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Costumes of Nudity
Studio photographs of models encased in semi-transparent body stockings that effected a costume of nudity were all the rage during the fin-de-siécle. The skin-tight stockinet, undergirded by corsetry and padding, created a fantasy woman for modern times: a stitched-together fiction of spectral marmoreal whiteness, at once sexy and sterile. Hiding the biological processes of reproduction and ageing while maintaining the transgressive, carnivalesque representation of an actress, dancer or prostitute—or the illusion of an inert marble statue—the faux nude enacts abjection in sleek disguise, subsumed and sanctioned by then-current aesthetics of classical art.

Apr 3, 2023 07:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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