Some Bowdoin students have anticipated the rising temperatures by shedding their winter layers to participate in "Exhibition: The Naked Art Show." The show is an annual event that lets student artists explore the diversity of the human body and use familiar Brunswick locations as the settings for their individual projects.
One of the artists and organizers of this years' show, Elsbeth Paige-Jeffers '10, used an interesting medium to examine the details of sex.
"I am contributing a sound installation titled 'Submersion/Submission' to the show," Paige-Jeffers said. "This piece deals with the aural and auditory associations we have with sex. I wanted to push my personal work past formal notions of the body and nudity and into a related field, namely sex. Thus I eliminated the visual element in my work."
Paige-Jeffers, along with head organizer Alanna Beroiza '09, pushed artists to test the boundaries of expression with their pieces more than in previous years, and hope to see positive responses from fellow students.
"For viewers of the show, we hope that simply seeing fellow students willing to ponder these issues, create art, expose themselves and their bodies, will encourage a dialogue and an increased comfort-level with all things fleshy and human," Paige-Jeffers said.
The 2008 naked art show featured mostly photography, but this year the artists are branching out into new mediums.
Kristina Dahmann '10 used her experience with art as a jumping-off point for her project.
"I have always done art and it was fabulous to be able to have the leeway and do a little of this and that—all of what I really wanted and missed doing," Dahmann said. "I used charcoal, oil pastels and other dry mediums on bright paper."
Artist Rosalind Worcester '11 was able to apply methods of photography learned in class to her interpretation of the show.
"In my photography class we saw some pictures that looked like they contained more than one photo but were printed together," said Worcester. "This technique, where you use more than one negative while printing, intrigued me because I liked the idea of using multiple pictures to make one picture that is comprehensive as a whole."
Worcester believes the show will have a positive impact on Bowdoin's campus.
"I've definitely been surprised by some people who signed up," she said. "I also have talked with several freshman who have never encountered this kind of school-funded nudity, but they seem nervous and excited to go to the show on Friday."
Bryant Johnson '11, another one of the featured artists in the show, has a theory about the fascination with nudity that inspires the naked art show year after year.
"These bodies are shocking," Johnson said. "They are the bodies of college students invested in the future, determined to shatter the social coordinates of the privileged class' modes of distinction in a highly choreographed way."
Taking a more philosophical approach, Johnson insists that the show is more about expectation than controversy.
"We strip naked to distract ourselves from the fact that sexual attraction, innuendo, and cinematic romance exist at the expense of a broader-encompassing love for that unfathomable notion of humanity," he said.
"Exhibition: The Naked Art Show" opens tonight at 7 p.m. in Room 309 of Fort Andross in Brunswick. It is free and open to the public.