Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Nude Beach

Nude Beach

Nude Beach (1999)

European Nude or American Naked? It's in that tricky beholder's eye. I mean, are you Fun or Fundie?

From Susan Frei's BAJA Nude Beach:

You see, in Europe when they say "nude" they think of artworks in the Louvre, Degas, Michelangelo. They think of Greek sculpture; of the David. The word "nude" in the USA means a centerfold in Playboy or Penthouse.

Even in Asia they have a much clearer understanding of the distinction between the artistic nude and pornography. Sacred spaces throughout Asia are illustrated with Gods copulating and creating life; the life force is what they are depicting. In the USA, the whole concept of morality was founded by Puritans. They got off the Mayflower and never walked very far from Plymouth Rock. Our psyche is still tied to this mode of puritanical thinking. I would love to see this change, but it won't happen in our life time.

The USA seems to be plagued by a disproportionate number of demonizers that find no other engagement between TGIF and Monday Nite Footsieball, so they venture to masturbate in frontof their iMacs to the theme of superputas and pseudo lesbos, but when they hit upon a "family nude beach" they shudder in awe, because naked people in nature are "evil" and unless a woman has a huge cucumber shoved up her anus while sucking the silicon enhanced genitals of queer weekend bikers, -- well "naked people in nature" MUST BE BANNED IN THE USA.

Breaking the link between nudity and sexuality often opens an entirely new dimension of body and self-acceptance. For most people it's an exhilarating realization of physical and spiritual freedom.

So ciao for now, Amigos! - George "Mad Magazine" Bush ordered the Baja Nude Beach bombed! We're regrouping ;-)

Creative uses for cucumbers aside, and not that I'd put anything morality-pandering past the current White House culture-of-lifeguards, I still wondered what BushCo did to "bomb the beach." So I did a Google search on BAJA NUDE BEACH BUSH. No skullduggery info was unburied, but I'll leave it to your imagination as to what other hits popped out of their tops.

Why are all the tourists screaming and fleeing, Madge?

"We are not naked for the pictures, we are naked for the summer, and because we are alive."
--An unnamed model quoted in a collection of photographs by Jock Sturges
[Drawing by Kurt Vonnegut]

I'm still having a beach blanket bingo moment and kicking sand in the face of that naked vs. nude bully. So, let's turn to a source rarely given a voice on this blog -- the art critic. From artnet, here's a snippet of Donald Kuspit's "The Troubling Nude":

In modern art, the distinction between naked and nude has lost the weight it had back when representing the body was a moral act: the transcendentalized nude, with its perfect body, was a symbol of goodness and beauty -- ideals to be striven for -- while the realistically naked body, with all its blemishes, imperfections and grossness, was inherently immoral -- the ugly body of the fallen, sinful Adam or Eve, the antithesis of the saved soul rising to heaven.

The problem embodied in the traditional tension between nakedness and nudity was the mystery of the transformation of the one into the other, which was a religious mystery, for the metamorphosis of the profane into the sacred was a miraculous conversion. One could change one's wretched, hideous body -- like that of the crucified Christ in Grünewald's Isenheim Altar -- to a luminous, immaterial, sublime body -- like that of the resurrected Christ Grünewald also depicts -- by a revelatory leap of faith. It is this basic spiritual change that is embodied in the difference between nakedness and nudity: the naked body conveys the state of the soul before the change, the nude body conveys its condition afterward.

Got your reptile brain wrapped around that naked/nude dichotomy now? Let's review:

Okay. Somebody point out the naked guy...

Before: Naked
[Isenheim Altar: Crucifixion (1510-1515) by Matthias Grünewald]

You could even say it glows...

After: Nude
[Isenheim Altar: Resurrection (1510-1515) by Matthias Grünewald]

Naked body bad. Nude soul good. Stuff them doctrines up your turkey's cavity this Thanksgiving.

From cucumbers to crucifixions, Blog with a View has got it going on...

...or, then again, this could be just another post that tracks sand all over your condo's carpet.


Neil Shakespeare said...

So THAT'S the difference! I love Lucas Cranach the elder. He's my hero in "Erotic Lutheran Art". He was very successful doing his altarpieces and such, but the big money came into his studio from his nudes. He had the equivalent of a 'factory' of the day, with his assistants turning nudes out by the ton for his disriminating Lutheran customers.

"I'll take one of those landscapes and um...a couple of those nudes there...for the wife...but don't tell her cuz it's a surprise.

catnapping said...

ah...so one functions nekkid, and poses nude.

honesty v. guile....


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