so since it was presented in berlin last week, i’m just starting to have a clearer point of view on the pirelli calendar
shot by peter beards in botsawana, africa. i’m partially experiencing again what i did when in love
was published: i just need time to organise rationally my reactions. with an essential difference: this time no pointless men around!
great! okay, you may say that men are the target of the calendar, but who cares?! what i *care* about is that daria looks much more convincing and happy hugging isabeli fontana than being forced to have skin contacts with that spanish unrelevant male model! yup!
daria celebrating end of shooting
i also have this idea she enjoyed walking topless in the savana and rolling into the mud and jumping in the pond and feeding the elephants and almost puking on that dead bird skull… it’s a pleisure for the eyes and the mind to see her in this adventurous backstage that seems to fit her personality so well. i usually love it when i can see her working, it’s always interesting to see how she poses and changes, but this time seeing her – namely, seeing the woman daria turning into the model daria – is… how to say it? basic. she’s just there working with her body, so it’s werbowy’s pure body art under beard’s direction. ok, more about it later. there’s a lot to say. as a preview i can just say that it leaves me speechless – and, honestly, with hormons jumping to the ceiling – how effortless nude and erotic she is, compared to the trashy attitude of a bikini gisele or to the heterosexist hints of a nimphic lima. look at the pics in the pond: she’s so pure there. there’s a purity on her body, a sort of quintessential simplicity of eros that in my most emphatic moments i would define as a gift daria gave to us when she decided to become a model. a quintessence beyond gender boundaries.
detail of a february extra
that being said as an introduction, let me say that i don’t find all pics being at the same level. all my respect to all the girls that worked so hard, but
1) i find the casting weak. in my view only super great daria, excellent malgosia bela and, despite a bit of overacting, maria carla boscono fit the purpose of the calendar. daria is daria – and we’ll talk about it later. i don’t know malgosia so much, but she looks very communicative with the setting. sometimes boscono seems too busy showing how good and intellectual she is, how much she’s doing that for the sake of art, so she has this very concentrated and serious expression that looks too forced. paradox: she looks unnatural just when she should be so natural. then the others: lara stone and rianne ten haken look really out of place. even when they run followed by elephants, they look like 2 overfeminine women waiting for some superhero coming to save them (maybe superdaria?!). it’s possible that they were chosen barely because of their glamazonic curves, but unfortunately their shot together looks rather unwillingly hilarious. like, really, jane & jane lost in the jungle waiting for tarzan (tarzandarilla :-p). isabeli fontana. seeing the backstage vid it seems to me that beard kind of developed a crush on her and in fact most of the pictures featuring isabeli are those where emphasis on model’s beauty overcomes ecological concern, which is negative for the overall result of a calendar aimed at being so special. and those 2 unknown ones to me – emanuela de paula and ?? – look rather anonymous. they seem to have a commercial attitude and don’t give personality to the images. (btw, i don’t understand why everywhere you read that the cal features 7 models, when they are actually 8).
2) i find make-up and styling very arguable. yes, that’s another of the weak features of the project in my opinion: dressing the girls with those ethnic outfits and using that heavy make-up looks like a more than strong concession to (trashy) exotism. it gives the calendar a ‘shana queen of the jungle’ effect (especially on daria, as we will see) that deeply contradicts the supposedly noble purpose of an echological kind of erotism. so detractors may have good reasons to say that ecologism is only a new facade for a deja-vu heterosexist affair. that also explains why, still in my opinion, the best pictures are those where models are nude, just posing topless and working with their bodies. i will talk more about it in my next post, but i really think this calendar would have been perfect with total nudity (and featuring nobody but daria… ).
e) i find the balance between calendar rules and ecological message rather fragile. that’s actually the underlying reason behind points #1 and #2. it looks like this year’s cal was looking for a very difficult and subtle balance between the usual female bodies portrayed in more or less artistic nude – the degree of art depending on the photographer – and this peculiar ecological message about which beards seems sincerely concerned. i don’t know if we can say the same about pirelli. i happened to read an italian article about what pirelli really does for environnement in its factories and its reputation isn’t that clean actually… anyways, i wonder if there’s some hidden sense of guilty in searching such a balance or just a search for a political correctness that may redeem the heterosexism of a calendar. i have been making a lot of reflections on nudity recently, starting from the undeniable fact that i like representations of nudity, both women and men’s. what i don’t like is heterosexism and lack of respect to female body, when nude is just tits and asses spread on a photography to turn on men. paradoxically, apart from a few exceptions and with no need for forced correctness, pirelli seems to be one of the few calendars still developing an interest in erotism. so, how to conciliate erotism and nature without falling into stereotypes? unfortunately, instead of opening a new route to ecological erotism, most of pictures of the calendar seem unable to escape from the stereotypes of wildness and exotism that are so much at hand. what’s new in the perception of an oiled up black naked model lying on an elephant? or of a nocturne isabeli wearing leather lingerie with visible boobs close to an elephant? or of even shana-daria miming a sort of orgasm with an elephant? i would say only the elephant is new, a bit too little.
let me shortly say that another thing i didn’t like very much was that the calendar was presented just when more than 200 pirelli workes are about to be fired in spain. one of the slogans of their protest was ‘less tits, more jobs’. i’m sad for 2 reasons: 1, because i think that the company could show a bit more of social sensitiveness (but we are in the times of wild capitalism, what a great time! look at the consequences…); 2, because, despite my solidariety to workers, as usual female body is used as a scapegoat. how much i’d like to meet daria and ask her: what do you think about it? is it only business? is it only a few pictures?
next post will be devoted to photoshopping removal of natives and to the things i like. then a 3rd to review daria. maybe, who knows?, i could post on how much everything looks so fictional when on the other window of my browser i go through the pics ot the terroristic attack in india.
Filed under: darialogism, reviews | Tagged: daria werbowy, erotism, nude, peter beard, pirelli | Leave a comment »