Why It Matters Who Poses


  • Aurélie Debaene University of Kent




aesthetics, model, pose, phenomenology, technology, ethics, visual arts, photography, media, body, diversity


I make the case for modelling as a collection of creative practices that work with various art forms as a promising area of work. I achieve this by exploring three questions. First, are models not merely a prop employed by the artist? Using phenomenological considerations informed by my work as a life model, I argue that models often work to vague briefs and are moreover employed precisely because of their unique poses. Second, how do models impact artworks? Overlooking a model's contribution can drastically alter our aesthetic understanding of an artwork. I argue that models contribute creatively and maintain 'model reasons', a formal interest in posing as body-experts. Third, what is the value of research into models and their poses? Deepening our knowledge can constitute a restorative act. Further scholarship will also need to reckon with the realities of changing technologies and working practices. It is especially important, then, to tease out and understand the existing practices of modelling and their interrelations with other artists, artistic media, and technologies.


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How to Cite

Debaene, Aurélie. 2023. “Why It Matters Who Poses”. Aesthetic Investigations 6 (2). Utrecht, NL:128-40. https://doi.org/10.58519/aesthinv.v6i2.16890.