So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dancing Naked in the Material World

Dancing Naked in the Material World by Marilyn Suriani Futterman

Marilyn Suriani Futterman is a photographer and this is a book published in 1992 of her photographs, taken while she went "undercover" as a waitress in an Atlanta nightclub. Almost every other page contains a photograph or photographs and most of them are of women dancers in revealing costumes. Yet seldom are the pictures eroticized. They are documentary in nature. All are black-and-white and many use available light. Other were taken with on-camera flash, and still others were taken in a studio setting.
The text accompanying the pictures are the dancers own words. They talk about why they do this work and how they feel about dancing and the customers they dance for. Some are more articulate and insightful than others, but all are thoughtful and personal.
The book ends with an article, "Stripping for a Living," by Dr. Jacqueline Boles, a Sociology professor. It describes the history and setting of nude dancing in American society. All in all, this is a well-conceived and executed documentary on exotic dancers, an occupation halfway between entertainer and sex worker.
In writing this review I came across a video that was made recently of the photographer, Marilyn Suriani, talking about creating and publishing the book.

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