Thursday, 1 April 2010

Men's Liberation Front?

Ik heb het zelf niet gezien, maar zag wel onlangs een reclame hiervoor op toilet in een Brusselse cafe... Vrouwen als meubiliar - zo chic jongs! In zulke gevallen vind ik vandalisme bijna geen slecht idee... Ik vind de fotos zo verveelend dat ik ze zelfs niet op deze blog wil zetten. 


  1. Hi Joey

    This ad is "inspired" by the work of English sculptor Allen Jones who made sculptures like this in the seventies. You can find an example here:

    Here is what an article in The Telegraph said about him:

    In retrospect, Jones feels, "I was reflecting on and commenting on exactly the same situation that was the source of the feminist movement. It was unfortunate for me that I produced the perfect image for them to show how women were being objectified."

    Jones hoped that those furniture pieces would produce a strong reaction in the viewer, but he got more than he bargained for. In the ensuing decade his work was angrily attacked.

    "Smoke bombs and stink bombs and God knows what were thrown at my ICA show in 1978. There was an incredible furore on the Mall. The Guardian suggested I should not be allowed to exhibit. It was tough stuff and I wasn't expecting it."

    One irony is that Jones is, he protests, a card-carrying feminist himself. In person, he is a mild, articulate and rather intellectual man.

    Oh well



    Het spijt me dat ik dit in het nederlands niet kan schrijven

  2. Hey Dad,

    Cheers for this info - I was unaware of it. I have learned today that there is actually a WORD for creating furniture that incorporates an actual person in it: "forniphilia". Wonders will never cease. Having said that, if being another person's footstool turns you on, far be it from me to judge!

    It seems Jones is protesting that he was commenting on the status quo, rather than perpetuating it. I don't know very much about the guy, but I guess this is one of the common problems of art: is it commentary or does it encompass some sort of forward movement? Or both? I guess I'm not a great expert. It's an interesting conversation, though, and I've had similar ones with other people about film and even journalism.

    However, I think I can say with some conviction that no such feminist inspiration lies behind the advert made by the MLF team... I fear that would be crediting them with motives that are simply not their own!

    Cheers for an interesting post :o)

    Oh, and all languages welcome as long as I can read them... ;o)


    For anyone interested in a further analysis of Allen Jones' work

  4. Hi Joey

    I don't really know that much about Jones either, though I think his argument was that in the sixties British women were turning themselves into furniture, and he wanted to say something about that. The problem is that no-one (absolutely no-one) controls the meanings other people "read" into what they produce. I think we can be sure the MLF lot (the question mark turning the acronym into MILF is even more outrageous than the female furniture, I think) didn't have anything particularly progressive in mind.



  5. Ah, now isn't there a word for that in art criticism as well? "Post-structuralism"?

  6. The post-structuralists announced not only the "death of the author", but also the death of the "subject" (whom Lévi-Strauss described as the "spoiled brat of history"), to be replaced by "subjectivities", "subject positions" and so on. No-one believes in inherent meanings any more: it's all negotiation, appropriation, reappropriation now.

    At least that's what I think...