Josh Mond’s video for Mayday Parade’s “Kids in love”

Posted in caught by juliobesq on August 11, 2012

I saw a still from the video float by my monitor recently and a little reverse image searching from Tineye led me to Josh Mond’s video for Mayday Parade’s “Kids in love”. It’s two years old but appears to be relatively unknown. Musically it’s American trash pop. But that’s not why I’m posting it, if you don’t like this genre I suggest putting on a favourite tune before hitting play. The visuals aren’t synced or relevant to the tune’s structure. The director it seems, took the songs title and used that as his starting point for the storyboard.

So why am I posting it? I make no bones about being a huge admirer of Ryan McGinley. Quite simply my favourite artist photographer. And it appears that he is admired by Josh Mond too. For the brief could have been written “…make me a video inspired by ‘I know where the summer goes’…”. You could argue it’s derivative but McGinley hasn’t made films, and Mond made Martha Marcy May Marlene (my favourite film poster of last year) so let’s just agree it’s a pretty fabulous ride whatever the inspiration.

For the record I play Big Deal’s cover of Alex Chilton’s 13 as an alternative soundtrack. Something about the clash in pace and ensuing loss of innocence adds a little pathos. But then I’m a soppy git.

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Posted in caught by juliobesq on February 20, 2012

Self portrait by Aliaa Magda Elmahdy

On Sunday, October 23rd of last year Egyptian activist and blogger Aliaa Elmahdy posted a nude self portrait in protest of the repression of women within her society. While we may moan about Facebook censoring images with nipples her action has prompted death threats. Her action was undertaken solely by herself using a timer on her camera, and the photo published in her personal blog space – rather than a social media group where unsuspecting eyes could stumble upon it. A woman’s body is hers to show as she wants. Her blog carries an adult material warning so you would really feel the need to be offended if you clicked past that.

Her act is a gesture for personal freedom, Aliaa is on record saying “Women under Islam will always be objects to use at home. The (sexism) against women in Egypt is unreal, but I am not going anywhere and will battle it ’til the end. Many women wear the veil just to escape the harassment and be able to walk the streets. I hate how society labels gays and lesbians as abnormal people. Different is not abnormal!”.

What I find particularly galling is that liberal parties in Egypt have also criticised her action. It seems they are worried that her nudity will prove the hard line religious groups right. One side says you can’t do it while the opposition says you shouldn’t because it distracts from their message of liberation. It seems both sides believe that political power should come at the cost of personal freedom.

Aliaa’s original post

CNN interview

Israeli news site on the aftermath,7340,L-4149840,00.html

…which has this snippet “Women rights activist Nehad Abou el-Qomsan said conservatives ‘keep adding layers to cover up the women and deny their existence.’ But, she said, what Elmahdy did ‘is also rejected because posing nude is a form of body abuse’”. How not doing anything to your body but letting it be as it was when you were born constitutes abuse is beyond my deductive reasoning.

Aliaa’s Twitter!/@aliaaelmahdy

Thanks to Ben Hopper for alerting me to this

“What’s wrong with being on the other side of the camera?”

Posted in sought, thought by juliobesq on September 23, 2011

Publicity still for Flashing Bodies action #8. Photography by Pau Ros

There is that running joke said whenever someone introduces themselves with “I’m a nude photographer” but whenever I meet someone who does art nudes I find myself prone to ask “Would you pose nude?”.

(By the way I don’t take art nudes – I take photographs of naked people). Terry Richardson perhaps a little too famously, Helmut Newton yes, that’s about all I can think of. There are of course quite a few women photographers who have appeared nude, the majority of which has migrated from modeling to directing.

“What’s wrong with being on the other side of the camera?” asks Betty Schaefer of Joe Gillis in “Sunset Boulevard”.

It’s occurred to me that you shouldn’t ask others to do what you’re not willing to do oneself. The aforementioned
two ducked the issue slightly by doing a self-portrait: where one is in control of the environment and perhaps more crucially of the choice and production of the released image. To truly go the other side of the camera means being a model for another photographer.

Pau Ros is one half of Completely Naked, a naked performance troupe who recently staged their action #8 in Portugal. Publicity material was needed as part of the run up to the event. It seemed only fair that I should put myself where others tread on my behalf. To be shot naked where I had no jurisdiction over the final image.

To be honest I had posed for them before as a “moral experiment” to put myself on the far side of the lens but didn’t propagate the fact. Which on reflection seems only half the process. The other is a willing public dissemination; releasing the nudity.

The curious can see more from the shoot by repeatedly reloading the event page and the truly adventurous can view the material from the public intervention action #7 I first participated in at the Elephant and Castle. Those familiar with my work may recognise a few faces (or other parts).

Publicity still for Flashing Bodies action #8. Photography by Pau Ros

Blondiraq shows off my nipples

Posted in caught, wrought by juliobesq on August 11, 2011

Blondiraq models my nipple badges

Blondiraq runs an extremely good tumblr/blog… not sure what to call a posterous: is it a tumblr? Like a ballpoint pen being a biro, or a Dyson being a hoover. I digress.

Blondiraq runs an extremely good tumblr covering nudity in the arts, and sometimes nudity not in the arts. Recently she’s become a photographer herself as well. Which is handy in my case since she’s kindly sent me a photograph of my nipple badges on their new home, and very much at home they look.

Thank you Ms B.

Abîme by Blondiraq

Abîme by Blondiraq, more of her work available on her tumblr, although if it continues to be as good as this I think a dedicated site would be in order.

American Able by Holly Norris

Posted in caught by juliobesq on June 6, 2011

American Able by Holly Norris and Jes Sachse

Not much to say, other than to say fantastic, on many many levels. Rather than whitter on here’s what Holly Norris says about the project…

“American Able” intends to, through spoof, reveal the ways in which women with disabilities are made invisible in advertising and mass media. I chose American Apparel not just for their notable style, but also for their claims that many of their models are just ‘every day’ women who are employees, friends and fans of the company. However, these women fit particular body types. Their campaigns are highly sexualized and feature women who are generally thin, and who appear to be able-bodied. Women with disabilities go unrepresented, not only in American Apparel advertising, but also in most of popular culture. Rarely, if ever, are women with disabilities portrayed in anything other than an asexual manner, for ‘disabled’ bodies are largely perceived as ‘undesirable.’ In a society where sexuality is created and performed over and over within popular culture, the invisibility of women with disabilities in many ways denies their sexuality, particularly within a public context.

Too often, the pervasive influence of imagery in mass media goes unexamined, consumed en masse by the public. However, this imagery has real, oppressive effects on people who are continuously ‘othered’ by society. The model, Jes Sachse, and I intend to reveal these stories by placing her in a position where women with disabilities are typically excluded.

Lots more at

Alerted by Hurricane Vanessa

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