miércoles, 22 de septiembre de 2010

Masoquismo Moralizante - "gone pop" y confusión semiótico-política de lo 'queer camp' ¿Quién y qué 'hacen' política?

Teresa Margolles, Sin Título (2009), pieza de tela impregnada con la sangre de un asesinato en la frontera del Norte de México. En el performance, Margolles arrastra la tela por la playa del Lido de Venecia.

Marina Abramovic, Balkan Baroque, performance en la Bienal de Venecia de 1997
que consistió en pulir cuidadosamente seis mil libras de huesos de vacas pudriéndose.

Lady Gaga en un podio el 20 de septiembre de 2010, hablando en contra de la política "don't ask, don't tell"... del gobierno de Obama

Lady Gaga en los VMA Awards en septiembre de 2010
llevando un traje de carne

La artista canadiense Jana Sterback usando su traje de carne para su pieza, "Vanitas: Flesh Dress for an Albino Anorexic" (1987)

Lady Gaga en una portada reciente de Vogue Hommes Japan usando un bikini de carne

Lady Gaga en los VMA Awards, septiembre de 2010 y
el "Vanitas" de Jana Sterback en la National Gallery en Canadá (1991).

Lady Gaga (y su equipo de diseñadores de imagen) parecen estar más al tanto del problema actual de que la innovación estilística ya no es posible y que lo único que queda es imitar estilos muertos, hablar por las máscaras y las voces de los estilos en el museo colectivo de expresiones culturales. Aquí el éxito significa fracasar, ya que el éxito implicaría devenir la nueva carne que alimentará al sistema. Resulta fascinante cómo Lady Gaga desplaza la metáfora de la carne en Jana Sterback (otra instancia de masoquismo moralizante) para presentarse auto-reflexivamente, como carne para que el sistema de celebridades y superestrellas pop se alimente de ella. Su imagen se encuentra hecha de pastiches del pop, queer, camp, de la contracultura y de cultura alternativa -incluyendo la gay y la transexual.

Artículo de Nina Power sobre la "animalización de la mujer" y el traje de carne de Lady Gaga
(The Guardian, 24 de septiembre 2010 disponible en: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/24/major-beef-for-feminists)

"This month sees the 20th anniversary reissue of Carol J Adams's The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory, a book that Lady Gaga may or may not have consulted before recently deciding to don a dress apparently made of meat. The reissue is timely for another reason, too: fashion's current obsession with models posing with animals certainly makes Adams's claim sound less outlandish than it might appear.

Adams's argument is, on the face of it, simple – that meat-eating and violence towards women are interconnected. But she is extremely careful in building her case: The Sexual Politics of Meat took Adams 15 years to write, and she constantly updates her supply of sexualised adverts and images linking women and animals. The image on the cover of the book depicts a naked woman (bar a hat) kneeling in a pool of blood. Her body is divided up into cuts of meat: "loin", "rump" and so on. The question "what's your cut?" appears at the woman's side, resulting in a confusing semiotic stew of dismemberment, sex and flesh.

Today vegetarianism is widely understood and accepted, and the reasons for refraining from eating meat are diverse: from religion to animal cruelty. Few would make the argument that eating meat is a feminist issue, yet Adams's arguments are persuasive. FollowingMargaret Homans, Adams uses the idea of the "absent referent" to explain her theory: "Animals are the absent referent in the act of meat eating; they also become the absent referent in images of women butchered, fragmented, or consumable."

The killing of the animal haunts the meat on our plate, at the same time as the woman is routinely reduced to little more than "a piece of meat", and subsequently treated as such. "The woman, animalised; the animal, sexualised. That's the sexual politics of meat," Adams writes.

Adams draws upon classics and modern literature, children's books and ad campaigns to examine what she calls "the texts of meat", which link virility to meat-eating – Adams turns the cliche of men "needing" meat more than women around to suggest that if meat and men are so intertwined in mainstream culture, then there simultaneously needs to be a positive account of the link between feminism and vegetarianism, and a recognition that many feminists have also been vegetarians (or vegans, as Adams would prefer, a diet free from all forms of "feminised protein" – milk, eggs).

Lady Gaga's statement about her meat dress – "If we don't stand up for what we believe in, we don't fight for our rights, pretty soon we're gonna have as much rights as the meat on our bones" – hints at a link between oppression and meat eating (though Gaga linked her fashion statement to gay rights not feminism). Adams indicated her disapproval of Gaga's stunt in a Twitter message: "Lady Gaga wearing meat, part of a trend in 'fashion' (taking a chapter from pornography) reinscribes woman = meat/flesh right from slaughter", though Gaga's not-entirely-original-although-perhaps-that's-the-point fashion gesture might equally be seen as a critique of the way women are "carved up" to fit certain perceptions, and how celebrity culture, and celebrities, are there to be consumed, not unlike a hamburger.

The Sexual Politics of Meat will no doubt remain a marginal thesis for as long as a meal without meat is seen as incomplete, and as long as maleness is associated with meat-eating ("beefcake" is one of the few sexualised meat terms applied to men, while "rump", "bitch", "pussy" as terms to describe women see no end in sight). Adams is well aware of the potential resistance to her feminist-vegetarian thesis, however well and however often she proves her point. But, as she reminds us: "The attempt to create defensiveness through trivialisation is the first conversational gambit which greets threatening reforms." Words to remember, denizens of Comment is Free!"

Imágenes de Oliviero Toscani colocadas en billboards por toda Italia en 2007 al tiempo de la Semana de la Moda en Milán.

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