Todd Hido, "#8485-A," 2009. Photo first appeared in "S Magazine," no. 9, 2009.

Todd Hido, #8485-A, 2009. Photo first appeared in S Magazine, no. 9, 2009.

Considering Linda Williams’s concept of the “frenzy of the visible,” which locates desire within the “involuntary confessions” of the body, I find myself totally enthralled with this image of a woman hinged over exposing her backside, revealing the leakage that seeps from her crotch. The image calls to mind Hans Bellmer’s erotic drawings of women in similar poses ready and desiring to be forcefully taken. The only difference here is the proximity of the artist to the model: the cropping and the flash that illuminates the aroused subject tell us that the photographer is standing very near. The compositional tactics, which place the subject in the viewer’s space, are reminiscent of Caravaggio’s paintings, but instead of Christ as the ecstatic subject, an anthro oozing bum projects her wares (slang intended). The wet spot on her stockings tells us that she derives pleasure from this encounter and that the action of bending over, exposing her veiled privates, stimulates her. My world of references delectably opens up and allows me to ingest the model in all her charged animality. The shadowy space reveals just one other potent mark–the tape on the wall–half there, half not. The X that designates her position is effaced and she prostrates herself in lieu of its supposed confines.

Tricia Lawless Murray, Artist

Further Reading