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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

dasha-square_2797507aA chair, of all things, has caused an enormous amount of opprobrium and comment of late.

Here it is:

I don’t think it’s an original, but it’s certainly a copy after the style of Allen Jones series of BDSM sculptures of women as furniture from the Pop Art era of the 1960s. 1969 to be precise.

There’s layers to this manufactured scandal, all of which annoy the living piss out of me.

Race

Jones’ originals are of indeterminate white-ish face and since there have been copies and the inspired of every race. It seems peculiarly telling that the objection seems to be on the grounds of racism, rather than objectification of women, which would seem the more obvious choice and – indeed – the point Jones’ appears to have been making with the pieces.

Placing it in a racial context and ignoring the gender/sexual one is idiotic and has knock-on problems.

  1. The prioritisation of race over gender as a source of objection.
  2. Ignoring the fact that such a piece represents broader inclusion, increasing the variety of representations.
  3. Disempowering and shaming persons of colour from the kink scene who already have a hard enough time processing it given the history of slavery.

Chair 1969 by Allen Jones born 1937Bad Reporting

A few stories seem to have missed that this is related to Allen Jones at all, whereas I – despite dodging Art History as much as possible while being educated – recognised it immediately. The reporting has also failed to note the piece’s history of controversy and its status as an iconic piece of Pop Art, perhaps the reason for using it in the shoot.

Jones was not a racy exploiter, but rather a cynic of what he saw as the increasing commodification of peoples lives and the sexual revolution of the 60s. The piece is a critique as much as a salacious parade of kink. A fact that was also missed by one feminist critic who attacked his ‘chair’ piece in 1986 by hurling paint stripper at it. This, and its standing as a piece of art, got it included in an exhibition at the Tate of art that had been attacked.

All of this is relevant, all of it gives context, all of it is lost under the cheap and (ironically) exploitative cry of ‘ZOMG RACIST!’

Outrage Culture

Art, writing, culture, photography (even/especially in commercial forms) – it all needs to be free to provoke thought, discussion and self examination. That’s been replaced by a simplistic ‘I’m offended’ and forced, insincere apologies. This is not healthy ground to be on, unable to talk, unable to think, unable to investigate or take the time to absorb and reflect.

Stop feeding it.

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xlargeI’m sure you’ve seen that picture, above, doing the rounds. Many people seem to think it makes some clever point about gender, SF & Fantasy art and so on. I don’t particularly think that it does. The aim is, apparently, to show the silliness of the first cover by changing the genders around to create some kind of ‘aha’ moment in the viewer but in that task I can’t see that it succeeds. The humour here is not the ‘aha, look how ridiculously women are treated in art’ but rather the ‘haha’ of the pantomime dame or the incompetent transvestite. Its not funny because its a transposition its funny because its a bunch of unfit men in feminine poses. Tellingly, the woman in the supposedly ‘masculine’ pose doesn’t look silly, which rather demonstrates how one-sided this all can be.

The cover on the left is clearly a call-back to James Bond, steeped in reference and film and literary history. An actual reversal has been done in James Bond and wasn’t ridiculous. That was a genuine like for like substitution and, tellingly, it’s a) not funny and b) beloved by many women.

Any point that might be trying to be made is lost because of the stupidity and, yet again, all you end up with is a circle-jerk of the already convinced talking about how clever and meaningful it is. There are discussions to be had on this topic, but cheap and nonsensical stunts like this (and the other cover poses) that fail to take into account gender dimorphism, athleticism, reference etc and fail to do a like-for-like change don’t add anything to it other than being a jumping-off point for discussion.

If I had the skills to do it it might be interesting to do a genuine like-for-like substitution of the same cover, (Tom Daley might make a good swimwear substitute rather than out-of-shape writers) but alas I don’t.

comparison2

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Dear Internet,

Would it fucking kill you to treat me like a grown-up from time to time? You hit sixteen, eighteen and twenty-one and you’re promised that now you’re an adult. You can fuck, drink, smoke, drive and die for your country but apparently in the world of internet media if you like to look at boobs or willies – still or in motion – you’re persona non-grata and you’re ghettoised.

If you write erotica, or porn, let’s not be up ourselves, you have problems getting your stuff listed, sold and paid for. The mainstream payment processors don’t like to be tainted with your ‘filth’, despite the money and try to insist you go through special payment processors because of the ‘risk’.

Want to sell adult material on a big sales or auction site? You’re going to have issues and without big, central clearing houses for this stuff you end up with a diaspora to less well run, less well engineered, less credible and less legit sites which damages business potential and increases – not decreases – the risk of fraud and technical issues.

Then all these social sites are bringing it to a head. Even though you have to opt in to watch/see rude stuff on G+ or Facebook you’re not really given the option. A few places get away with it on G+ but there are some people who seem to live only to flag material as inappropriate, when they could just mute/uncircle/unfollow it.

Killjoys.

What’s brought this to a head lately is the treatment of Moan Lisa on G+. Repeatedly banned, suspended, pictures flagged and that’s not even a porno feed but rather an art one. Who cares if there are porn feeds on there anyway and why draw this imaginary, stupid line between art and pornography in the first place?

We’re grown-ups now, we can choose what we want to see and whether that’s Disney characters having a tea party or wall-to-wall Goatse leave it up to us thanks. Google image search doesn’ discriminate so why not let pervs, artists and writters enjoy themselves?

No love,

Grim

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Some covers…

Covers for two more of my short stories.

I’m working on others.

There will be an eventual collection, title as yet unknown, but collecting all these ‘neo-pulp’ works together.

Then I’m going to take the plunge on a full length novel.

Mimsy is going to take a lot more editing/rewriting than I thought. So may be a little while coming.

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I thought you might enjoy this art for a fiction project, made for me by Rowena Aitken.

The short story it goes with can currently be found HERE but will soon be found on this blog, along with the rest of my fiction writing posts.

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