Burlesque artist Dear Bobby presents <Digital.Centrefold>, exploring the relationship between centrefold fantasy and viewer in an increasingly digital age. Don’t fear the fantasy, feel it.
The human form has been endlessly romanticised and revered through art, literature, culture and religion. It is the single most documented form throughout the ages, and with good reason.
The body is not simply a series of matter, motor functions and decoration, but rather a temple of endless worship. Our temples are made up of curves and crevices, and are ever changing. To be lost in one is not be lost but, rather, human.
The 20th century saw the rise of man, machine and endless consumption. Enter Playboy and Esquire – monthly publications for the modern man. These publications were initially targeted towards the discerning gentleman (post WWII) with articles and exposés on “The lounge suit,” “Cologne’s to please your honey” and the most enduring, “The centrefold.”
The centrefold was quick to become a reader’s favourite, featuring a different woman of great feminine allure and fatal attraction with every issue. The spreads were especially coveted during WWII, with soldiers hanging them in bunkers and base camps as a means of escapism, entertainment and a testament to what, or more often whom, they were fighting for.
Jump to 70 years later and we are now in the age of the <Digital.Centrefold>.
The rise of the digital centrefold is rooted in the rapid expansion of technology in the latter half of the 20th century, more notably since the rise of the Internet. We are now a society born of binary, and although the platform may have changed, the centrefold still stands as a source of escapism, fantasy, admiration and worship. As with evolution, it evolved and adapted, now largely featuring in digital platforms as these have succeeded print.
The biggest change the centrefold has undergone is its demand, mounting to a hunger seemingly impossible to satisfy, vastly altering the content…but for the better, with features on both sexes, interaction between viewer and content, and the invitation to readers to participate. The digital realm allowed for sexual progression within the individual and for them to write their own centrefold – create their own fantasy. Digital media (social included) serves as an endless database of content for escapism and entertainment, directly downloaded to your pocket where you are free to like, comment and share.
With the introduction of the Internet and digital social media you, the voyeur, are safe to access an endless archive of digital centrefolds. Whoever said there isn’t a place for diversity in sexuality is clearly numb from the neck up and waist down. Don’t fear the fantasy, feel it. The greater intention I am striving for is that in an age where we are increasingly dependant on digital means, we haven’t lost richer, more traditional means of entertainment – they’ve simply adapted to the times.
They’ve transcended the traditional to become accessible.
Change is good but only when it’s recognised.