Every human body has its optimum weight and contour, which only health and efficiency can establish. Whenever we treat women's bodies as aesthetic objects without function we deform them – Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch
We objectify each other.
We judge on appearance, on styles of dress or speech. On the way that someone’s hair is done or the size of their body, or their breasts, or their muscles. On the cut of their suit or the aftershave they wear.
We are all people, yet we do not see each other: just objects moving through our space.
subject | object is a photographic art project that aims to explore our perception of people, and the way we objectify those we've never even met.
Each subject is photographed twice for the project: A head-and-shoulders portrait (“object”) and a full-figure nude (“subject”). The two images will never be displayed together; there is no link between the “object” and the “subject”.
With the “subject” are displayed the subject’s details: their name (or pseudonym), age, profession, and their thoughts on the objectification of people in the modern world.
The “object” images are displayed alone, to allow viewers to have their own thoughts on the person in front of them
[The] asymmetry in sexual education maintains men's power in the myth: They look at women's bodies, evaluate, move on; their own bodies are not looked at, evaluated, and taken or passed over. But there is no "rock called gender" responsible for that; it can change so that real mutuality--an equal gaze, equal vulnerability, equal desire--brings heterosexual men and women together. – Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth
I'm Graham Binns: a visual artist, photographer, poet and writer from Manchester, England.
Having worked with fashion models, bands, corporate clients and artists' models, I became fascinated with the question of how we objectify each other in day-to-day life.
The idea for subject | object came about when I was considering branching out into photographing nudes during 2015. I realised that my ideas about my own motivations were muddled by the messages that society and my peers send about making nude art, and, identifying as a feminist, I began to wonder whether I could make nude photographs of women without objectifying the models in front of my camera.
I agonised about this for some time: how could I be a feminist and also want to make art that feeds into the very objectification that people — especially women — experience on a day-to-day basis.
It was when someone mentioned to me that for some people, being photographed nude is not objectifying but empowering, and that it is possible for photographs of nudes to be part of a healing process for people who struggle with negative self-image, that I decided that I had something I wanted to say on the subject of objectification, and of the nude in art.
You can find my blog and other photographic work at grahambinns.com.