Friday, 20 May 2016

The art of rape art

After reading about a piece of video art which simulates the act of rape by an
Australian artist - Sophia Hewson. I felt so angry and offended, that I needed to
speak out.
I myself am a survivor of multiple rapes, perpetrated by both strangers and men who were known to me.
I am also an artist who has depicted my own rapes in the medium of paint.

The reasons that I am so incensed are -

1) This simulated 'rape' was a consensual agreement to sex between the artist and a man. Rape is not about sex.

2) This work could never empower me because, this is an artist who is merely being controversial and furthering her art career. She consented to sex with a man and was not raped. So, this in essence is a travesty and an insult to real rape victims and survivors.

3) The artist states " Instead of focusing on the perpetrator, the camera stays on Ms Hewson’s face. The raped woman is nearly always depicted with her face downcast and her eyes averted,”

If you actually took the time to observe that in most cinematic 'Rape scenes' The camera is more often than not, focused on the females clothes being ripped off, close up shots of her breasts, buttocks etc.. and 'Make- up face' rather than the rapists, who is usually fully clothed and in shadow, or his face is barely seen.

4) The artist also states  "To choose to put yourself in this situation, to show (even symbolically) a woman enduring the scene, is conceptually challenging because it threatens our assumption that man’s power is insurmountable. And in the ideology of patriarchy that is the deepest offence possible.”

Firstly, you have not endured rape. You have not endured an absolute fear. You
have not endured a man with a weapon that has penetrated your mind for the rest of your life.
You cannot achieve offence or dismantle male power in the rapist by 'enduring' the rape. Rape is about power, control, hatred, degradation and humiliation over a victim. Be it a woman, man or child. He is doing exactly what he wants to you - as a victim. It matters not what the victims reaction is. He knows that what he's doing - is going to become psychologically and terminally septic.

5) I feel that this work is gratuitous,voyeuristic and highly counter-intuitive. Primarily because there will be many rapists who will be aroused by your 'Play rape' Especially the type of rapists who believe the myth that women secretly enjoy being raped. I also feel that as a victim, I would be incredibly traumatised
by your video. Mainly because I would know that it was a contrived performance and was not manifested from the true pain and trauma of rape.

Therefore, you cannot speak for us, because you were not raped. You had 'sex' with a strange man. You orchestrated your own pretend 'rape' in the name of recognition and controversy.

Here are my depictions of rape, from the mind of a real survivor.

'Shut up and take it'

'Tell me you love it'

'The methodical, no-fuss rape'

1 comment:

  1. Completely agree with your analysis. I appreciate your paintings, the top one made me cry. I like how in the first two your depiction dehumanizes the rapist, the opposite of what happens during the actual rape (i.e: the rapist dehumanizes the victim)It also expresses truth as our humanity lies in our compassion and empathy for others, so when we act without these things, as the rapist does, we become less human. Happy to find this blog, I will keep reading through. Goddess bless you.