Don't Be a Boob

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Apparently, some members of the Boise community find the reality of breasts a little too much to handle.

Photographer Craig Clark’s latest show, “Conform: The Torso Project,” has been partially censored after tenants neighboring the show space in the Alaska Building, 1020 B. Main St., complained about the images of nude women’s torsos.

Rather than cancelling the show, Clark elected to meet property managers in a compromise by covering the space’s exterior windows with paper, and posting disclaimers.

Clark’s exhibit — which as been years in the making and correlates with a recently published book — looks at the way society views women’s bodies, as well as women’s body image. His series of photographs features the nude torsos of real women behind a transparent plastic swimsuit mold, illustrating that not everyone fits into an ideal. Each of the images is accompanied with a personal statement written by the model, sharing her story and reasons for posing for the project.

Clark first learned of the complaint on Wednesday morning, just hours before the exhibit was to open to the public. After a heated exchange with the property manager, he arrived at the show space to find his images being covered with paper, blankets, or whatever was at hand.

“I was very upset,” Clark told BW about discovering his creations being covered.

“Last year I did a show that was partially censored,” he said. “It just gets tired.”

This isn't the first time, this week even, when breasts have caused a stir in Boise.

Clark said he didn’t realize how many windows surrounded the show space, but he also didn’t anticipate the reaction to the images.

“The fact that you have a naked torso that’s behind a transparent plastic form can shock a lot of people,” he said. “But once they start reading it, they understand what it’s about, and get over it — or walk away.”

Clark spoke with the American Civil Liberties office, which is housed in the same building as the show, and said since it is a dispute between landlord and tenant, there is little legal recourse for him.

Instead, Clark spent three hours Wednesday afternoon covering the exterior windows. He also posted a disclaimed reading: “Warning — Conform Show. If you’re easily offended by our natural state-of-being (i.e. nudity) then please walk quickly past this spot and avert your eyes from the windows and doors. Hardier folks of all ages are invited to view the show, 5-9 p.m. on 2-5 May.” “The show will go on,” he said. “It just makes it a little bit darker.”