A pose is a pose is a pose
September 3, 2011 7:35 AM   Subscribe

Poses, an art performance in which regular women replicate the poses struck by glamour models in fashion magazines, by Spanish artist Yolanda Dominguez (interview).
posted by elgilito (57 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
thank god they're regular. everytime i've tried this the models either cramped up or shit themselves
posted by kitchenrat at 7:39 AM on September 3, 2011 [14 favorites]


I'm not sure the fact that these women are "regular," whatever that means, is what gives this performance its force. If I saw a model, even the very same models, striking these poses in public I would be just as struck. In that sense, it seems to be about the function of photography in consumer media, and the artificial form of life it suggests.
posted by Dia Nomou Nomo Apethanon at 7:47 AM on September 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I have to agree with Dia (etc) about this. It would be the same effect if someone struck the poses typically seen in any physical movement type of occupation (sports, police work, fire fighters, military, teachers, you name it). It really isn't about fashion and "regular" but about doing something out of its usual context.
posted by tomswift at 7:51 AM on September 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well, I laughed a lot. I'm not sure that was the effect she was going for.

I think some of those ladies were editorializing a bit with the facial expressions. The models are all making sultry come-hither eyes, but the "regular" women tended more toward "stunned trout" as a default emotion.
posted by Scattercat at 7:53 AM on September 3, 2011


News flash, fashion editorial photography isn't "realistic". It's about making an "image". You could do the same thing with romantic comedies, or anything really. There is also a reason photographers hire professional models other than looks, they know how to pose and use the right facial expression for the right image. This so misses the point, and feels like bashing the models for not being "regular", and instead thin and tall.
posted by usagizero at 8:00 AM on September 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


The performance of stylized fakery as real life is a standard comic tre. See " Mary Worth".

As for the video? I laughed.
posted by The Whelk at 8:12 AM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow. Non-hot women still don't look hot in "seductive" poses. Film at 11. ;)

Actually some pretty cool work, but I don't know that I'd say it makes its point - More humorous than scathing social commentary.
posted by pla at 8:12 AM on September 3, 2011


Wow, everyone in Spain, men and women alike, (except for the tv hosts and the female policia) is pretty chunky.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:18 AM on September 3, 2011


I love the concept, but I think it would work a whole lot better if it was presented as a set of still photos where the regular women authentically recreated the poses. As is, it seems more about mimes.

and none of the body image posts recently on MeFi has yet to improve on this one.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:19 AM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


The women in the fashion/indie mags don't just strike those silly poses and hold them, usually. It's more they're rolling around and whatnot and the photographer takes hundreds of shots.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:21 AM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I’m pretty tired of this whole thing. I know that some people don’t like the model aesthetic, I don’t like football but I don’t rant about it... much.

Art does not need, or is even supposed to be "realistic". I don’t walk through the museum and complain about how fake the poses in the paintings are. This reminds me of people getting upset that professional wrestling seems fake.

I think much advertising with women is silly and sometimes offensive, but sometimes think people are taking it way too personally, in that "do you think you’re better than me?" way too many people seem to feel. This is how we got GWB for president.
posted by bongo_x at 8:23 AM on September 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


his is how we got GWB for president.

I'm dreaming of an alternate world where the Bush/Gore debates were a series of sexy poses.
posted by Winnemac at 8:30 AM on September 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm confused. Did we vote for Bush because we liked the way models pose or because we didn't?
posted by DU at 8:32 AM on September 3, 2011


> The women in the fashion/indie mags

I meant "undie" mags. Autocorrect is a jerk.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:37 AM on September 3, 2011


I think this stuff is ridiculous and pointless personally. Why must everything be taken so fucking literally? Fashion and couture photography is an art like painting or illustration. So are the runway shoes that most of these companies do. It's overly dramatic, it's surreal. Male fashion advertising does the same thing, it's just sexist when it's a woman.

I'm all for parody, if you wanna make fun of something fine, but don't try to sell it into some sort of larger problem with culture.

For those confused, Geico does not actually employ Geckos either.
posted by straight_razor at 8:41 AM on September 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I thought this was funny and/or interesting, but I would have liked it more if the regular woman committed to the pose a bit more instead of making fun of it. There is plenty to make fun of in fashion and modeling, but at its core it is about facade and glamor... And a real woman (or man, for that matter), regardless of her size or perceived beauty can really work this.

Sure, it seems silly and contrived, but so does ballet when the movement of the body is taken out of context. It is making the body do something it wasn't intended to do, necessarily. That is the visual interest and beauty of it, imo. It isn't that fashion models are particularly beautiful or that the movements they make are natural, it is their physical presence and how they abstract and stylize it.
posted by Tchad at 8:44 AM on September 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Tina Fey on her experience of posing for fashion magazines: "you have to let go of any rational understanding that what you're doing is ridiculous...you have to make as many angles with your body as possible...try to look like you took a Benadryl 30 minutes ago or something."
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:49 AM on September 3, 2011


Ack. Borked the Tina Fey link. Actual link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8Mkufm3ncc starting a 10:45.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:51 AM on September 3, 2011


I object. There weren't any surreal Photoshop filters at all.
posted by LogicalDash at 9:00 AM on September 3, 2011


Male fashion advertising does the same thing, it's just sexist when it's a woman.

That's funny... I didn't see anything about sexism in the post or the article.
posted by LogicalDash at 9:01 AM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


It isn't that fashion models are particularly beautiful or that the movements they make are natural, it is their physical presence and how they abstract and stylize it.

Hehe, I agree.. it would've been better if she just use models to do these poses. They're better at it anyway.
posted by ReeMonster at 9:01 AM on September 3, 2011


Funny thing... isn't the function of fashion photography ultimately to sell clothes? I've always assumed that weird poses were deliberate exaggerations ideally used to emphasized some quality of the fashions on display, not intended to represent the actions of normal human beings. Many of Avedon's best images featured models in bizarre and/or extreme positions.

I take issue with the extreme thinness of the models and the extensive airbrushing used to render their contours impossible, but have no problem with inventive postures. Unless they're done poorly, of course.
posted by kinnakeet at 9:02 AM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


All Presidential debates will be settled by a Vogue-off.
posted by The Whelk at 9:06 AM on September 3, 2011


Can't get the stink off.

(that's what I thought of at the end of the video with that one lady)
posted by symbioid at 9:07 AM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Performance seems to mean just about anything, doesn't it?
posted by Ideefixe at 9:16 AM on September 3, 2011


That's funny... I didn't see anything about sexism in the post or the article.

Read the first question in the interview
posted by straight_razor at 9:32 AM on September 3, 2011


Rock star poses would look silly in real life too.

Art is stylized. Who knew?
posted by Trurl at 9:59 AM on September 3, 2011


Seriously!

And what's up with this fucking "Picasso" guy? Talk about unrealistic. Don't even get me started on Dali.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:03 AM on September 3, 2011


And what's up with this fucking "Picasso" guy? Talk about unrealistic. Don't even get me started on Dali.

Exactly the same thing. You should see the way 12-year-old girls these days contort themselves to live up to that unattainable Demoiselles d'Avignon ideal.
posted by Ralston McTodd at 10:19 AM on September 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


You should see the way 12-year-old girls these days contort themselves to live up to that unattainable Demoiselles d'Avignon ideal.

What the hell does posing have to do with anorexia?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:24 AM on September 3, 2011


I think much advertising with women is silly and sometimes offensive, but sometimes think people are taking it way too personally, in that "do you think you’re better than me?" way too many people seem to feel. This is how we got GWB for president.

Ah, yes, that much talked about women's body issues/feminist bloc that proved key in the Shrub's election victories.
posted by kmz at 10:46 AM on September 3, 2011


Spanish women are hot!

Ohterwise, to comment scattercat`s remark, as far as the stunned trout look versus the come hither look I think intimate context or not has more to do with it more than pro model versus normal individuals.
posted by Meatafoecure at 10:48 AM on September 3, 2011


What the hell does posing have to do with anorexia?

I'm interpreting this project as a critique of the fashion industry in general, not just models' poses (and I think most people opposing the project are as well.)
posted by Ralston McTodd at 10:50 AM on September 3, 2011


models are regular women too, it's kinda messed up to imply they are not.
posted by rcdc at 10:54 AM on September 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


6 foot tall women with BMIs of 17, yes.
posted by jrochest at 11:02 AM on September 3, 2011


models are regular women too, it's kinda messed up to imply they are not.

Nah, most of them are extremely tall.

(Why doesn't anybody harp on that?)
posted by Threeway Handshake at 11:03 AM on September 3, 2011


Photographers who use Flash to display their images are just as vapid and shallow as the models they photograph.
posted by jsavimbi at 11:03 AM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Everytime there is a challenge that involves dressing non-models on Project Runway, they call them real women. You know, as opposed to the imaginary ones.

Anyway, I saw this as more of a light-hearted, funny critique of the fashion world, not really an angry feminist manifesto. I'm sure they can take it.
posted by pishposh at 11:04 AM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm with jsavimbi. I tried to look through the gallery but gave up. I guess I'm more technologically behind the curve than I suspect.
posted by TheRedArmy at 11:12 AM on September 3, 2011


If you can read Spanish, her blog makes a much better point of what she is trying to do.
posted by Tchad at 11:25 AM on September 3, 2011


I felt very badly for the people around who were responding compassionately to women who appeared to be in some sort of distress. The woman in the restaurant appeared to be having some sort of "episode", and the woman lying on the pavement appeared to have collapsed, or perhaps even have been dead. I think it's unkind and unfair to put random passers-by through this kind of stress for the sake of making an artistic statement. Real stress responses brought on by emergencies (even non-authentic ones) have real impacts on people's lives.
posted by theplotchickens at 11:33 AM on September 3, 2011


Hey, I thought that was some funny, interesting, silly, entertaining and provocative performance art! I'm a Feminist and I loved it. No, it's not world changing, it's performance art -- it's just a piece, it doesn't have to change your world, but if you just look at it and let it make you think a bit... I give it a thumbs up.

Why does art by women, or art with a feminist bent, have to be pitch-perfect to be worthwhile? Why does the statement have to be bulletproof to escape so much ire? Why do people rush to defend the fashion industry as high art being sullied by this artist, who I believe is earnestly (and quite charmingly, in my opinion) just trying something interesting to make people think -- about whatever it is her art makes them think? She's not telling anybody WHAT to think, it's just a "hey, here's something weird, out of the ordinary, based on some images you've seen in a more ordinary context, how does it make you feel?" I see it as a gift, not a punch in the mouth.
posted by pazazygeek at 11:42 AM on September 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


it appears most of ye mefites are stunningly lacking in a sense of humor.
posted by lapolla at 11:43 AM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of a goofy buddy of mine at work. He'd come into my office and strike poses while asking me if i was ready for lunch. The whole hand on the belt and pointing off to the horizon. Now, I do it.
posted by Mojojojo at 11:50 AM on September 3, 2011


Specifically in Tchad's link, this post discusses her take on images of women in media. (In Spanish, of course.)
posted by restless_nomad at 11:52 AM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I felt very badly for the people around who were responding compassionately to women who appeared to be in some sort of distress. The woman in the restaurant appeared to be having some sort of "episode", and the woman lying on the pavement appeared to have collapsed, or perhaps even have been dead. I think it's unkind and unfair to put random passers-by through this kind of stress for the sake of making an artistic statement. Real stress responses brought on by emergencies (even non-authentic ones) have real impacts on people's lives.

Whereas I'm pretty sure they laughed once they were told what was going on, and went on to live their lives exactly as before, but now with a good story to tell at dinner.

Modeling as an art form and as a profession is something that does need critiqueing, because it is so ubiquitous. You can argue whether or not the constant bombardment of images of starving women in contorted poses wearing beautiful clothes is neutral or not, but it's certainly a question worth raising.
posted by emjaybee at 11:52 AM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I loved this. I would do this sort of thing, if I had any talent as a photographer; which is to say, I would love to state (re-stage?) certain ads, and shoot them with normal people. For a couple of reasons; 1, it would give the poor models a break and let them forage for some food...poor little starving things, 2. It would let regular people realize that spandex is a privilege, not a right...stop doing that in public, 3. I would like to celebrate the innate beauty in Everyman. I have never, not once, never, seen any human where there wasn't a spark of something beautiful; and I would love to show that you don't have to be 6 feet tall, and white, and weigh less than a 3rd grader to be beautiful. (Example: I think the girl on the bench in this installation, is stunning.)

I like what Yolanda Dominguez is going for with this installation. I applaud her message and her models.
posted by dejah420 at 12:48 PM on September 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure the fact that these women are "regular," whatever that means, is what gives this performance its force. If I saw a model, even the very same models, striking these poses in public I would be just as struck. In that sense, it seems to be about the function of photography in consumer media, and the artificial form of life it suggests.

I used to work in a building where I was pretty much the only one who took the stairs. One day I came out the metal outside door at the bottom to see a startlingly attractive woman in a short diaphanous dress and heels with her back to me, hands up against a wall, and looking over her shoulder directly at me in a pose straight out of a magazine. It was so surreal that I froze for a moment, and then I realized their was a photographer just out of sight next to the door. It definitely stuck with me.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:24 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why does no one in this thread seem to get that "regular" in the first comment refers to regularity of bowel movements?

I guess I'm the only one here who's either old or has had intestinal surgery and therefore worries about that sort of thing, eh?
posted by lesli212 at 1:32 PM on September 3, 2011


I would have liked this much better, and it probably would have made more of a statement, if the poses they were doing were from commercial ads, and not couture. As some other people have stated, couture is an art. It's not meant to be real.
It is, however, pretty sucky on the media's part to have a skewed model demographic when it comes to commercial advertising. Because that's not art. That's corporate propaganda. Like American Apparel ads, or Abercrombie, or whatever. Now those are the real evil here.
posted by shesaysgo at 2:05 PM on September 3, 2011


Pretty much all the ads you see in fashion magazines feature younger women, who re typically the ones who want to be models or are signed by the big agencies. And many are, I would bet, far younger than the ones you see in ads for American Apparel, which does have a younger target demographic. That the CEO of the company is an asshole doesn't make their hiring of younger models unique.
posted by raysmj at 3:02 PM on September 3, 2011


As some other people have stated, couture is an art. It's not meant to be real.

Couture is just the flagship product of luxury conglomerates. For instance, Dior and Givenchy belong to LVMH while Saint-Laurent and Balenciaga belong to PPR. It may be art, but it's really high-end advertising for mass-market products, including ready-to-wear, leather goods, cosmetics, perfumes, jewelry etc. Even if a fashion house is independent, it will help to sell magazines that are nothing but glossy ads for cosmetics. And like a lot of advertising, it works by making people feel insecure about themselves by showing them examples of unattainable, contrived and artificial "perfection".
posted by elgilito at 3:46 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love stuff that tries to take the piss out of high fashion and make explicit how bizarre and silly it all is out of its hermetically sealed context (yes, I loved Supermodel Personals back in the day too). Funny timing too bc last night I saw Qui etes-vous, Polly Maggoo and found it such a blast for how gleefully it lampooned all of that but maintained a sense of affection, not malice (that warmer critique style of approach is also why I like Slacker, where you can tell Linklater has a fondness for the proto-hipsters, college kids, and misfits he's gently teasing).
posted by ifjuly at 9:54 PM on September 3, 2011


And Polly pointedly makes that aforementioned vapid "stunned trout" face a lot in the movie. Because, you know, models often do if you stop to take a moment and divorce the "trying to be alluring/sexy" context from the absurd actual pose.
posted by ifjuly at 9:56 PM on September 3, 2011


Well, I lack the google-fu and cannot find Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman appearing as 'Fashion Models at Home', which this reminds me of. Perhaps someone else can find it. For no good reason whatsoever, then, here is the Siamese elephant bit, as a completely unrelated substitute.
posted by umberto at 9:57 PM on September 3, 2011


You can argue whether or not the constant bombardment of images of starving women in contorted poses wearing beautiful clothes is neutral or not, but it's certainly a question worth raising.

If you want to say that thin people are ugly, just say it. Eat all the hamburgers you want, but don't presume to tell me when I'm hungry.
posted by Winnemac at 1:08 AM on September 4, 2011


Couture is just the flagship product of luxury conglomerates. For instance, Dior and Givenchy belong to LVMH while Saint-Laurent and Balenciaga belong to PPR. It may be art, but it's really high-end advertising for mass-market products, including ready-to-wear, leather goods, cosmetics, perfumes, jewelry etc. Even if a fashion house is independent, it will help to sell magazines that are nothing but glossy ads for cosmetics.

So basically you hate capitalism.
Go back to Russia?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:43 AM on September 4, 2011


« Older The GOP War on Voting   |   The Monsterous Master Of Mystical Language Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments