Since Renaissance times, people have been told what their bodies look (or ideally look) like through classic representations of the nude – but because of the internet, the classic image of the ‘body beautiful’ is fluid. Home-snapped pictures of cellulite-dimpled behinds, scarred breasts and skin of every colour are gaining more recognition as normal than those of our Photoshopped pasts.
Created and curated under the umbrella of Atopos CVC, a non-profit, cultural organisation based in Athens, Greece, new publication Unlocked, curated by Vassilis Zidianakis, aims to make depictions of the naked body in the digital age accessible.
Looking at how human bodies interact with and are portrayed on the internet, the book came about after the curator recognised the slew of nude images uploaded and shared daily across social media by both professionals and amateurs. Trawling platforms like Tumblr, while making a conscious decision to stay away from magazine images and gallery works, Zidianakis ended up with a manifestation of more than 500 pages of nudes. “I was painstakingly looking for images that depict flesh, different positions of the human body, raw eroticism and sex in an up-to-date, fresh and contemporary manner,” he explains, adding that the idea behind the title of the book comes from the idea of dating apps giving users the option of ‘unlocking’ their private pictures for other app users.
Ren Hang, Hobbes Ginsberg, Maisie Cousins, Sasha Kurmaz, Cheyenne Sophia, Kate Peters and Synchrodogs are all included, to name but a few, with Zidianakis believing that the internet has allowed women, in particular, to provide more radical representations of the body than they’ve ever had before, a selection of which are immortalised in this 500-page-plus tome.
Unlocked is available now