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Critical Mumble


Juliff, T, Critical Mumble, Neon Parc and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, pp. 2 (2014) [Minor Creative Work]

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Flicking through the November 1974 edition of the New York-based Artforum you couldn't help but form an opinion regarding pages 3 and 4. The left two-thirds of the centrefold were left completely black save for a nominal text advertising an upcoming exhibition at the Paula Cooper Gallery in then unfashionable Houston Street, SoHo. The right third contained a colour portrait of the artist Lynda Benglis. Benglis has hair slicked back, heavily tanned and nude save for Californian sunglasses and an oversized semi-flaccid latext dildo held over the artist's genitals. She is standing, left hand on hip, legs slightly apart with head skewed towards the reader. Read as a centrefold image the advertisement can be seen as an ironinic and rhetorical play on the expected supine nudie of Playboy and Hustler. Benglis is vertical here however, defying the horizontal gesturing of the usual centrefold treatment of the nude. The advertisement, paid for by the artist herself, appeared in the same edition as a major article written by the prominent art writer of the time, Robert Pincus-Witten entitled 'Frozen Gesture'. The image of Benglis was initially submitted for consideration in the article but censored by the then editorial board headed by John Coplans. The advertisement, which continues to confront today, would surely have raised the eyebrows of even the most liberal subscribers of Artforum.

Item Details

Item Type:Minor Creative Work
Keywords:contemporary art, feminism, Artforum, gender
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Visual arts
Research Field:Fine arts
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:The creative arts
UTAS Author:Juliff, T (Dr Toby Juliff)
ID Code:136579
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Office of the School of Creative Arts and Media
Deposited On:2020-01-09
Last Modified:2020-01-09

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