Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Sexuality & Sexual Problems
Resources
Basic InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
ActionAmerica UnzippedAmerican GirlsAnatomy of a BoyfriendAnatomy of LoveBest Sex Writing 2005Better Sex Through YogaBetter Than EverBoys Don't CryChildren with Sexual Behavior ProblemsCold HitCybersexDare... to Try BisexualityDilemmas of DesireDoing ItDoing ItEarly Embraces IIIErotic InnocenceErotic PassionsFinal JeopardyFinding H. F.For The Bible Tells Me SoFrictionFrom Disgust to HumanityGay, Straight, and the Reason WhyGetting the Love You WantGoing DownGood GirlsGreat Answers to Difficult Questions About SexHard to GetHit & MissHomosexualitiesHooking UpHow Sex WorksHow to Create Chemistry with AnyoneHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Have Magnificent SexHow to Make Great Love to a ManHow to Make Great Love to a WomanI'd Rather Eat ChocolateIn a Queer VoiceIn the Mood, AgainIt's Perfectly NormalIt's Perfectly NormalJane Sexes It UpKids Gone WildLet's Get This StraightLikely to DieLove and DesireLove and SexLove JunkieLustMaking Peace with PornMale SexualityMaster BreastsMiddlesexNormalNormalNot GayOedipus WreckedOn Being RapedOne Hot SecondOne Hour in ParisOrgasmOrgasm Inc.OrgasmsPlease Don't Kill the FreshmanPornifiedPornlandPornographyPoxPredatorsPremarital Sex in AmericaPrivate Practices DVDRainbow PartyRapeSex (Ed)Sex and SpiritSex and the American TeenagerSex and the SoulSex and the Soul, Updated EditionSex Fiends, Perverts, and PedophilesSex in CrisisSex ObjectSex PositionsSex Q & ASex, Therapy, and KidsSexting and Young PeopleSexual Boundary ViolationsSexual DevianceSexual EcstasySexual FluiditySexual IntelligenceSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapySexual Teens, Sexual MediaShamelessSurviving Sexual ViolenceTalk to Me FirstThe Better Sex Guide to the Kama SutraThe Birth of the PillThe Blue Moon Erotic Reader IIIThe Chemistry Between UsThe Clitoral TruthThe Emergence of SexualityThe End Of AliceThe End of SexThe Essential KamasutraThe Fate of GenderThe First TimeThe Happy Hook-UpThe Miseducation of Cameron PostThe Only Girl in the CarThe Pornographer's GriefThe Purity MythThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Right to Be ParentsThe Science of Intimate RelationshipsThe Sex Addiction WorkbookThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Sex MythThe Sleep of ReasonThe Ten Minute Sexual SolutionThe Vagina MonologuesThings Tom LikesTransTransUltimate SexUntangling the WebVirginVirgin NationVirgin Sex for GirlsVirgin Sex for GuysVirginity LostWastelandWhat Women WantWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhat's Happening to Tom?When Sex Goes to SchoolWhen the Piano StopsWhere Do We Fall When We Fall in Love?Wilhelm ReichWomen and Child Sexual AbuseWritten in the FleshZen Sex
Related Topics

Family & Relationship Issues
Homosexuality & Bisexuality
Relationship Problems

by William A. Ewing
Chronicle Books, 1999
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Dec 2nd 2002

Love and Desire

William Ewing’s earlier collection of photographs for Chronicle Books, The Body (1994) (reviewed in Metapsychology December 2001) was a wonderful collection of images of the human body collected by theme accompanied by a discussion of the photographs and photographers.  This newer collection is very similar, except its themes are love and desire, and there is considerably less text included with the images.  The book is divided into eight chapters, titled Bonds, Icons, Observations, Propositions, Tokens, Libidos, Reveries, and Obsessions.  There’s less thematic unity to this collection, but it has the same high quality of reproduction of images, and Ewing’s selection is thoughtful and creative enough to please both those new to art photography and also those who know a great deal about the subject.  The only disappointment is the lack of sustained discussion in the written portion of each chapter.

The photographs included in this book span the whole history of the medium, going back to 1850.  Since many photographers are crammed into the 400 pages of the book, each individual is normally represented by only one or two pieces of their work.  It’s good to see familiar names such as Julia Margaret Cameron, Imogen Cunningham, Sally Mann, Rineke Dijkstra, Robert Doisneau, Alfred Eisenstadt, Man Ray, Sylvia Plachy, Larry Clark, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Nan Goldin, and of course Robert Maplethorpe.  There are also a large number of unattributed photographs, partly because sometimes the information has simply been lost, but more often because the photographer preferred to remain anonymous, given the content of their photographs, which often include nudity or are plainly sexual.  But maybe most readers will gain the most from this book by coming acquainted with many photographers with whom they were previously unfamiliar.  Personally I was struck by many of the images, including:

·        Andrea Modica’s 1996 picture, “Treadwell, New York,” of two young children being held by their mother

·        Shelby Lee Adams' 1993 picture, “Brothers Praying, Hooterville, Kentucky,” of two men kneeling together on the floor, resting their arms on a chair, their heads touching

·        Elinor Carucci’s 1994 picture, “Haircut,” of two young people, possibly brother and sister, on a bathroom floor

·        Yasuhiro Ishimoto’s 1951 picture, “North Avenue Beach, Chicago,” of a woman’s legs on a beach, while she waits in line

·        Ralph Steiner’s 1931 picture, “Nude and Mannequin,” making a wry juxtaposition.

·        Annemarie Schuden-Halm’s 1991 picture, “Ich (I),” a glorious montage of 144 Polaroids of flowers and a female nude.

·        Tom Stappers’ 1994 picture, “Jessica Dancing at Club Exposure,” of young people showing a great sense of self-awareness of their own beauty.

·        Alejandra Figueroa’s 1997 untitled pictures of sculptures looking very realistic.

·        Ann Mandelbaum’s 1996 picture, “Untitled, No. 108,” of two mouths pressing their tongues together

·        Doug Prince’s “Body Image” pictures from 1998 and 1999, of classical statues and backgrounds interrupted by large negatives of pornographic photographs of couples having sex

Love and Desire makes for excellent browsing, and it is a physically well-constructed book that can withstand sustained use.  It’s a pleasure to see the variety of images and approaches to depicting the ways that people experience attraction to others.  Recommended.

 

© 2002 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical issues in psychiatry. He is especially interested in exploring how philosophers can play a greater role in public life, and he is keen to help foster communication between philosophers, mental health professionals, and the general public.