May 12, 2018

Rita Renoir - From striptease to fembodactivism

This post is about Rita Renoir. Weird life path this woman had. Unusual and finally perfect to deserve a cult following. Born in 1934, she was one of the first and most famous French stripper. She was a vedette in the Crazy Horse Saloon revue and was called the "tragedian of striptease" in the 50's. Below an extract of a movie (in 1963) where she shows how she stripped. You sure haven't seen a more erotic strip tease in your life. She's like a flame (not far to be an anagram of female) dancing in the middle of embers (male members). Or, using another metaphor, she's the wild animal surrounded by fascinated males, she's the hunter, they're the preys that imagine they're the hunters (like the song "The hunter gets captured by the game"). I add another strip from a previous episode of this series ("The Cage"). Once again, the thema of the female shown like a wild animal (here in cage) is at the center of the scenario. Then she became an actress in several more or less known films and played with Michel Simon a René de Obaldia play, but the most important is that afterward, she became one of the first fembodactivist (according to this word I created some years ago, here are the 17 previous female performers I have included in this category) with a "play" that was more a performance than a traditional play, and where, among other things, she exposed her open sex to the audience. Yes, many years before Annie Sprinkle, and for some similar reasons, except maybe Rita Renoir was much more in a mystic and poetic approach of the fascination that the female body exerts on males, than in the psycho-social and rationalized approach of the late century feminism. Here you can read an interesting text about one performance (in French) and the intense and even violent reactions it could trigger (two males from the audience walked on stage, undressed and threatened to rape her). This was in 1973 and until her death, 2 years ago, she won't have, to my knowledge, many activities on the movie, theater or performance plans. She had really something special as, even sparse and of uneven quality, the above pictures attest. She was not made for these times as sung the Brian Wilson in his eponymous song and she is one of these human beings that can be understood more easily in the future than in her present. Some days ago, Christophe Bier, the French writer, gave a talk about her at the Pompidou Center. It's a way to give some worldwide echo to this hommage. Here I only post pictures I found on the net but there's surely more. It's a modest way to make her name and body alive on the web.

May 1, 2018

Philip LoPresti -Various works

Philip LoPresti lives in New York and is not only a photographer but also a writer. He published two books, one being nicely entitled "Haunted fucking". His world is really fucking haunted and these two words summarize perfectly his universe. There's violence and blasphemy, nightmarish visions, death obsession and sex, in summary all that makes art interesting. You can find his deviantArt gallery here

April 22, 2018

Projet Dedale - Various

Amateur photographic projects with husbands taking explicit sexual pictures of their wives are innumerable but few are of significant visual interest. This is one of them. From a French couple apparently, these pictures are posted on tumblr with the following short statement: "Photographic project of a couple exploring the labyrinths of the underground, erotic art , pornographic, unusual universes". Actually, the project can be separated in 3 series: outdoor exhibitions of her, her having sex with various partners, her in the couple intimacy. Most are in black and white. I selected the ones that I find the closest of what a 100% artistic project could be. But here, there's a sexual project too: exhibiting his wife, sharing her, documenting private scenes and giving them to watch to everyone. Don't know where this project will go (it's a rather new one) but deserves to be followed. Here the blog. 

April 15, 2018

Jose Vital - Raf and Liane

Some months ago (last October) I did a post about this photographer, that I supposed to be French but maybe he's from Portugal, no matter anyway. Among his prolific work (with a reduced selection in the above post), most of it with Raf as the model, he provided this unusual series shot with an elderly, maybe his or Raf's mum, maybe not, I didn't find any caption or statement about this series. I really find it fascinating, moving and semantically rich. On the status of the body first (interestingly the naked model, Raf, is not a barbie-like girl or a truck-driver cabin pin-up like neither, but an androgyn woman in her forties) but also on the confrontation of two totally opposed world unlikely meeting by the mediation of a photo-shooting. Note that actually, it's the naked model's world who makes an intrusion in the elderly one, giving the scene a provocative dimension. Note too that the two women do not seem to share anything, like if they were stucked in their closed attitude, Raf being a little bit more in interrelation than Liane. A strong series for sure. The complete series can be seen on Raf's blog here. Jose Vital's site there

April 7, 2018

Féebrile - Various works

Third post about this great French photographer I had the chance to meet recently and who is as nice to talk with than she is talented. The last post about her work was 3 years ago and it's time to make a little booster as we have to do for vaccination. Her imaginary world is full of fear, sensuality, mystery and fantasy, and she would have been perfect as a decorator and director of photography for  Murnau or Lang in their expressionist period. Here I did a selection from various series ("Self-portraits", "Distorsion, "Les petites", "Printemps noir") but I think they work well together. You can see the variety of her styles and maybe, who knows, buy one of pic here. Her site there and her deviantArt gallery here