January 19, 2017

"One of the most beautiful photographs I know of is an image of a woman standing in the doorway of a barn, backlit in a sheer nightgown..."

"... peeing on the floorboards beneath her. It was taken in Danville, Virginia, in 1971, by the photographer Emmet Gowin, and the woman in question is his wife, Edith. The picture is so piercingly intimate that I find it difficult even to look at it. This is not because I feel as if I am intruding, or being shown something that I was not meant to see, but simply because it seems to hover too close to the vital force of human connection. It is too poignant, too alive. Rather than merely avoiding clichés—about love and intimacy, artist and muse, public and private­—the picture seems to repel them, as an amulet repels evil spirits. Clichés are prophylactics against the complexity and intensity of direct experience, tools used to distance ourselves from reality, but this photograph brings love near enough that we can feel its hot breath..."

Writes Chris Wiley in The New Yorker. 

ADDED: Isn't it funny that the New Yorker is being so reverential and arty about this in the same week everyone's been talking about the fake news peeing story?

59 comments:

chuck said...

I knew a woman who, on a dare, peed on the stairs going to the second floor of a bar. Now that's art.

Mike Sylwester said...

The New Yorker has funny cartoons.

buwaya puti said...

There has never been such a blatant call to Laslo.

traditionalguy said...

The Shadow Govenment is Pissed off.

Brando said...

We'll have years of pee stories--maybe a nice change of pace to talk about something different. Like German porn. Or Japanese porn.

Something about dropping enough bombs on a country to turn them towards strange porn. Vietnam then should have weird stuff too.

Brando said...

"There has never been such a blatant call to Laslo."

Laslo's probably thinking "too easy..." He is a fisherman, and won't bother with guppies.

chickelit said...

Urinalism

Viking In Winter said...

This is a rather amateurish image. Lousy composition. Flat lighting. Low contrast. Are we supposed to be shocked? Fail... Girlfriend porn. Big deal.


Sydney said...

Agreed. Porn not art

Expat(ish) said...

Back in the day, I went to see Mapplethorpe in Cincy. Talented photog and printer, with a good eye. But aiming to shock in such a sophomoric way.

-XC

MackM said...

It's yet to be proven it's a "fake news story". The Golden Showers aspect of the dossier wasn't the worst aspect of it, there are far more damning things in that so called fake report. Time will tell if it's fake, or not. As for the lady peeing in the barn, did Obama and his wife sleep in that barn by any chance?

boycat said...

Whoever said women couldn't stand up and pee?

Curious George said...

"but simply because it seems to hover too close to the vital force of human connection. It is too poignant, too alive. Rather than merely avoiding clichés—about love and intimacy, artist and muse, public and private­—the picture seems to repel them, as an amulet repels evil spirits. Clichés are prophylactics against the complexity and intensity of direct experience, tools used to distance ourselves from reality, but this photograph brings love near enough that we can feel its hot breath..."

What a steaming pile. Which thankfully wasn't photographed next.

Sebastian said...

"Isn't it funny that the New Yorker is being so reverential" Yes and no. Like prog linguistics and ethics, prog esthetics is situational. If images can be used to harm cons, damn them; if images can be used to épater les bourgeois, praise them.

CJ said...

"The picture is so piercingly intimate that I find it difficult even to look at it."

If this is an honest statement then the author needs to seek psychiatric help. If this is an hyperbolic or exaggerated statement, then the author should stop degrading the English language, art, and human emotion by talking about it like this.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Was she ill? Who urinates on a wood floor? I can't believe I followed that link at work.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

A person could get a nasty splinter in the foot, or puncture from a rusty nail, walking around barefoot in a dusty barn like that.

robother said...

The (male) critic is missing the entire significance of the piece, treating the (male photographer's) photo as the work of art, no? In fact, the photo is merely the record of a female artist's performance art. The resulting puddle lacks the dramatic linear quality of my own efforts in this medium, but that itself is a comment (perhaps unintentional or ironic) on the muddled nature of the feminine mental state.

Anthony said...

Apropos of nothing in particular except vaguely related to the subject at hand, we have Heorodotus describing the manners and customs of Egypt:

"Men in Egypt carry loads on their heads, women on their shoulders; women pass water standing up, men sitting down. To ease themselves they go indoors, but eat outside in the streets, on the theory that what is unseemly but necessary should be done in private, and what is not unseemly should be done openly."

CStanley said...

Another ironically bad-timed statement in the article:
"In them, she exudes the constancy and majesty of a towering redwood."

Did the photographer's wife recently tip over too?

traditionalguy said...

What an interesting world of Trump. Unbelievably, the Clinton owned CNN just ran a piece promoting, theoretically, an assassination of Trump and Pence, before non tomorrow's swearing in, as the best way for people to Keep Obama in power. That was actually broadcast. The broadcast is proof that CNN is a Shadow Government Front organization issuing death threats to President Trump if he comes after them like JFK once promised to come after them.

I Callahan said...

Tags: aesthetics, photography, The New Yorker, urine

Now there is a combination of tags that you'd be hard pressed to ever repeat on the same post again...

Bob Boyd said...

Hippies.

LarsPorsena said...

Had an old girlfriend who would pee in the sink if she thought your commode wasn't clean enough. Was it art?

CStanley said...

Tradguy, you made me go look. Unbelievable!

Humperdink said...

When two female members of my family acquired horses, I was instructed to make the barn floor wooden as opposed to concrete. To save to horses hooves, you know. And it had to be white oak. The best wood to withstand a steady stream of horse urine.

Hope these folks took the necessary precautions.

roesch/voltaire said...

Until I see the tapes of the Russian pee, I can't comment on comparing one to the other.

MathMom said...

So, she's not housebroken? Like all that grass behind her, and she pees on the floor?

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger roesch/voltaire said...
Until I see the tapes of the Russian pee, I can't comment on comparing one to the other.

1/19/17, 1:10 PM
__________________________

LOL..;-)

rhhardin said...

A physicist sees she's tqking steps to avoid the fatal effects of surface tension.

Known Unknown said...

MackM is a typical PNA. Sad!

wendybar said...

Disgusting....but then it is the New Yorker!

Bob Boyd said...

She's peeing on the cheap-ass, POS, plastic-bead necklace he gave her for their anniversary.

n.n said...

Reductive photography is pornographic. No Judgment.

Jay Elink said...

When a feminista tells me she can do anything a man can do, I ask her to pee through a straw.

Brando said...

"When a feminista tells me she can do anything a man can do, I ask her to pee through a straw."

It's more fun to just tell them that childbirth doesn't look that hard, and you figure women complain about it because they're just whiners.

/Just make sure you say it outside of slapping distance.
//Because when women hit men it's funny but not the other way around.
///Equality

Curious George said...

"Humperdink said...
When two female members of my family acquired horses, I was instructed to make the barn floor wooden as opposed to concrete. To save to horses hooves, you know. And it had to be white oak. The best wood to withstand a steady stream of horse urine."

That's how fuming white oak with ammonia to give it a distinctive reddish brown coloration started...ammonia from horse urine in stables. The ammonia reacts with the tannin, which white oak has a lot of.

ddh said...

Jesus Christ.

Biotrekker said...

Shouldn't the writer of the article assume that the woman taking a dump would be even more "intimate" and "beautiful". If not, why not?

It's just a cry for attention.

Chris said...

Reminds me of the expression "cow pissing on a flat rock"

Big Mike said...

It looks like porn to me.

David said...

Piercingly intimate? It's staged and posed. Not intimate at all.

Peter Irons said...

I think the photograph is interesting. It is the New Yorker text that is pretentious and overwrought in its response to the image. The appeal of the picutre has a lot to do with her attractiveness and her spread legs.

David said...

LarsPorsena said...
Had an old girlfriend who would pee in the sink . . .


Another reason to favor younger girlfriends.

Martin said...

'The New Yorker' has really sunk to the level of garbage, hasn't it?

EDH said...

ADDED: Isn't it funny that the New Yorker is being so reverential and arty about this in the same week everyone's been talking about the fake news peeing story?

Or the same week that William Peter Blatty died?

Darrell said...

roesch/voltaire said...
Until I see the tapes of the Russian pee, I can't comment on comparing one to the other.


Exactly why the New Yorker came up with a pee story--to make you think that the Trump story is not only plausible, but true. R/V omits that the Trump story was a complete fabrication. The Left is all a bunch of liars deserving of what they will someday get.

rhhardin said...

"Concentration and projection are remarkably demonstrated by urination, one of the male anatomy's most efficient compartmentalizations. Freud thinks primitive man preened himself on his ability to put out a fire with a stream of urine. A strange thing to be proud of but certainly beyond the scope of woman, who sould scorch her hams in the process. Male urination really is a kind of accomplishment, an arc of transcendance. A woman merely waters the ground she stands on. Male urination is a form of commentary. It can be friendly when shared but is often aggressive, as in the defacement of public monuments by Sixties rock stars. To piss on is to criticize. John Wayne urinated on the shoes of a grouchy director in full fiew of cast and crew. This is one genre of self-expression women will never master.

- Sexual Personae

FullMoon said...

LarsPorsena said...
Had an old girlfriend who would pee in the sink . . .


Musta had some looonng legs?

Earnest Prole said...

The gloriously glowering Edith Gowin.

Paul said...

Strange.. so the say Pat Robertson's liking Melinda Trump's nude as 'art' was bad bad bad but this guy thinking peeing in a sheer nightgown as 'art' is good good good.

rhhardin said...

It might fit with "The Girl on the Train," a newly released DVD that may or may not have a plot, I can't say because I bailed out early waiting for it.

And I like Emily Blunt too. Live, Die, Repeat was good. A slight improvement would have been a noticeable realization of what must have happened at the end, instead of cutting away just before it.

Anyway peeing in a nightgown would fit right in with the new one.

CWJ said...

Chris Wiley. One more to add to my list of those so lacking motivation/meaning that they desperately look for something sufficiently provocative to break their boredom with life.

"Isn't it funny..." Yes.

CWJ said...

David @ 3:37,

Exactly.

Jake said...

The fuck?

JML said...

"Agreed. Porn not art"

And bad porn at that.

I can't help but think that If it was shot today, she would be bald...

Jeff Teal said...

Females have peed in front of me too but instead of impulse to photograph them for salacious purposes I had them trespassed from the property because decency
just like the men who pee in front of people too.

Bill said...

Last year I saw a video by the South African band, Die Antwoord, in which the lead 'singer' pees on a staircase. Call me prudish, but it's something I wouldn't mind unseeing.

jeff said...

She couldnt step outside to do that? Right on the floor?