#Waxchick series directly address the issue of female representation in the public realm - the appearance and projection of women in advertisements and public presence: the way they are styled, stylised and presented in terms of physical appearance, dress, attitude to the camera, attitude to the viewer. It is embedded with a deeply personal aspect. 

The artworks are an important discussion on our popular culture,  the challenge of showcasing female sexuality and behaviour in a public context.
Gisele Defares answered that well in an article for Literally Darling where she referred the historic nude to the contemporary woman - that we have only just started to see the 'uninhibited woman' being presented and displayed in art and people seem to be so shocked and surprised by that. The arrest of the female artist in Japan who created a 3D sculpture of her vagina is a shocking problem - how can someone be arrested by an 'obscenity law' for documenting her body, while Manga and areas like this create very explicit illustrations of violence against woman - a hypocrisy at the very least. 4 of my billboards were denied posting by the advertising companies as they were deemed too explicit although they just showed women with more 'force or presence' - there was no nudity, no overt explicitness, they just seemed to have a character and were in underwear - but as the advertising interim agency that also was surprised at the censorship said "We see thousands of underwear adverts with models so we thought your image would be fine, we didn't understand why the billboard company denies its publication."
The answer from the billboard company was that the image was too "provocative" or had "provocative implications" - so as long as it just showed a passive underwear model this would be fine, but as it showed a woman in underwear with a purpose it wasn't.

The images I created for the WAX series make subversive commentary on this: encouraging viewer interaction & encouraging an unsettling emotional response by re-creating conventionally sexualised images to a dramatised extent. Using the external space of billboards and street art, the self-portraits pose a question to the public viewer - is this something you are prepared to accept? Or will this sort of imagery be challenged? Is there a limit to what a woman can do with her own body? Is it more acceptable if it has a selling purpose? It is acceptable for a man to use a woman’s body this way, or for her to use her own body in such context? Do you find these images sexualising, oppressive, empowering or suggestive?

How far can we go within the advertising and public realm -how much can we show, what are the boundaries that companies are prepared to put forward and how does this effect the everyday-viewer who is subjected to this repetitive, overpowering, forced media.

The use of my own body in the series is often dismissed as an exercise in self-appreciation; but the reality of the matter is the representation and ownership of the women's body; her character beneath vs how it is presented to the outside world / the use of clothing as suggestion/fetisisation of the body & the female body and the sexualisation of the woman in culture overall - from historically until now. And this isn't just an abstract work on the issue coming from an abstract perspective i.e. a considerate male perspective, but it's after having experienced direct impact of this world, this culture, on my own body.

In this project I referenced artists like Allen Jones and Guy Bourdin to analyse the way an image of a woman by a man, vs an image of a woman by a woman, in the same sexualised context is received - is our understanding of misogyny and the ‘male-gaze’ so internalised that we are prepared, as women to objectify ourselves through our choice of clothing and self-presentation? Or is this completely aside from issue? 




Screenings 2015/2016:
East End Film Festival 2016 at Genesis Cinema
London Short Film Festival 2016: ICA, Hackney Picturehouse
ICA - Fashion Film Identity Panel discussion
In House Festival
Shorts On Tap - Winner
Library London Wax Live
Kobini Digital Premiere 6 Countries
Karst Artist Screenings
Deptford Theatre
Women in Revolt
Parallell Viena - Electronic Relations

Press:
LSFF16 Short Film Festival
ICA - Fashion Film Identity

Sleek Magazine
Hungry Eye Cover Hungry Eye Press Design Taxi Kobini Dazed Cozy Polyester Girls on Film Sant Magazine VM Central Shorts on Tap Inhouse Festival Arteuparte wearesomewildchildren Golden Boi Press Apar.TV German TV BabyFace Rai Italian TV High Content AnOn Magazine Creative Pool

Being the female artist in question, the presentation, ownership and use of my own body in this particular context is most appropriate, as it displays the intention of the female artist (the producer of the artwork) to present how the portrayal of self-objectification vs the objectified/represented female form shot/drawn/seen by a male artist is received - which is a particularly crucial question. Portrayal of the perfected female form popular to the male gaze is seen across a wide range of media, both current and historic - the painting, the sculpture, the fashion image.



2018 Vasilisa@firstfilms.co.uk