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Bound: A Photography Exhibit

 
Bound: by Justin Sinks

Justin Sinks’ latest project was 2 years in the making. Bound is a study of shadow and contrast. He chose bondage because of the beauty and the juxtaposition of tough, fibrous ropes tight against smooth, fragile skin. He used black and white to enhance lines and patterns of rope created against the human body and to eliminate distractions present in color images. Please note this exhibit does contain material some might find objectionable and may not be suited for a younger audience.

The Duluth Photography Institute will be having a free public reception of these images at the DPI facility, 405 E. Superior St., Duluth on Friday, July 1 from 5-8 pm. This event is free and open to the public. Snacks and refreshments will be served.

For more information on Sinks, go to his Facebook page. For more information about the DPI project and to become a member, please visit duluthphotographyinstitute.com or call Brian at 218-393-2468.

42 Comments

Carla

about 8 years ago

"go to his Facebook page:"
Went there -
saw this: 
7,105,580 people like this
B&D is bigger than I thought....

Claire

about 8 years ago

Justin, I'd have a problem with it if all the images are of bound women, like the one above. I know it's all about the contrast between rope and human skin, not about subjugating women. Fair enough. But are some of the images those of bound males?

B-man

about 8 years ago

@ Claire
this is art, not a public policy.  If you would like to see pics of bound men ask a friend to be your model and buy some rope.  'til then "cool it man."

Justin

about 8 years ago

@Claire
Actually I had a lot of male interest in it but none will be shown at this show.  This is an ongoing project so I'd bet $100 that there will be some males in the near future...  And when they are printed I'll expect to see you at the front of the line :)

Brian R

about 8 years ago

Allow me to chime in as well. I am the founder of the DPI (where the exhibit will be held) and I have seen many of the images that will be presented. None of what I have seen even hints to me of any abuse nor compromising situations toward the models (who all volunteered their time toward the project, from what I understand.) I invite anyone with any reservations about the subject material to come down on Friday's opening or other DPI hours (including Saturday from 11-6) to see, interpret for themselves, and discuss the work on display. Thank you!

Bad Cat!

about 8 years ago

Claire isn't saying "holy crapz this event iz anti-womanz!", she's expressing her opinion on the matter. (and even if she was saying that, it is *her opinion* and still valid)
Enough with the group-think negative responses to a simple inquiry - let Claire have her opinion on the subject!

Danny G

about 8 years ago

I think the "...have a problem with it..." line is probably what caused the reaction, but you know what?  You're right.  I retract my previous "+" and resubmit it to Bad Cat!

Claire

about 8 years ago

Danny we all know what, or rather, *who*, caused your reaction. 

Thank you, Bad Cat! for being the grown up in the room.

B-man

about 8 years ago

"Justin, I'd have a problem with it if" then add in what ever YOUR "problems" are?  

this is not an evaluation of work.  This is a promotional message asking people who may be interested to stop in and check it out.

maybe we should all go onto local band sites and complain that they only sing songs about _____ and we have a problem with them because they do not sing about _________

not trying to troll, just pointing out that personal issues with the representation of gender in society is not what the event is focused on.

Admackbar

about 8 years ago

God love you and keep you safe, B-man.

Bad Cat!

about 8 years ago

WTF? When did I become the grown up in the room? ;)

Seriously though, feminism, women's rights, gender equality (or what have you) sometimes have issues when it comes to sexuality, especially when you add dominance/subservience/restraints to the issue.
Personally, I have absolutely zero problems with seeing someone tied up all sexy, but I respect the opinion of those who don't share my opinion.
Like any interesting art, this subject matter should challenge and confront the viewer and provoke a response. Also, like any interesting art, each person will respond in their own way, depending on their personal beliefs, values, experiences, etc. Along with liking a particular art piece or theme, not liking it is also an appropriate response to art.
Claire did not say the art was inappropriate, she did not say it was offensive, she did not say that it was not art, she did not say it was anti-woman. She just said "I'm not sure how I feel about this? Is there gender-equity in the subject matter? This might make me feel more positive." Just because you appreciate it, please do not be so dismissive of those who do not share your opinion.

Admackbar

about 8 years ago

So she can have an opinion, but the rest of us shouldn't have an opinion about her opinion?

Bad Cat!

about 8 years ago

No, everyone is entitled to an opinion, even opinions about opinions. However, there's a big difference between "I do not have the same opinion as you" and "Your opinion is wrong, please stop talking."

ruby2sd4y

about 8 years ago

Please to be letting us know when the photos of the male models come out *wink* I know some guys into this. These artists tie some amazing knots. So cool.

Claire

about 8 years ago

B-man, I think images of bound women most certainly should and will inspire discussion about the representation of gender in society, among other things. We all approach art in different ways, coming at it with our unique histories, experiences. and personal issues. And, yes, our gender inevitably comes into play in our responses. For you to insist that people look at art without reflecting upon what it means on a personal level or in a larger context, I think, is ridiculous. You're missing much of what art is about.

I also find it interesting, B-Man, and think it's because of your own personal issues, that you objected to my asking an opinionated question about the art. You wrote, "This is not an evaluation of work. This is a promotional message asking people who may be interested to stop in and check it out." Yet, people give their opinions all the time on PDD threads promoting events. I don't hear you scolding them. Or maybe you do, I haven't noticed it.

For instance, on another recent thread, a schedule of musical events at Chester Bowl was posted. Someone --Zra -- criticized the musical offerings, and someone else then posted there isn't enough going on at Chester Bowl. Yet you remain silent on that thread, which was a promotion of events going on at Chester Bowl; the creator of that thread was not asking for people's input about the music or the schedule in general. Yet people offered their opinions.

So, B-Man, were you just trolling after me, or did you have a problem with me asking an opinionated question because I'm a woman? Would you have responded if it'd been a male asking the same question, using the same wording I used? Or, is it just because women and bondage in art is controversial and, as Bad Cat! suggested, that I violated some unspoken rule about unquestioningly going along with the group by asking a question in such a way as to make my opinions clear?

I actually am going to check out this exhibit. I am always one for controversial and provocative art that makes me think. And I look forward to having **intelligent discussions** about it with others who are approaching it from their own perspectives and don't have a problem with people whose opinions differ from theirs.

Danny G

about 8 years ago

I've changed my mind again.  My +1 now goes back to B-man.

Brian R

about 8 years ago

Gotta love the 'net! :)

See you at the show, Claire, et al.

B-man

about 8 years ago

@ Claire
The tone of your original post was read (by me) as scolding Justin if he did not include pics of males as well as females, by you indicating you have a problem with it.  No, you did not specify the problem but it seems pretty clear that is the objectification of women that you were referring to.  Again I'm not trying to tell you what to think I'm just saying let the guy have his show without all the nitpicking about content.

As far as the music at Chester Bowl, the comments were about the style of music, or personal liking of the music offered not a social condemnation of the event.  If someone would have commented that "these bands only play songs about white people" and "I have a problem with that" I would have commented on that too. If you had stated "I'm not into pictures and I think this is dumb" I would have remained silent on this topic too.  Let's keep apples to apples here please.

I understand the importance of gender equality and have been working in social services for the past 10 years as a counselor/ case manager/ mentor to help the cause.  Your playing of the gender card is pretty weak "because I'm a woman?" and yes I would have responded to a male asking the same question.

To summarize my original point, this is a photo exhibit, not advertising, not public money spent on decoration.  Your implication that this artist is somehow "a problem" is the point I have issue with.  See you at the exhibit.

Happy birthday America!

Claire

about 8 years ago

God bless America for letting us express our opinions. 

Thanks for your clarifications, B-Man. Glad you say you would have responded to my question the same way if it were coming from someone who was male. 

I have to add, if Justin (or any artist) is going to put his art out there, especially when it is bound to elicit some strong responses, I think he can handle people "nitpicking" about content. Otherwise, he'd be playing it safe and photographing bunny rabbits or kittens and hanging the photos up in his bathroom.

Danny G

about 8 years ago

Would those bunny rabbits and kittens be tied up too?  If so, then count me in.  Hot.

Bad Cat!

about 8 years ago

The devious part of me wants to open Photoshop and make that happen. :p

Claire

about 8 years ago

Bad Cat! You remind me of a friend of mine who parodied another artist's work. 

A local nature photographer published a book of photographs taken on the north shore of Lake Superior of a naked woman in all sorts of poses on the rocks with the Lake as a backdrop.  Pretty provocative stuff. As an aside, the photographer's wife at the time, who was back in Duluth, but receiving the photos from her husband who was camping up north with the model during the shoots, told a friend she knew when her husband and the model became lovers, just from looking at the photos.

Anyway, to make a long story short, my friend took arty photographs of a naked Barbie doll sprawled in all sorts of poses on the rocks of Brighton Beach. She even had an exhibit of the photos she took, and called it "Brighton Beach Barbie."

It was hilarious! But the photographer and his naked model, who were married by then, were not amused.

Brian R

about 8 years ago

@ Claire

I am curious to which photographer you are referring, because it sounds a lot like a regionally famous one who did his book project AFTER his wife died. In this case, the model and the photographer got married soon after the project, but were not involved before or during it. I do not recall any other book projects of similar nature from any local nature photographers.

girlfromnorthcountry

about 8 years ago

This promises to be an intriguing show!  Justin is a very talented photographer.  I will definitely be there.  If it doesn't appeal to you, then don't go.  Problem solved.

Claire

about 8 years ago

Brian R: We can discuss at the show.

Justin

about 8 years ago

Kitty and puppy bondage should be my next show ... HAHA.  

Thanks everyone, I'm actually glad my image and title has started a dialog.  Not exactly what I was expecting but it works.  

Claire, I look forward to talking to you at the show.  I know what your thoughts are before, so I would like to get your thoughts after.  I'm not going to give away anything here, but I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  If not I will buy you a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. 

As for the subject of most comments, I just want to say that A: I expect people to say what Claire said (actually I expect a lot worse) and B: I can take it.  Want to know more?  Come and ask me tomorrow.

Danny G

about 8 years ago

If I show up and say that I didn't like it can I get a free beer?

Justin

about 8 years ago

I will get you one too ;)  FYI the beer and wine are free for anyone that looks at my work.  You have to really look though.  I will be testing you.

Claire

about 8 years ago

Justin, I appreciate that you and Brian R understand that someone asking questions or raising concerns in response to art is a good thing, and doesn't mean that person wants to censor you or shut down the exhibit. I do hope that your show sparks a lively and unfettered conversation -- which is as it should be.

Nathan

about 8 years ago

I was reading this thread today and have to say: B-Man was completely out of line for attacking Claire for asking a question. And he's a social worker/counselor/caseworker? I feel sorry for his clients if he treats them with the same attitude. B-Man, this is a blog. If Brian R didn't want people commenting on this thread he would have disabled the comments. Claire was entirely within her rights to ask what I considered to be a thoughtful question. Next time you jump on someone, ask yourself: am I being a troll? I'd be interested to see if you can man up and apologize, but I doubt it.

adam

about 8 years ago

Welcome to the internets.

Claire

about 8 years ago

Thanks for your support. Nathan. I'm used to getting jumped on for not being Minnesota Nice .Doesn't faze me. My report on the exhibit will be posted tomorrow.

ruby2sd4y

about 8 years ago

Too funny Nathan: I've just commented of similar sentiment on another post.

Kudos!

Claire

about 8 years ago

So I checked out the "Bound" exhibit at the show's opening reception yesterday. I also met DPI's founder, Brian, and the artist, Justin. The photographs -- about 30 of them -- are indeed compelling. Two, especially, drew me in... the image of the bound woman with the glorious cascade of hair filling the frame and the first image you see when you enter the space, that of a bound woman, her eyes closed in ecstasy. 

I was impressed, I thought Justin photographing his models in black & white was a brilliant decision, the play of light and shadow did, as he claimed previously, enhance the contrast between the rope and the skin. And it's obvious to the viewer that such was indeed his intent. Beautifully done, Justin!

And, of course, as I predicted, I had some interesting conversations with other attendees (and as Mr Claire predicted, no trolls showed up), including a debate over whether the photos are sexual or not. I guess it comes down to what one's definition of "sexual" is, right, Brian? 

I *highly* recommend that PDDers check out this show -- and check out DPI. The other images on display were also memorable -- though not as provocative as the "Bound" exhibit. I hope DPI continues to push the envelope with other such shows, I think Duluth can handle it, even if the conversation isn't always "Minnesota Nice."

Brian R

about 8 years ago

Agreed. And the definition of "sexual" boils down to whether or not the image invokes ideas of sexual acts, or just has roots in human sexuality. One can claim that the reason that the "S" curve is so appealing as an artistic element is that it began in the 1200s and before as male artist's attraction to the female body. To me, the Bound exhibit does not create a sexual impression, as some of the more typical "erotica" can.

Claire

about 8 years ago

Definitely, Brian. Joel was saying afterwards that he and I were defining "sexual" as "erotic." I do insist, though, that while not all of the images are sexual or erotic, more than a few of them are, especially the two I referenced above: the woman with the cascade of hair and the woman with her eyes closed. 

The image of a woman's large breasts bulging over the ropes binding them was definitely not erotic, however -- although it too is an especially compelling image.

B-man

about 8 years ago

@ Nathan- thanks for telling me my opinion is wrong and yours is right.  

I'm all good to get on with life now.

@ the OP-I will get to see your show this week.

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