Thanks, sgt. serenity.
posted by koeselitz at 3:38 PM on September 15, 2006


love these -- thanks! : >
posted by amberglow at 3:51 PM on September 15, 2006


Oh god. Is this supposed to be art? Because it looks like the same old tired pictorial nude photography in a dilapidated building.

This was considered to be trite in the 1930s.


It's much more than that. This is someone who took that well-known catalog of photographic symbology and expanded on it in very subtle, delicate and sometimes outright unsettling ways. As a child of artists and photographers, you seriously think she wasn't well versed in previous, similar works?

Look at the photos more carefully. What is included in the scenes? What is excluded? Do you see any talismans, fetishes or artifacts? Look beyond the obvious ones, the eels, the clothes and the furniture. Those are "foreground" - presented obviously. Look in the "background", look for little things, juxtapositions, alignments and such.

Now remember that many/most of these are self potraits. With antiquated, dated or even outright bespoke technology.

For someone so young, Francesca had a darkness, a complexity, a sophistication and a very real skill with the camera that only a few could claim in any form.
posted by loquacious at 4:11 PM on September 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


These are fantastic, thanks for the post. Never heard of this artist. Bookmarked, and about to be shared with a lot of people.
posted by sidereal at 5:37 PM on September 15, 2006


Quite frankly , a spot of unemployment may be quite beneficial to some of you

Sarge, I am thinking you need a hug. Perhaps next Friday you can try a nice heartwarming post, or not? (nsfw ads?)
posted by caddis at 5:45 PM on September 15, 2006


caddis , youre a lovely fellow.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:50 PM on September 15, 2006


Nice post, sgt.serenity. Are we still engaged or what? You never call me anymore.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:21 PM on September 15, 2006


uhh, nsfw still mean no clickee at work, double plus nonleft, si?.
posted by buzzman at 10:15 PM on September 15, 2006


nice tits. i kid!
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 11:24 PM on September 15, 2006


Sadly, the NSFW debate was more interesting than the photos, which is to say both were a complete waste of time.

However, there is something charming about reading glowing and flowery descriptions of such bland, tonally flat, and repetitive photographs. It's like the Blair Witch meets a Depression Era molester uncle.
posted by Davenhill at 12:24 AM on September 16, 2006


Hmmm, possibly dave - but there's still a lot of invention and thought behind these pictures which is interesting even though theyre not too cheery.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:14 AM on September 16, 2006


Oh Juju ! You and i will be by the bonnie shores of grangemouth oil refinery one day , i promise !
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:21 AM on September 16, 2006


Whatever Davenhill. Thanks for your condescending insight. Every photo ftp has at least one poster who demonstrates how they don't know what they're talking about and will never be able to admit it. Way to add to the discussion.
posted by dog food sugar at 5:31 AM on September 16, 2006


It's like the Blair Witch meets a Depression Era molester uncle.
What the fuck?

No, I mean, seriously, what the fuck.

*baffled*
posted by scrump at 12:46 PM on September 16, 2006


It's like the Blair Witch meets a Depression Era molester uncle.

What the fuck?


It's art crit. ; >
posted by amberglow at 1:43 PM on September 16, 2006


oh i'd take a thousand comments like that over the nitpicking any day.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:22 PM on September 16, 2006


Dog food sugar - Thanks for your condescending insight.

My comment was clearly a snark. But thank you for your condescending monopoly on what constitutes acceptable taste and commentary. Do you have a newsletter or blog we can consult to see if our inferior opinions meet with your stamp of approval before we dare speak?

Or... you could just try to develop a sense of humor. Or failing that, thicker skin or a bong hit?

Every photo ftp has at least one poster who demonstrates how they don't know what they're talking about and will never be able to admit it. Way to add to the discussion.

But you don't actually know that. Since you don't seem tolerant of the notion that other people are entitled to a sense of aesthetics that contradict yours, what criteria would meet your strict qualifications? Years contributing to professional and semi-professional photography forums? Being a photography enthusiast who owns thousands of dollars of camera equipment? Doing paid photography shoots? Doing photo editing in their professional life?

I'm guessing that all that matters to you - as indeed it was all you had to go on - is whether or not you agreed with my post.

But maybe you're right. My snarky comments could be more positive. Take this picture. This may be one of the best photos of an alien autopsy I've seen in ages:


posted by Davenhill at 4:01 PM on September 16, 2006


I liked it generally, but I can't seem to find a the much better site of her work that I've seen either here or on MoFi.

Davenhill— While it often seems that I'm intolerant of other aesthetic opinions, my general problem is more with clumsy snark presented as criticism.
Witty isn't working for you, and if you'd like to offer a legitimate critique, I'd be happy to hear it. Right now you sound like a calendar artist complaining the limited tonal range of Walker Evans.
posted by klangklangston at 5:34 PM on September 16, 2006


This may be one of the best photos of an alien autopsy I've seen in ages

Heh, you're some man dave, feel free to say what you want, at least you're havin a response to it - stick some of your own up mate, lets all get our photos out, you'd hate mine, i'd hate yours, but that's alright.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:45 PM on September 16, 2006


Oh and have you ever seen the actual prints ? Tiny.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:45 PM on September 16, 2006


Davenhill, I was being flippant and I'm sorry for that.

Everyone has a right to their opinion. That's elementary. But not all art is at a surface level discussion. I'm sure you know this, that art has a history with trends that artists work within.

Woodman's work represents a period in the 1970's very clearly. She presents a female perspective that influenced generations that followed her. It frustrates me when people look at a collection of work for a few moments on the internet and think they have a valid criticism of it. I'm not saying you did that, but my perception of your comment suggested that you may have.

And I'm not talking about an aesthetic difference of opinion. I'm talking about really looking at something, considering the context in which it was made, and weather you like the look of it or not, you are still able to see why it's there, what impact it may or may not have had.

I think this applies to theater, literature, music - pretty much all art.

Perhaps you think this is all bullshit and I'm full of it. And if that's the case a conversation about art is pointless. But I hope it's not.
posted by dog food sugar at 6:36 PM on September 16, 2006


Witty isn't working for you, and if you'd like to offer a legitimate critique, I'd be happy to hear it.

Oh cruel fate that I should wonder into a thread where everyone is qualified to make flip judgments but me.

Right now you sound like a calendar artist complaining the limited tonal range of Walker Evans.

I sound Swedish?

Really I don't see how your point is helped by comparing this:



to Walker Evans:








posted by Davenhill at 7:32 PM on September 16, 2006



Davenhill, I was being flippant and I'm sorry for that.

That's quite alright, so was I.

It frustrates me when people look at a collection of work for a few moments on the internet and think they have a valid criticism of it. I'm not saying you did that, but my perception of your comment suggested that you may have.


Well, I did do that, but my comments should have telegraphed that they were not meant as thoughtful critique and were not to be taken seriously. And certainly not personally.

Perhaps you think this is all bullshit and I'm full of it. And if that's the case a conversation about art is pointless. But I hope it's not.

No, I don't think you're full of it, and I'm sure we could find art that I am passionate about that might make you chuckle (like my original print of Mexican-Elvis playing poker with lemurs on black velvet).

It just happens that her work not only doesn't do it for me but also tickles the sarcasm bone. But who wants to be the champion of an artist everyone likes, anyway?
posted by Davenhill at 8:12 PM on September 16, 2006


Point taken. I can completely understand it striking a sarcastic cord. I imagine there's many people that don't care for her work.

As for the Evans/Lange photos vs. the Woodman pictures - I think it's worth considering the emotional response each image may or may not engage. Also the framework in which each of these images was made is an interesting point. The Evans/Lange pictures are government sponsored documentary while Woodmans is more like a private diary of someone a few decades later. Quite different.

That sounds really dry and right now I can't really get all into this, but I must say I think we're on the edge of a very good conversation. Perhaps another time we can deconstruct your velvet Mexican Elvis.
posted by dog food sugar at 8:33 AM on September 17, 2006


I just want to say that the makeup sex was great.
posted by scrump at 11:17 PM on September 17, 2006


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