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June 17, 2021

Philip Garner – Half Suit, 1982

Phillip Garner destabilized this naturalness in his comic photograph of the ‘half-suit’: “The suit helps to create an illusion of a hard, or at least a firm and ‘proper’, body that is autonomous, in control, rational and masculine. It gives the impression that bodily boundaries continually remain intact and reduce potential embarrassment caused by any kind of leakage.

“When bodies are draped in soft, light fabrics it is often possible to see the boundaries of the body – the rise and fall of the chest, mound of the breast, contour of the muscle. It is possible to see a spot of blood, a smear of dirt, a piece of flesh. Such matter signifies a body that cannot be neatly contained, a body that is not always rational and in control, a body that is both desirable and disgusting.”

He claimed that “the ‘half-suit’ retains the crisp formality established in the neck/collar/tie /lapel area but offers an abbreviated midsection for comfort and physical.” It is the absurdity the makes the photograph work as comic.

1 comment:

  1. It is the pee stains that do it for me.




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