Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Wobbly: the Muybridge weenie study

Part of the charm, or frustration, or Muybridge-ness of these stop-motion thingies is how wobbly it all is. Because these were NOT taken with a movie camera, because movie cameras did not even exist back then, perspective would change with each photograph, the grid would move jerkily, framing would tilt around crazily, and it all seemed to take place with an earthquake in the background.

I pasted this guy up merely to show that Muybridge was interested in the male organ. Or in the man with no clothes on, at least. There were not nearly as many weenie sketches, of course, as nubile young women with their breasts bouncing up and down. "That's it! Skip-a-rope, ladies, skip-a-rope!" I can't see him cheering on the weenie guy in quite the same way. 

One interesting thing Muybridge did, and I'm not going to make an animation of it even though I love Victorian gowns with corsets, is compare locomotion in fully-dressed women with that of nude women. The corset does not just "make the waist smaller", as people think. It makes the spine ramrod-straight, pushes back the shoulders, forces the breasts upwards and the hips down, while ruthlessly squeezing the middle, reducing it by several (or many) inches. It's impossible to slouch in a corset - in fact, it can't be done - and almost as impossible to bend down to pick something up. That was why they had to have servants back then.

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