Compared to the rest of the world, Americans are stiff when it comes to nude bodies. This past summer, I became highly aware of this after checking out a public bath with some friends in a different country. When living in the US, you just don’t see rooms full of people in the nude, casually stripping off their clothes, holding normal conversations, helping each other scrub their backs, and laughing while shampooing their hair. In a similar way, you just don’t commonly have conversations about images of nude people, let alone go bathe with nude friends. This is what drives Maiza Hixson’s art. Why do we avoid talking about bodies so much? In her short film, “Men are Much Harder,” Maiza explores the boundaries of how people react to pornographic, medical, and artistic images of nude bodies. She records the wide range of reactions people have in viewing these images. Below are screen shots of the film. Can’t wait to see the whole thing when the show gets to Haverford!
Should you stumble upon a meaningful discussion on nude bodies, how would you react?