“Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves….” (Berger). So is the image used on the cover of The Cramps 1990 single “Bikini Girls With Machine Guns”, and the plethora of scantily clad women in the accompanying video indicative of the process of objectification of women …or is it just postmodern irony at its most arch?
“The juxtaposition of this image with Barbara Kruger’s “Your Body Is A Battleground” which superimposes ”the disembodied voice of patriarchal authority (expressed in bold face type)” (Solomon-Godeau) with a ‘found’ image provides a counter representation of women from a feminist perspective. Similarly the work of Cindy Sherman’s ‘masquerades’ continue to explore the representation of women in popular culture. The construction of ‘woman-as- image’ is dominant in her photographs. Her works in colour, such as Centerfolds (1981) and Fashion (1983-4), explore themes of voyeurism and fantasy from a feminist perspective.
Final word however to the Gang Of Four…
Aim for the body rare, you’ll see it on TV
The worst thing in 1954 was the Bikini
See the girl on the TV dressed in a Bikini
She doesn’t think so, but she’s dressed for the H-bomb…