[Female Objectification] Research and Inspiration – 10/05/17

In my project plan and unit timetable after I finished the Free the Nipple section I was planning to explore aspects of slut-shaming, derogatory terms and the male gaze, but after reviewing my project and artwork I have decided to refrain from those other mini topics and continue creating work influenced by Free the Nipple. I feel I have too many ideas to abandon and I’m really interested to see how my current artwork develops.

As I no longer have a plan to follow I wanted to give myself a day to research and gain inspiration. I have ideas to continue the fruit theme but explore other elements of rotting to emphasise the sexual beauty transforming into ugly vibe – focusing on “if tits were ugly, would they still be sexualised?”. I also wanted to explore the noughties dance music videos – the overly sexual, saturated and demeaning to females style; I also feel that type of music (which I included in my ‘sugar tits and cum’ video), emphasises the bubbly, pink, porn tone I want my work to possess which also contrasts and compliments my angry, ugly artwork.

When researching into the noughties dance music videos I specifically searched for Satisfaction by Benny Benassi as it was a massive hit and a massive controversy for sexually objectifying women that I remember uncomfortably watching when I was little. I found these two parodies which instead of hot, steamy women includes men and old ladies. I especially like the old ladies version as it’s a similar concept to my rotting fruit work, the video stops being sexual when the imagery/subject becomes old and ugly.

(feminist discussion starts at 4:23)

In my one-to-one with my lead tutor she suggested to further research into feminism and expand my knowledge on the subject as a lot of my current art is uninformed and just links to femininity rather than female objectification. I’m enjoying my current work and how I’m approaching this topic, I agree a lot of my work isn’t as informed as it could be but I’m so much more interested in my current art and feel I’m producing original work rather than the typical feminist art; but I have researched a little more into modern day feminism and looked specifically at Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s talks as I feel she is one of the biggest female inspirations currently. Her book “We Should All Be Feminists” was the first time I had heard of her, she influenced me greatly within my work and I hugely agreed with all of her opinions.

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Rebecca Harris’s series “Life Sucks” explores the materiality of fat female skin through the medium of textiles, she shows how over time female breasts drastically physically alter and never resume it’s normal shape which is unlike any other body part. This particular series reminded me of the college series I produced “would tits still be sexualised if they were ugly?”, I have the idea to run with this quote and experiment with sagging breasts but put them in an overly pink, hot environment to make them seem sexy.

Annique Delphine’s series ABUNDANCE is about female sexuality and it’s subordination in a world ruled by patriarchy. She explores how females are forced to be sensual, soft beauties who need to pleasure the needs and look suitable for straight men and how her own desires were ignored.

“I feel like this is very similar to how we treat flowers. I see a lot of parallels on how they are objectified, displayed for our pleasure and given a limited limited purpose.
This is suffocating! To objectify us is to dehumanize us.”

The use of the white substance is to get excited when watching it, the way it slowly drips down the flowers awakens an inside desire, but as the video continues the liquid becomes heavier and thicker, drowning the once delicate flowers and forcing them to get destructed – mimicking how male dominance imposes it’s power over everything.

“These films and photographs reflect the current state of sexist oppression. What are we going to do to dismantle it?”

I find the use of the sexually suggestive cum drowning the feminine flowers so effective, the video is still sexually stimulating but deeply destructive. I have a similar idea to use dead flowers and drip pink liquid on them. I would want my video to be overly feminine and intensely sexual instead of just suggestive like Delphine’s, but still have that ugly element with the dead flowers. I want to emphasise how forcefully sexualised women are by desexualising femininity in an outrageously hot way. I feel the noughties dance music I am researching into will further heighten the provocativeness when paired with the imagery and suggestive nature.

I want to take inspiration from Zoe Buckman’s series of textile garments EVERY CURVE.  Her use of gorgeous pink, italic embroidery contrasts with the ugly, demeaning song lyrics, simultaneously enhancing the shocking, belittling tone. I want to continue the use of suggestive fruit but include embroidered text, developing the sweet, sexy fruits into something foul and sour when they mold – representing how loving pet-names are now used in an offensive demeaning way but still dressed up as compliments.

Ugly sexism disguised as a beautiful compliment – the beautiful embroidery and text hiding the ugliness of the rotting fruit, as time continues a female receives more sexism and the mold that once was a sweet fruit becomes overbearing.

 

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