A photography project that invites Dubliners to disturb their ordinary day-to-day activities and do something they thought they wouldn’t, while doing what they usually do. Prowlster caught up with Kale Ridsdale from fullydisclothed.com, the site that invites people to be naked on the internet.
Photography: Kate Murphy & Joslyn Kilborn
The project’s tagline “Nakedness has nothing to do with clothes” emphasises that the project’s focus beyond physical nudity itself. The physical nakedness is used more like a metaphor for a personal exposure, an openness to the world, a level of honesty that at times can feel quite vulnerable, like being naked.
The project’s platform is a website called fullydisclothed.com. Participants elect themselves to be photographed naked in a space that is personal to them while engaging in an activity that is personal to them (this ranges from the mundane day-to-day things to activities like hiking or swimming in the sea). After the shoot, the participant is given time to do a written piece where they have the opportunity to expose themselves on a personal level; they are encouraged to share things not a lot of people know about them, to share what the experience of being photographed naked meant to them, why they chose to participate. It’s an open forum for the participant to say what they need to say, and hopefully they can get as naked in the writing process (metaphorically speaking) as they were in the shoot. The finished written piece, along with three images from the shoot, go on the website.
The reaction to the project is mixed, which I would say is a positive thing. For the most part when they hear about the project, most people can’t help but ask themselves whether or not they’d participate and why. Some people think it is great and decide they’d never participate, some people don’t see the point of it, some have criticisms, some want to sign up straight away, and others take a few days, weeks, or months to mull it over before deciding one way or another. All of which is good!
When we started this project in Toronto we were really interested in people from whom it would take a lot of courage to participate, for one reason or another. So while the project is open to all kinds, we aren’t looking for exhibitionists, but rather for people whose initial reaction might be more along the lines of “no freakin’ way!”
It started in Toronto where Joslyn Kilborn (the initial photographer) and I were living at the time. I’ve since moved to Dublin and brought the project with me. I was connected with a great photographer here, Kate Murphy, and she has been taking the pictures.
The idea behind Fully Disclothed isn’t really about doing any convincing; it is an invitation. Throughout the project I’ve reminded myself of the power of an invitation. Some people hear about the project and contact us, and other times people choose to participate after someone asks them if they’d like to do it. It seems right that people would have to work something out with themselves before jumping on board – they have to ask themselves if and how they would find value in it.
It might also appeal to people as a way to relinquish some of the control around crafting our online identities through media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Although Fully Disclothed takes place in an online space, participants dont get to choose their photos (thus giving up some of that control) and are in a space that encourages full disclosure and sharing oneself as-is.