Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

Rape? What Rape? Artworks Everyone Should See

Suzanne Lacy, Three Weeks in May, 1977, source: artversed.com

Bodies And Erotic Art

Rape? What Rape? Artworks Everyone Should See

In October 2017, #MeToo movement was founded, with the hashtag spreading virally and women all over the world sharing their stories of experience of sexual harassment. Various artists, mostly women, have treated this subject in art and I think that everyone should see their work.

Guerilla Girls, "If you're raped, you might as well 'relax and enjoy it' because no one will believe you", 1992, source: Art Basel, rape artworks

Guerilla Girls, If you’re raped, you might as well ‘relax and enjoy it’ because no one will believe you, 1992. Art Basel

The Guerilla Girls are feminists and activist artists who anonymously (they wear gorilla masks during performances) expose gender and ethnic bias in politics and art world. The blue dots that cover the faces of all girls refer to the dot that in 1991 the TV networks projected over Patricia Bowman’s face to keep up the pretence of anonymity. Bowman testified during the Kennedy Smith trial in which she accused William Kennedy Smith of rape. He was acquitted despite the fact that three other women wanted to testify precedent assaults.

Edgar Degas, Interior (The Rape), 1869, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, US

Edgar Degas, Interior (The Rape), 1869, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, US

The title Rape seems not to derive from Degas himself but from scholars, many of whom believe that this painting is an illustration to the novel by Emile Zola Thérèse Raquin from 1867, in which two lovers kill the husband of the woman to find each other one year later totally overwhelmed by their crime. Others carefully suggest that Degas in fact did not like to make paintings that illustrated literature and that this painting was rather a study of nocturnal atmosphere and diffused lights. Whatever the truth, the painting remains one of his most mysterious works.

Rene Magritte, Rape, 1948, private collection, rape artworks

Rene Magritte, Rape, 1948, private collection


This painting was made in three different copies, each of which however inserting a femal body in the place of the face. Magritte is this way stating that women are very often perceived by men only as sexual objects without a face. The series refers also to his own biography, as he quotes the image that remained in his memory since age 14, when his mother was found dead in the river Sambre. Her body was naked, with a nightgown which was tangled around her neck. She committed suicide.

Suzanne Lacy, Three Weeks in May, 1977, source: artversed.com, rape artworks

Suzanne Lacy, Three Weeks in May, 1977, source: artversed.com

With her Three Weeks in May, Suzanne Lacy exposed the extent of reported rapes in Los Angeles. During the three-week duration of performance in May, 1977, Lacy everyday stamped new rape locations on a map, having obtain data from the Los Angeles Police Department’s central office. Each stamp RAPE was surrounded by fainter stamps marking the estimated unreported rapes for every one reported.

Bang Geul Han, Through the Gaps Between My Teeth, 2017, © Copyright Bang Geul Han 2018, rape artworks

Bang Geul Han, Through the Gaps Between My Teeth, 2017, © Copyright Bang Geul Han 2018


Bang Geul Han is an interdisciplinary artist born and raised in Seoul, who now is based in the US where she works with video, performance, and words. Her animation Through the Gaps Between My Teeth deconstructs the transcript of President Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape, to later use the letters from the text to cite numerous accounts of sexual assault which had been found by the artist on Twitter. The limitation in creating phrases (since every Tweet contained only the letters in president’s own words) leaves the text imperfect, which alludes to difficulties that women have to speak about sexual assault and be heard. You can watch the video of the installation on the website of the artist.

Learn more:

   

Magda, art historian and Italianist, she writes about art because she cannot make it herself. She loves committed and political artists like Ai Weiwei or the Futurists; like Joseph Beuys she believes that art can change us and we can change the world.

Comments

More in Bodies And Erotic Art

  • 20th century

    The Works of Yves Klein: Lover of Blue

    By

    Yves Klein was born in late April of 1928 in Nice, France. His mother, Marie Raymond, was a renowned member of the Art Informel movement, which involved abstract styles and gesture painting. His father, Fred Klein, was known for his landscapes in a Post-Impressionist style. While...

  • Dadaism

    Painting of the Week: Is La Joconde L.H.O.O.Q?

    By

    The Painting of the Week, La Joconde, is all about codes, reversals, play with conventions and provocation. In other words, it’s an epitome of Dada and Marcel Duchamp‘s entire oeuvre. Mona Lisa vs Dada We all did it at some point in our lives: we drew...

  • 20th century

    Magdalena Rădulescu – a Romanian Woman Painter

    By

    Magdalena Rădulescu (1902- 1983) is a singular phenomenon among the Romanian and European painters. Her work (she had an artistic career spanning half a century) has, of course, common traits with that of other contemporary painters, but cannot be fully inscribed in a specific style or...

  • 20th century

    Filmmaking is like Painting – Andrzej Wajda as a Painter

    By

    Ladies and Gentlemen, and now I will speak in Polish… – the famous words Polish director Andrzej Wajda (1926-2016) said while receiving an honorary Oscar in 2000 for a lifetime achievement crowned WAJDA, an exhibition revealing Wajda as a painter. Andrzej Wajda is one of the...

  • 20th century

    Demystifying Cycladic Figurines

    By

    Cycladic figurines have a mythical aura. Their gleaming abstract forms speak of timeless beauty. But what actually are they? Why do they look like a Brancusi sculpture (or why do Brancusi sculptures look like them)? Once Upon a Time… …people thought the marble carvings from the...

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy