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Week 10-11: Criticality

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

During this week we were supposed to research other practitioners’ views on the genre of our photography practice.

For me it was nude photography (mainly focused on self-portraits) and these are views of some of the artists I look up to.

On self-portraiture:

Arno Rafael Minkkinen:

Many of my photographs are difficult to make. Some can even be dangerous. I do not want to have someone else coming in harm’s way taking the risks I need to take: to lean out off a cliff or stay underwater for the sake of my picture. We control how much pain we can tolerate; such information is unknowable by anyone else. Some of my pictures might look simple, but in reality they can test the limits of what a human body is capable of or willing to risk. Thus I title them self-portraits, so the viewer knows who is in the picture and who took it.

Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Stranda, Norway, 2006 Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Ismo's Stick, Fosters Pond, 1993

Polly Penrose:

A lot of nudes of women are taken by men or a female photographer. It’s a conversation between two people it’s someone taking a photo of someone else. And you react to people, whereas I have no one to react to. I react to the space and I kind of forget that the camera is there.

Polly Penrose, 2015, I Was Never Good at Yoga, Exercise Balls Polly Penrose, 2018, The Reeds, Parcel Bows II Suffolk,

Viki Kollerova: Self-portraiture practised in such an extended way as I do, brings questions of selfishness, troubled ego or exaggerated self-centredness. My catholic upbringing raised a rather sensitive conscience and I often ask myself whether it is right to do work which is focused so exclusively on me.

Viki Kollerova, Untitled

Laurence Demaison:

It completely changed the direction of my work since I hated my work my body. What to do? I made up my mind to camouflage it as much as possible and to reconstruct it to make it more acceptable to me; to make something ‘beautiful’ out of something ‘ugly’ in some way.

Laurence Demaison, 1995, Personne Laurence Demaison, 2009, Puzzle

On nudity:

Arno Rafael Minkkinen:

I don’t want to be seen as a nudist. But there is something about how close you get to the act of creation by walking around by yourself in some stretch of forest in Finland, with nothing on, looking for a photograph, climbing rocks and moving around like a monkey. Bared assed and just digging your toes into the soft earth, you really feel like you’ve been created.

There is no age to the picture when it is just the landscape and the body. They could be reality from 1305 because of the nudity.

Polly Penrose:

We are so embroiled in highly sexualised pictures! We are blind to it now so that almost now a pure picture like mine is somehow quite shocking because it’s really honest.

Thomas Holm:

Nudity is natural to children but we as a society impose on out young that it is not right once they grow up. Many people in today’s society are alienated from nudity and impose a sexual meaning to it, perhaps because they are only exposed to nudity in pornographic images. But nudity is not inherently sexual, it’s how we were born, and we sexualize nudity by making it a taboo.

Thomas Holm, Untitled

Klaus Kampert:

By picturing nakedness in an image, it is to reveal mind and emotion, not only showing the body as such. I am not interested in showing beauty as an outward phenomenon. Rather I would like to present the human being as a whole. Body and mind united.

Klaus Kampert, Water Creatures

Ren Hang:

I do not think nudity is challenging – nudity is common, everybody has it. I like people naked and I like sex; I use nudity so that I can feel more realism and sense of presence.

Ren Hang, p. 01, image courtesy of TASCHEN

Ren Hang, 2016, Untitled



Minkkinen, Arno Rafael, and Christopher Jobson. “Photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen Seamlessly Integrates His Body with the Natural World.” Colossal,

11 May 2018,

Penrose: Penrose, Polly and Ashleigh Kane,. “How to Photograph Yourself Naked.” Dazed,

7 Apr. 2016,


Kollerova, Viki and Pommer, Marcel, On Not Being There - Interviewing Viktória Kollerová. 11 July 2016,


Demaison, Laurence. “Laurence Demaison., ", Surrealism Photography, Dark Photography, Digital Portrait.” Pinterest,



Holm, Thomas. “” What | | Thomas Holm,


Kampert, Klaus. “KK_Artistics.Com-SD.” Klaus Kampert Fotografie,


Hang, Ren, and N. E. O. Bernhardsson. “In Conversation with Ren Hang.” Medium, Vantage,

30 Jan. 2017,

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