Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Unintended feminisms?

soft porn

I don't think I'd find this hooked rug anywhere near as compelling if it weren't photographed in use - but there's just something properly perverse about a dark-haired domestic worker vaccuuming over the breasts of a blond porno chick.

from soft porn art by whitney lee (via)


Blogger e-tat said...

Whitney Lee's explanation of why she started doing these pieces left me with a question: at what point does she stop focusing on the sexualities of others, and start focusing on her own? She understands objectification etc, she loves sex (dammit!), and she produces pieces that convey mass meadiated ideas of sexiness along with some alternatives, including her own ideas of sexually confident women. But this means that she's working mainly with received ideas of what's sexy. At that point I thought of Judy Chicago's Dinner Party series, and of how that represented a revaluation of female sexuality and a distinctive personal style. Whether or not Chicago meant her work to be understood as sexy, or indicative of her own sensibilities, I think her work was taken up in those ways by others.

In some sense, Lee sidesteps that issue. I think her work would be much more compelling if she did something that said, in effect, 'Okay folks, this is what I think is sexy'.

Anonymous anne said...

Well, as a feminist statement, I think her work falls flat. But I was super intrigued by this:

Cyber Girls of the Week

"The large number of rugs makes 'perfect' women seem infinitely available and therefore disposable, and the cropping of the images reverses the male gaze that Playboy pornography photographs imply- the women are (somewhat aggressively) looking out at the viewers, instead of vice-versa."

They do seem a bit aggressive - which is weird because they also seem ridiculously passive. The slip, I think, occurs somewhere around the performance/representation of wanting. And that messes with her whole attempt to subvert the male gaze.

Blogger e-tat said...

What if, as another possibility, the uniformity of the images (all faces, all eyes on the camera/viewer) makes it some kind of reverse panopticon, a CCTV of sorts? Perhaps there's a sinister aspect to that desire...


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