Fully Disclothed

Being naked on the internet is taboo. It isn’t a thing “normal” people do – only adult entertainers, exhibitionists, or people with a career death wish. The art critic John Berger drew the distinction between nakedness and nudity; nakedness as being seen as yourself, and nudity as being seeing naked but not recognized as yourself.  He was talking mostly about painting, but today we have the internet.

Part of the risk of being seen naked on the internet is that under the eyes of an other, you’re taken away from yourself. No longer a subject, you become the object of another’s gaze. Fully Disclothed tries to create a platform for subjectification: we can use nakedness to talk about revealing ourselves as individuals. As Berger said, nakedness reveals itself.

By creating a platform for the individual to express themselves, the project hopes to illuminate a larger picture about what we think and feel about being naked – yes literally in the flesh, but also figuratively. By asking the question, what does it mean to feel naked?, the project explores the boundaries between vulnerability and control, the real and the contrived, the personal and the public, sharing and hiding.

Starting in the spring of 2013, while Joslyn and Kale were living a block apart in west end Toronto, the concept for Fully Disclothed was conceived over a series of phone calls and cross-bar conversations while Joslyn tended bar and Kale drank Singapore Slings.

How it works: people are invited – especially those who would never be photographed naked – to have our photographer come to their space to take pictures of them doing something they commonly do or love to do, only this time they do it naked. After the shoot and without seeing the photos, the participant writes about why they chose to take part. Once the write-up is in, three images are hand-selected by the photographer to accompany the participant’s words on the site.

Doctors, students, business people, night-shift workers, artists, mothers, professors, retirees, immigrants, civil service workers –people – revealed something of themselves on the internet.

The project has run a chapter in Dublin and plans to expand to other cities in Southern Ontario.

Toronto Photography: Joslyn Kilborn, Liza Semechko
Dublin Photography: Kate Murphy
Guest Photography: John Smith, Brian Wilson