Naked Spaces exhibition – Eden’s post-modern garden
If you are on the conservative side of the fence, Julia Hango’s latest exhibition on nude photography might just make your heart quiver . This striking exhibition showcases the artist’s amazing talent to capture meaning in even the most mundane of objects. For her latest work, however, she has chosen something more sublime, the human body.
Titled “Naked Spaces”, the exhibition runs until 02 June 2016 at La Bonne Table restaurant at the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre in Windhoek.
In this exhibition Julia Hango, better known as JuliART, elevates Namibian photography in a unique manner as she captures a series of photographs, documenting a variety of places from bedrooms, the desert, to abandoned buildings with an eerie ambiance as nude subjects pose in spaces where they all feel most unsuppressed.
The artist describes the photographic exhibition to be exploring ‘human in nature’, taking a more anthropological stance as her subjects confront the gaze of the conservative, hypocritical and the male dominated culture of Namibia. Being a bit of an amateur, it took me a while to acquaint myself with the impromptu visuals of naked humans flooding my vision, however JuliART’s photographic exhibition is incontestably worth the experience. JuliART demonstrates her skills as a seasoned photographer by capturing some of her subjects in black and white over colour, allowing herself better to engage the great contrasts and beauty of the human body. In one of her photographs, JuliART captures a scene of a lanky male subject in black and white in a dark room. As light falls in shadowy pools onto his statuesque body, the viewer is invited to gaze at a sinister black background with rays of faint white light exposing the model’s body, aided by creative lighting techniques. JuliART is also unafraid to shoot naked women full-on, hiding nothing behind strategic lighting or poses. The women in this exhibition are fearless and uninhibited.
Aside from nude photography, the socio-political message behind this exhibition is quite revealing as well, as the artist quotes the well-known feminist thought ‘The personal is political’. She makes a connection between everyday personal experiences and the larger social and political constraints on society which regulate human behaviour.
Although a few may still cringe at the sight of these images adorning the walls of the restaurant they dine in, seeing it as pornographic or offending, I hope the majority of La Bonne Table’s patrons see it as a conduit of meaning in which JuliART captures the human form, visually reduced to its purist form, uncensored and untainted.