Not that anyone asked, but Leonard Cohen was a kindred spirit to me for the following reason. I felt that he was someone who had a predator spirit, but was clearly self-conscious about it, just like me. I felt that his songs spoke to those like me who are susceptible to making other humans their muses, to deriving ‘inspiration’ from humans they find beautiful, to roving and waiting like hungry wolves. Sometimes I see what I am and I say that I and my kind are a pestilence upon the innocent earth (Radiohead’s ‘creeps’ and ‘weirdos’ lol). But Leonard Cohen taught me to meditate on my objectifying instincts to make them into self-aware acts dignified enough to be shared with the muse, in principle or in practice. ‘We are ugly, but we have the music,’ he said. I guess he took this sublimation to its logical extreme in ‘If It Be Your Will’, making an act of admiration into a form of totally submissive worship. At the other end of the spectrum, he taught me not to overstate inspiration (‘that’s all, I don’t even think of you that often’). To me, the same thread ran through all of his lyrics about desire – a painfully strong intention to say, and to only say, something true. His comments on the mundane and the sublime are cut from the same cloth.
I’m not entirely sure what made me start writing this but (and now I apologize for possibly turning this into another boring-ass 2016 socio-political facebook fart) it might be because I believe it’s easier for me as a woman to be confessional about my predatory spirit (I’ve never been chastised about ‘the female gaze’), and I do like to speak up (if and) only if I can say something I think other people aren’t saying. Of course, I can only speak for myself. But I think what I mean to say is that Cohen, among others, has helped me deal with my masculinity, and for that I’m supremely grateful.
My job means that I’ve regularly worked with (mostly male) photographers and artists for most of the last decade, so the male gaze has, for better or worse, ended up being one of my primary objects of casual study throughout my adult life, haha. ‘Let me see your beauty broken down,’ it says to me during my typical working day, ‘as you would do, for one you love’. I’ve learned to deal with this request with more compassion as I recognize with increasing sensitivity that the roving poets and I are the same creatures. It dawns on me anew every day that, despite what people like to say about male desire being ‘simple’, which perhaps it is, I’ve nevertheless been fortunate enough to discover the sheer variety in the relationships men have with their desire – one of the most complex and fascinating things I’ve come across in nature. I’m grateful that Leonard Cohen shared this aspect of his nature with with such clarity.
So thank you, Mr. Cohen for teaching me to handle inspiration with dignity, to take my subject matter seriously and not myself, and to strive for truthfulness at all costs in my ongoing attempts to convert my human desires and longings into something worth sharing.
At this point, even I thought I was pretty weird. One morgen I woke up and saw the need to make a Rorschach-style monster shadow-selfie around the vertex where the cups cupboard met the fridge – as one does. I saw it as as disembodied type of yogic sunrise meditation.
Today it reminds me of an earlier point in my life when I was only able to express myself through shadows…
During a sweeping visit back to Blighy in July 2013, I went to Wiltshire and experimented with taking video footage on a Canon 5DmkII with a Lensbaby Muse. Consequently here’s a little atmospheric semi-narrative music video for my friend Eigenfrequenz’s song ‘Frequenz 18: Zeitgeber’, starring Gestalta as (according to my ad hoc analysis) a “romantic but morbid girl, a bit of a loner, lost in her own world and somewhat obsessed with death” floating around in the swelteringly hot rural English summer meadows thinking dark thoughts. Continue reading
In case you’ve ever wondered where some of my stranger image titles/captions in various places around teh web come from, I’ve decided it’s time to let you all know – and I’ve mentioned it before but you may not have gotten that memo – that they don’t come from my deranged imagination fully formed, not at all – they’re only based on the contents of my brain. They are in fact Markov-chain generated, based on one- and two-word units from everything I’ve ever written on Facebook. It’s all thanks to a brilliant piece of software developed by some nerds at Princeton, who created http://www.what-would-i-say.com for the benefit of mankind. It’s great fun, fascinating if you’re into statistics, linguistics or algorithms, and of course a very useful resource for a lazy absurdist.
A blog post by Elena Tun
We were beyond excited when we were invited to Mary Martin’s fashion show in tribute to David Bowie. We were also curious to see how she would pull it off; few pop and fashion icons are adored and revered as much as Bowie, so it is a difficult inspiration to live up to. Continue reading
I have an interview in the webzine JUNNNKTANK with 3 n’s. Warning: involves words.
Article includes images by: Artco, Dan Fehr, Malcolm Mellon, Markus Henttonen, and Richard Maxim.
I did an interview a few months ago for a website called Street Voice. Since this is my long format blog, I’ll copy the text of the interview into this post. So you can read it here or on their website, where there are more pictures 🙂
Street Voice Introduction: Sometimes I come across bands, models and photographers I want to feature in Street Voice. Rebecca Tun is one of those people! After reading what Rebecca is all about I knew she’d feature well in the Street Voice pages. A stunning model and an equally brilliant photographer. A few questions were sent off to Rebecca and this is what she had to say for herself!
Street Voice: First off Rebecca can you tell our readers a little about yourself please?
I’m a model, photographer, all-round travelling arty freak, geek and ex-philosopher.
Street Voice: How come you decided that being a nude model was going to be the right path for you?
I fell into it after modeling for some art classes while I was a student. The nudity went without saying because it would have been odd not to use my whole body for modeling. And while I didn’t go into nude modeling with political motives (I didn’t come from a context where having no clothes on was a big deal), I’ve since learned that not everyone in the world has or feels the same freedom that I do; so I’ve gone from being neutral about it to feeling proud about sharing my nudity. Continue reading
…this diptych has been getting some attention recently: “self portrait IV – in which the model takes a self-portrait” – one of the very few self-portraits I ever attempted. A number of people have asked me why I don’t do self portraits habitually, being both a model and a photog. The simple answer is I don’t really know how to point the camera in the right direction or focus correctly. I have seen some amazingly impressive, immaculately styled and conceptualized selfie projects by profesh models, and I think in future I will leave it to the experts. I’m pretty much the one person in the world whom I’m NOT in a good position to take a picture of, logistically speaking. I hope that answers the question.
I really approve of targeted advertising. In my experience it’s been a win-win situation. (And more generally, I’d say about 80-85% of my happiness and accomplishments in life have been due to searching- and sharing-technology, but that’s a topic for another essay.) In the summer of 2012 my liking a Facey B page on Wittgenstein led to my seeing an ad from Riding-Iceland for a horse trip that would follow the trek that young Wittgenstein and his pal David Pinsent made 100 years earlier in the south of Iceland. Continue reading
My sister Elena Tun recently started modelling. In her style she couldn’t be more different from me; classic, ladylike, and immaculately glamorous with a penchant for the traditional and the retro. On more than on occasion we’ve enlisted the help of our make-up artist Hollie Berry who is also an impressive hair stylist and style advisor.
(c) Rebecca Tun . Cambridge, UK . October 2012