We are actively encouraged to look for ways of gaining maximum exposure for our work so I am looking at competitions to submit my Concupiscence project. However I keep coming across caveats such as the following from the Paris Photo Carte Blanche competition –
“-no defamatory, offensive, pornographic, racist, obscene content, content or purpose that contradicts or circumvents the law, or contravenes proper morals.”
So if I were to enter this or other similar awards I am left with a tough choice. Do I censor my work (either through image selection or blurring / pixilation) or do I chance my luck and potentially waste the entry fee with work that may be deemed inappropriate. My work is designed to raise questions and be deliberately provocative – not quite to the extent that compares with Robert Mapplethorpe, but still to debate why the naked male is still seen as a taboo subject. Of course this means actually exposing the naked male in my work. The majority of images for this project are not actual nudes…it is implicit rather than explicit. Although there are a very few that show the male in a proud state. Part of my intent is to question why we still find it acceptable to ‘use’ the nude female form to sell products, while the naked male has the potential to lead to legal action. In this digital age where we are beginning to see the results of the fashion media’s reliance of ultra-slim models (anorexia, bulimia, body-dysmorphia etc) – I would argue that these double standards is another form of body-shaming. The nude female is perfectly acceptable in fashion magazines but the naked male is still considered something dirty and offensive.
So this leaves me in a quandary as to which images to submit for the awards. I suspect I will err on the side of caution even if this means diluting the message of my work.