when the women bite back: Reading reponse by Chloe Brown

In the New Yorker an online version of a magazine, Judith Thurman describes her interview of the contemporary artist and fashion designer Vanessa Beecroft. Her work is dominated by gender, and eating disorders. It includes performance, installation, film, and fashion. The interview discusses her obsessive relationship with exercise and appearance as a form of bulimia. It describes her female figures in her installation pieces as robotic and an extension of the eating disorder. Beecroft describes thin bodies as an armor, saying that both her work and eating disorders are about resisting desire. Beecroft describes gender identity as a bell curve saying both sexes experience passive and aggressive desire. Finally they discuss fashion and art. They discuss the language that high fashion uses to denote its elevated status from trendy clothing sales. They decide that fashion also describes power, beauty, pleasure, sex, money, class, desire, gender, age, all aspects of Beecroft’s work and promoters of eating disorders. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/03/17/reckless-perfectionism

Beecroft makes work that describes upper income levels, and a highly gendered world of modeling. Her eating disorder, exercise bulimia, rules her life, eating away at copious amount of her time. This disorder shapes her art and enforces her glamorous life style. The industry of high fashion is about desire, and attaining what is hard to attain. Beecroft works hard to achieve the appearance she wants. Her art similarly, focuses on the ideal female form. It contains women shaped through the fashion industry ideals. In class we talked about the feminist movement. The feminists believe in the evils of the fashion and advertising industry. They see fashion as promoting discrimination of the female gender. Fashion models are thin hipped. The fashion industry promotes appearance, in a way that gets men to look at women. Feminists feel that women must work against being an object that is looked at. Feminists want equality. Their work is to give women power and authority. Beecroft’s work creates models that are shaped by eating disorders, they are robots, and they are ideal fashion models. These are the females that are the object of male gazes. Feminists work towards making women who are confident in themselves, regardless of how men look at them. Beecroft makes bodies that are overly ideal. http://www.vanessabeecroft.com/frameset.html



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