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escalating conflict over salon ad

 
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:16 am    Post subject: escalating conflict over salon ad Reply with quote

Quote:
Vandals have painted messages on the windows of an Edmonton hair salon at the centre of a controversy over an online advertisement that critics claimed glamorized violence against women.

"This is Art that is wrongly named violence," reads the first message on a window discovered Thursday at Fluid Hair Salon.

A fuchsia-coloured painted arrow then directs the reader to a message on the next window: "That was violence wrongly named Art."



Quote:
Earlier this week, the salon attracted widespread attention for an online ad which pictured a woman with a black eye sitting on a couch with a menacing man holding a necklace standing behind her. The ad reads: "Look Good In All You Do."



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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The painted messages look like someone actually took some time on them. Interesting message, too.

Still, though, when did people lose their ability to tolerate being offended? I'm not condoning the ad, but evidently it's been around for a year, someone "discovered" it, and now it's time for death threats.

Because nothing demonstrates your committment to anti-violence better than an anonymous threat to kill someone.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough, the threats are out of line, but open to interpretation? Like, seriously?

Let's just look at it as "art", then. The man is at a remove, dominating the upper left of the frame, dominating the upper part of the photo. He is looking down, half glowering, holding out an expensive-looking piece of jewelry. The woman is in the foreground, perched precariously on the couch, one leg extended and arched as if to display her lovely calves, the other akimbo to maintain her unstable position. Her elbows are pulled in tightly to her sides, her forearms outflung, making the pose both vulnerable, and with the turned-in foot, infantile. Her expression echoes that childishness, but with an element of blankness. The man's position behind the couch and inthe background removes him from focus, as does the lighting, which is hot on the woman - add in the caption, and the message is clear that even in a vulnerable and dangerous situation your sex appeal is and should be your priority.

You don't even have to reference the bloody great shiner on the woman's face to interpret the misogyny in the photo.

As a sidebar, IIRC, the owner of the salon was quoted in another article as saying the photo was of the hottest battered woman she'd ever seen. Given that, I'm trying to imagine any other valid "interpretation".
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd just as soon defer to the critics of this piece of 'art' work.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently sporting a black eye is all about being "really liberated" because "even Barbie bruises".

http://www.tylershields.com/2011/09/01/heather-morris/

http://www.usmagazine.com/moviestvmusic/news/glees-heather-morris-s...

And here I thought getting beaten was about victimisation. Silly fucking me.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senor Magoo wrote:
Because nothing demonstrates your committment to anti-violence better than an anonymous threat to kill someone.

Where exactly did you see a threat to kill? The CBC article says the following:
Quote:
Acting Sgt. Rick Evans said police found paint brushes and buckets of glue at the scene. He said the owners of the salon have received threats from people stating they wanted to "give them a black eye" or burn down their business.

Threats of physical violence and arson? Yes, and not acceptable. But threats of death? No.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It wasn't from the link above, it was from an Edmonton news site.

Quote:
Sgt. Rick Evans of the Edmonton Police Service said the salon has been inundated with hate mail and has received death threats and threats to burn down the business

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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had lunch with a friend of mine today, and he made the observation that it's a little disingenuous for the salon to run an ad like that, clearly meant to provoke outrage, and then turn around and complain when they get the response they were jonesing for.

I agree that, except in extreme circumstances, vandalism and death threats are never justified. But, it's well known that guys like Howard Stern etc. get a lot of hate mail and death threats, and I don't think anyone really feels sorry for them.

I'd be curious to know what effect this controversy is having on Liquid's business.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Defense Of Fluid Hair

The writer makes some interesting points, especially about why we get offended by certain themes when they appear in some contexts, but not others. (Sorry for the bad formatting.)

Quote:
How
dare they capitalize on domestic violence right? Well, (IMO) it’s more
complicated than that. Firstly, everybody’s selling you something
these days. The photographer or artist who puts up an exhibit
depicting images of abuse, homelessness, or murder is making money off
it. I’m sure many people would be quick to defend freedom of speech
and denounce censorship of an incoming exhibit at the AGA or a movie
at Metro cinema. But when two young, local, female artists (that’s
right I said artists) combine thought provoking images with
advertising we all seem to go (pardon my French) bat-shit crazy.



(The AGA is the main art gallery in Edmonton, and Metro is one of the art cinemas. Somewhat bolstering the writer's point, the Metro is where I saw Salo, which generated almost no controversy.)

Unfortunately, the blogger can't resist cheap appeals to civic pride, implying that if we criticize the Fluid artists too harshly, they might move to Vancouver. (At least she didn't say Calgary).
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A column by Paula Simon, who opposed the Fluid campaign.. It contains links to numerous articles and blogs on the subject, including the one quoted above.

EDIT: This is an interesting blog as well, also linked in Paula Simon's piece.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite a stretch to be arguing that this is art. It's an ad to sell a product. That's like calling Axe ads edgy and therefore artistic. What they have in common? Rampant misogyny.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voice of the damned wrote:
In Defense Of Fluid Hair

The writer makes some interesting points, especially about why we get offended by certain themes when they appear in some contexts, but not others. (Sorry for the bad formatting.)

Quote:
How
dare they capitalize on domestic violence right? Well, (IMO) it’s more
complicated than that. Firstly, everybody’s selling you something
these days. The photographer or artist who puts up an exhibit
depicting images of abuse, homelessness, or murder is making money off
it. I’m sure many people would be quick to defend freedom of speech
and denounce censorship of an incoming exhibit at the AGA or a movie
at Metro cinema. But when two young, local, female artists (that’s
right I said artists) combine thought provoking images with
advertising we all seem to go (pardon my French) bat-shit crazy.



I think the salient difference is that art makes money (when it does make money) by virtue of it's own identity and expression, while advertising is on behalf of something distinctly separate. Art whores itself out to make money, if you will; advertising is a pimp.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lynn Crosbie has a borderline coherent critique of the Barbie and the Fluid imagery in today's Globe.

The distinction she tries to draw between good and bad images of violence seems somewhat subjective to me. It's evident she doesn't like Fluid, but somehow thinks that Helmut Newton was doing something real important...

Quote:
Returning to Shields’s shots of the glorious Morris, which are far more critical (unless stylizing battered women is trending, which means we, as a civilization, are doomed): The couture and hair is the 1950s at its most banal; the aesthetic is playful S/M. Overall, it is less shocking than a badly conceived and executed attempt to enter the fashion-noir world that Helmut Newton began assailing us with in the 1970s. Newton, the King of Kink, shot beautiful women in morbid and louche manners, always drawing attention to the fine lines between beauty and ugliness, between Eros and Thanatos.


As some have pointed out in the Globe's comments section, Crosbie herself is the author of Paul's Case, a novel about Paul Bernardo, which Amazon reviewers have described as such...

Quote:
This author bothered me so much, I could only read the book a few pages at a shot. What kind of book is this? Did she actually send letters to paul Bernardo, or was everything made up? How dare she use this case as a way to display her poetry, which isn't even that good. She took a case that affected the lives of many many people and turned it into some coffee house ramblings. I see no point in this book. I see no point in reading it at all. How dare she have Pauls face on the cover in the hopes that true crime fans will buy it. I am insulted by this attempt to exploit.


Quote:
This author has attempted to put Paul Bernardo in poetry form...GIVE ME A BREAK! There are some sick word games and even sicker pencil drawn pictures. This author seem to be just a little obsessed with this case. At times she rambles about nothing in particular, her dreams or fantasies maybe?? I wonder if I can get money back. I'm sorry Lynn,This is not personal please stick to poetry of a different sort.


Quote:
Bad, truly bad, i live a fifteen minute drive from were this all happend. And let me tell you, crosbie's not welcome around this area.


Guess it just goes to show: One person's insightful exploration of the noir world of Thanatos is another person's tabloid exploitation.

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Last edited by voice of the damned on Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tehanu wrote:
Quite a stretch to be arguing that this is art. It's an ad to sell a product. That's like calling Axe ads edgy and therefore artistic. What they have in common? Rampant misogyny.


But are the categories of art and advertising always mutually exclusive?

Here is a poster advertising a film festival in Vermont. I wouldn't say it's totally devoid of artistic merit.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So when does cutting-edge become mundane and derivative, since Benetton has been doing this shock schtick since 1991? And even for Benetton, the ride came to an end with the Death Row campaign.
Also not cutting-edge is half-naked women looking uncomfortable. As Sociological Images says, "female punishment is the language of fashion".
So yeah, Fluid's ads are "cutting-edge" and "artistic" just like that white painted canvas labelled Polar Bear in a Snowstorm I saw in a student exhibition. In other words, Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes.

voice of the damned wrote:
In Defense Of Fluid Hair
The writer makes some interesting points, especially about why we get offended by certain themes when they appear in some contexts, but not others. . .
Somewhat bolstering the writer's point, the Metro is where I saw Salo, which generated almost no controversy.)

Was it because Edmontonians were all right with it, or because it wasn't on their radar? Because the same thing could be said of the Fluid ads when they first came out and there was little awareness and exposure, that they generated almost no controversy.

I didn't find the scrappyd post very convincing. Sure, you can have an ad that's more than just an ad and combines other elements like social commentary, but in this case, it doesn't work because the advertising and the social commentary are at cross-purposes. If the ad was supposed to get women thinking about the social pressure to look good (and take note, Parkatti, to frame this pressure as something women place on themselves is seriously not getting it), then what you're going for is to get women to ask themselves why they're spending so much time and money at Fluid Hair Salon. So I'm just not buying that Fluid created an ad to increase and decrease traffic to their salon.

As for the Box on Floor comparison, she could have gone with so many more relevant (and low-hanging fruit) examples, like Mapplethorpe, Serrano's Piss Christ, or Eli Langer. But oh, those wouldn't make her point because those people got flack for their art, just like Fluid. Whether or not you understand Box on Floor, it's not offensive. Incidentally, I tried looking up the Box on Floor exhibit because her condescending "But let’s not fear what we can’t understand aight?" and "Let’s think about this rationally for a second" comments irked me, and it's been my experience that these kinds of exhibits have accompanying written explanations, artist statements, etc. to guide people along. The artist usually doesn't just plop the exhibit into the room and then whine, "you don't understand me". (What I find rich about this Box on Floor anecdote is that Parkatti says she went looking for a customer service desk, not to enquire further about the meaning of the exhibit and maybe start to understand it, but to ask for her money back.) But unlike an art exhibit, explaining an ad is like explaining a joke; if you have to do it, bzzzt, fail. So anyway, this is probably not the exhibit she was talking about, but there's an interesting comment at the end:
Quote:
By titling the swastika Museum Piece, De Maria seems also to have been commenting on the neutralizing effects of the museum environment, . . .

So, VOTD, I don't think she explained *why* we get offended by certain themes when they appear in some contexts. She just asserted, incorrectly in my view, that people who went "bat-shit crazy" over this ad wouldn't have if it was an art exhibit. She also seems to be suggesting that context shouldn't matter, so if I accept something as part of an art exhibit, I should accept it in any other context.

Parkatti wrote:
I mean come on people, do you really think the ladies at Fluid are trying to say “homelessness is
hot” or “domestic abuse is acceptable?”

When a photo of the woman getting her makeup done is captioned, "hottest battered woman I've ever laid my eyes on", then yes, yes, that's exactly what I think the laydeez at Fluid are trying to say.

Senor Magoo wrote:
Because nothing demonstrates your committment to anti-violence better than an anonymous threat to kill someone.

Senor Magoo wrote:
It wasn't from the link above, it was from an Edmonton news site.

Quote:
Sgt. Rick Evans of the Edmonton Police Service said the salon has been inundated with hate mail and has received death threats and threats to burn down the business

Since women get death threats for offences like walking down the street and having an opinion (here and here), how do you know that the death threats were made by someone who had a commitment to anti-violence? Or even that it was someone who was offended by the ad, rather than some random misogynist opportunistically piling on?
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Since women get death threats for offences like walking down the street and having an opinion (here and here), how do you know that the death threats were made by someone who had a commitment to anti-violence? Or even that it was someone who was offended by the ad, rather than some random misogynist opportunistically piling on?


Under the circumstances, and combined with threats to burn the salon down, does it really seem far-fetched to you that these threats would be in response to the ad?

I mean, you're certainly right, in a pedantic way, that we cannot be 1000% sure, without being able to grill the death-threateners personally, but it seems just a wee bit of a huge coincidence if the owners of this salon just happened to get a random death threat at the same time that their ad is generating negative attention all over the blogosphere.

I wonder how many death threats per month they received prior to the ad?
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
voice of the damned wrote:
In Defense Of Fluid Hair
The writer makes some interesting points, especially about why we get offended by certain themes when they appear in some contexts, but not others. . .
Somewhat bolstering the writer's point, the Metro is where I saw Salo, which generated almost no controversy.)

Was it because Edmontonians were all right with it, or because it wasn't on their radar? Because the same thing could be said of the Fluid ads when they first came out and there was little awareness and exposure, that they generated almost no controversy.



I think those two things might actually be the same, ie. the fact that Salo never got on Edmontonians' radar shows that Edmontonians were okay with it.

I saw Salo in the mid-90s. I'm not sure what exactly the internet was like in those days, but if it's anything remotely like it is now, anyone who heard about the screening could have googled it, found a few of the extreme sado-masochistic images, and contacted the media to generate outrage about it. But that didn't happen. And I doubt that it happened when The Aristocrats played in Toronto(the movie apparently consists of various well-known comedians, including the South Park cast, all telling the same one joke, involving incest, rape, pedophilia etc).

I suspect what accounts for the non-reactions garnered by these films, as opposed to the strong reactions garnered by Fluid, is that highbrow art is generally treated with a mix of deference and indifference. By deference, I mean that some people will assume that if it's happening at an art theatre, or some such sanctified venue, the artist should be given the benefit of the doubt as to his supposed higher purposes. By indifference, I mean that a lot of other people just don't care what goes on at an "artsy" type establishment. It just doesn't make it to their radar, as you say.

Whereas a hair salon is viewed as a more mainstream, publically accessible sort of business, and therefore is expected to adhere to a more non-controversial standard of decorum.

I agree that her example of the box on the floor didn't really fit her argument, for the reasons you mentioned. As for Mapplethorpe and Serrano, their cases were similar to Fluid's, but also different. Similar in that they provoked criticism, but different in that the criticism was coming from different quarters than is the criticism directed against Fluid, ie. it was right-wingers and fundamentalists who were outraged about Serrano etc, whereas it's more progressives and feminists who are outraged about Fluid.

Eli Langer might actually be the best comparison, since his art was the kind that could be offensive to progressives(depending on whether you think sexualized images of children are okay if the purpose is social commentary).
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senor Magoo wrote:
Under the circumstances, and combined with threats to burn the salon down, does it really seem far-fetched to you that these threats would be in response to the ad?

That's not what I said. Try again.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Challenge accepted.

Under the circumstances, and combined with threats to burn the salon down, does it really seem to you that the possibility that any death threats received were simply random hate, unconnected to the ad, is sufficient to warrant consideration or discussion?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm gonna agree with Magoo that it's unlikely Fluid was receiving any appreciable amount of hate-mail and death-threats prior to this controversy going viral, and that the threats they've gotten are quite probably related to said controversy.

But I'm also gonna qualify that by saying that I don't know if the people making the threats are representative of those who are critiquing the ads, or if they're just representative of the kind of people who like to make death threats.

When I was in junior-high, early 80s, a similar controversy erupted in the Edmonton media, over a clothing store that was using sexual-assault as a theme in its window displays. This happened to be at the same point in my life when I was really into making crank phone calls, usually to people selected randomly from the phone book, but occassionally also to people or businesses who were garnering notoreity in the news.

I never cranked that particular clothier, but I could easily have imagined myself calling them up and saying something like "You guys are fucked-up sickos, I hope your store burns down with you in it!!" Not because I had much progressive or feminist analysis, just because I liked making crank calls, and they would have made a logical target, being already lambasted in the media.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

voice of the damned wrote:
Tehanu wrote:
Quite a stretch to be arguing that this is art. It's an ad to sell a product. That's like calling Axe ads edgy and therefore artistic. What they have in common? Rampant misogyny.


But are the categories of art and advertising always mutually exclusive?

Here is a poster advertising a film festival in Vermont. I wouldn't say it's totally devoid of artistic merit.


Is the ad art or does the ad use art? I grant that in some cases it can be the former, but I think a commercial motive detracts from artistic merit. I don't imagine Warhol would have gone over even as well as he did if his soup cans had been commissioned by Campbell's.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is the ad art or does the ad use art?


Interesting question. But, even conceding that the ad merely uses art, as opposed to BEING art, we've still got the complicating factor that the art in question was most likely created for the sole purpose of use in the advertising. The artist's main endeavour in producing the piece was to get people to shell out money for a film festival.

So, while the art might, technically speaking, stand alone apart from the advertising, it likely would never have existed in the first place were it not for the needs of the advertisers. And it's difficult for me to imagine that poster being displayed in a gallery, without the viewer looking at it and recognizing it as advertising.

Which is not to say that it couldn't be displayed in a gallery, just that it would never be seen wholly as art-for-itself. Warhol's soup cans, by contrast, would, to most people, probably not be interpreted as advertising.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a visual concept, its far worse on a variety of levels than the golden arches at McDonald's, the ambulance chaser ads on television, or the late night pay by the minute informercials promising conversation with someone in a bikini. It's certainly no better on any conceivable level, because it doesn't seek to challenge society's appreciation for violence and vulgarity, representing repetition as a marketing gimmick offering up poorly rendered copies of the real thing, with price tags affixed. Its like an auto assembly line where robots apply the final clear coat application over a piece of junk. From what little I know about art, it seems to me that it gains the most validity as an intervention, offensive or otherwise, into the inexplicable yet acceptable frameworks around which society is built. The subsequent vandalism better accomplishes that. As for the piece under discussion, we may as well stroll through a gallery where the only thing suspended on the walls are frames surrounding the word tautology, in large, blood red font.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I have seen a gallery curation of advertising as art. It isn't as far out an idea as you'd think. There's an intersection of art and advertising in that ads use visual media. Some use it clumsily, some are breathtakingly beautiful and incredibly creative. Warhol's early work was commercial, you know, and some of it was lovely. Better in some ways than hi soup cans, IMO. Film festivals in particular, as they are a part of the art scene, put a fair bit of energy into making strikingly artistic posters and there are some that fetch fairly high prices - as much as limited edition prints sometimes. There's a Cannes Film Festival poster featuring Marlena Dietrich the blond guy would cheerfully pay through the nose for, gorgeous, evocative piece that you can't tell me isn't art.

I think when there is attention to style, form, all that jazz, commercial art can be quite successful in both worlds. it's not like there are any hard lines defining art in the first place. I think, for example, that Tarantino is a derivative hack of the first water, but it doesn't stop anyone from thinking his work is high art - there have even been scholarly articles written on his work and you can't say it doesn't say something about our culture, as fucked up as that is.

Then there's the other link I posted, the photo shoot done with the Glee star sporting a shiner - "Barbie bruises...". It wasn't for advertising purposes. Does that make it art?

Then you can move on to good art vs bad art, which is a never-ending discussion.

For me, neither question actually matters. A statement is being made. I don't lime it and I won't shy away from saying so. Threats have been made that are out of line, but even before that the salon people were whining about being unfairly criticized. To my way of thinking, if you don't want criticism, don't make those kinds of statements. You want to defend it as art? Then take responsibility for your expression because that's what I do with every piece of video or film I produce.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Commercial art normally doesn't imply its actual intent, preferring instead to craft every piece as its own micro-business, or as part of a wider conglomerate effort.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Actually, I have seen a gallery curation of advertising as art.


I've gone to the cinema to watch commercials that the judges at Cannes thought were the most artistic.
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

al-Qa'bong wrote:
Quote:
Actually, I have seen a gallery curation of advertising as art.


I've gone to the cinema to watch commercials that the judges at Cannes thought were the most artistic.


One of the theatres in Edmonton used to show Cannes commercials, every freaking month(or so it seemed to me at the time). My friend and I, despite being big film buffs, made a point of never attending, since it just seemed wrong to pay for the privilege of being advertised at.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voice of the damned wrote:
Quote:
voice of the damned wrote:
In Defense Of Fluid Hair
The writer makes some interesting points, especially about why we get offended by certain themes when they appear in some contexts, but not others. . .
Somewhat bolstering the writer's point, the Metro is where I saw Salo, which generated almost no controversy.)
Quote:
Was it because Edmontonians were all right with it, or because it wasn't on their radar? Because the same thing could be said of the Fluid ads when they first came out and there was little awareness and exposure, that they generated almost no controversy.


I think those two things might actually be the same, ie. the fact that Salo never got on Edmontonians' radar shows that Edmontonians were okay with it.

What I was trying to say is that I don't think there's a causal connection between the amount of controversy and whether people take offense or not. Does the fact that the Fluid ads were up almost a year before the controversy mean that people weren't offended by the ad in February or May but became offended at the end of August? Or for another example, does the Ottawa screening of A Fire In My Belly to AFAIK little to no protest mean that American Christians were offended but Canadian Christians weren't? That there was no hoopla over Salo at the Metro does not mean people don't find the film offensive.

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I suspect what accounts for the non-reactions garnered by these films, as opposed to the strong reactions garnered by Fluid, is that highbrow art is generally treated with a mix of deference and indifference. By deference, I mean that some people will assume that if it's happening at an art theatre, or some such sanctified venue, the artist should be given the benefit of the doubt as to his supposed higher purposes.

Like with "my kid could do that" Voice of Fire? I'm not seeing the deference or any sort of willingness to consider anything beyond "two cans of paint and two rollers and about 10 minutes" in the (negative) public assessment of Newman's work.
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Whereas a hair salon is viewed as a more mainstream, publically accessible sort of business, and therefore is expected to adhere to a more non-controversial standard of decorum.

I don't think it's the type of business so much as advertising having stricter standards. Unacceptable Depictions and Portrayals in The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards. What's more mainstream than the local cineplex showing scenes which "appear in a realistic manner to exploit, condone or incite violence" or "directly encourage, or exhibit obvious indifference to, unlawful behaviour"?
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I'm gonna agree with Magoo . . .
But I'm also gonna qualify that by saying that I don't know if the people making the threats are representative of those who are critiquing the ads. . .

But that was the essence of his argument, that the person making the death threats was one of those who objected to the ad, and was a pacifist to boot. Your crank calling kid scenario doesn't qualify that position; it directly opposes it by recognizing the caller could be someone other than a person who was offended by the ad and who has a "commitment to anti-violence". Which is what I thought I was saying, but maybe "opportunistically piling on" doen't mean what I think it means.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Does the fact that the Fluid ads were up almost a year before the controversy mean that people weren't offended by the ad in February or May but became offended at the end of August?


It probably just means someone found them, blogged them, and whipped people up.

The infamous "Danish Cartoons" were pretty much unheard of until a few Imams decided that that wouldn't do, and brought them to the ME to get people all furious about them. Sometimes all it takes is someone with a vested interest in seeing people get up on their hind legs about something, and a willingness to egg them on.
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Or for another example, does the Ottawa screening of A Fire In My Belly to AFAIK little to no protest mean that American Christians were offended but Canadian Christians weren't? That there was no hoopla over Salo at the Metro does not mean people don't find the film offensive.


Well, a factor to be considered here is that the American screening was held at the Smithsonian, whereas the Canadian screening was held at some place called Gallery 101. So, it's a little difficult to compare reactions, since obviously the Canadian screening was fairly obscure, whereas the American screening was about as high profile as you can get.

So, imagining that A Fire In The Belly was shown at an obscure art gallery in some American city, yeah, I woudn't expect it to make it onto the radar. Apparently, it was showing at a bunch of different galleries across the country earlier this year, with little national-level controversy that I am aware of...

Quote:
Currently, in Pittsburgh, the Mattress Factory Museum, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Wood Street Galleries have all chosen to screen "A Fire in My Belly." These Pittsburgh arts organizations are joining others nationwide, including The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Pacific Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR; The New Museum, New York; International Center for Photography, New York; The Glassel School of Art, Houston, TX; Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA; The Tate Modern, London; and many more.



I suspect if it hadn't been for the Smithsonian controversy, these screenings would be even more obscure than they already are.

Quote:
I don't think it's the type of business so much as advertising having stricter standards. Unacceptable Depictions and Portrayals in The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards.


You're probably correct that advertising is held to a different set of standards than art-for-its-own-sake. But I think it still makes some difference what type of business we're talking about.

Here is an article about an Australian nightclub that generated controversy with anti-Christian themes in one of its posters.

From what I can tell from the articles about this, the controversy was largely confined to Melbourne, with the mayor and the Archbishop weighing in. But the reaction would probably have been considerably different had it been, say, General Motors using that same imagery to sell a car, rather than a nightclub appealing to fashinably rebellious youth.

Fire In My Belly Screenings
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voice of the damned wrote:
. . . since obviously the Canadian screening was fairly obscure. . .

The CBC article I linked to about the movie was announcing the upcoming screening and telling Canadians that it was controversial and had been pulled from another exhibit.

But really, that misses the larger point about causality. There are too many factors involved in why people would protest one thing and not another (why Canada would ban Pretty Baby (1978) but not Salo (1975), why there would be protests or bans in one country or province or city and not another, why people protest something in an ad when they can see much worse in a film or gallery) or why something goes viral and another almost identical thing doesn't, to be able to say that if people don't protest, it means they're OK with it. It's like saying that Canadians were pro-free trade because they elected Mulroney in '88.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
why Canada would ban Pretty Baby (1978) but not Salo (1975)


Wasn't Pretty Baby only banned in Ontario? I'm pretty sure I remember it playing in Alberta when it first came out(though it's possible the cops tried to shut it down after it opened; I know that happened to Caligula).

This list is interesting(though I think it's originally from Wikipedia)...

Quote:
Canada
Prior to the late 1980s and early 1990s, all Canadian provinces banned films with no purpose other than the display of explicit sexuality or excessive violence.

•1918: Manitoba institutes a ban (since lifted) on all comedies.
•1953: Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec ban The Wild One
•1967: Nova Scotia censors ban Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? describing it as “obscene and blasphemous”. After an appeal from the distributor and media coverage, the decision was overturned and the film was released with a “Restricted” rating
•1970: The National Film Board of Canada blocks the release of Denys Arcand’s controversial documentary On est au coton. An edited version is released in 1976, but the original unedited version was not released until 2004.
•1972: Pink Flamingos is edited in several provinces, with Nova Scotia banning it outright until 1997.
•1976: Blood Sucking Freaks is banned in Nova Scotia and Ontario.
•1977: In the Realm of the Senses is banned by all provinces except Quebec. In 1991, the ban was overturned by most provinces.
•1978: Pretty Baby is banned in Ontario by the Ontario Censor Board. The ban was repealed in 1995.
•1979: Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens is banned in Nova Scotia.
•1980: Caligula is banned by all provinces except Quebec, which gave it an 18+ rating. Edited versions were later passed.
•1980: The Tin Drum is edited, and later banned outright by the Ontario Film Classification Board.
•1983: I Spit on Your Grave was banned in Nova Scotia until 1998.
•1985: Day of the Dead is banned in Ontario and the Maritimes, with a cut version passed in Ontario.
•1987: Bad Taste is banned in Nova Scotia; it is now available on DVD with an 18 rating.
•1989-1993: The Death Scenes video series is banned in Nova Scotia.
•1994: Exit to Eden is temporarily banned by the Saskatchewan Film and Video Classification Board.
•1997: Bastard Out of Carolina is banned by the Maritime Film Classification Board. This decision was later appealed, and a video release was allowed.
•2001: Fat Girl banned by the Ontario Film Review Board until 2003
•2006: Bumfights, a series of shot-on-tape reality productions, is banned in seven of the ten provinces and territories; the remaining three give it an R rating.
At present, only films containing prohibited material (such as child pornography) or under court order (such as libel or copyright infringement) are banned in Canadian provinces.



The list doesn't mention if Salo was banned at the time. If the question is re-shaped as why did Pretty Baby become notorious, whereas Salo wallows in obscurity to this day, I would say the fact that the latter is a foreign-language film, with a plot that would be of little interest to middle-brow audiences, might be a factor there. Plus, there is the fact that Pretty Baby uses an actual child actor. (It's been a while since I've seen Salo, but I think the actors are all adults, or at least older than Brooke Shields was in Pretty Baby).

Quote:
The CBC article I linked to about the movie was announcing the upcoming screening and telling Canadians that it was controversial and had been pulled from another exhibit.


Yes, but had there been no original controversy at the Smithsonian, it is unlikely that CBC would have described the film as controversial. They likely wouldn't even have reported on it, at least not at a national level. I don't think the article can really be construed as reporting on any Canadian reaction to the film.

Quote:
to be able to say that if people don't protest, it means they're OK with it.


Well, you're right, we can't technically say that people were okay with Salo but not with the Fluid art, because we don't know if the people who were upset about Fluid had seen Salo.

But, it's a pretty good bet that almost all the people who have registered opposition to Fluid are aware of equally violent and misogynistic films(if not Salo per se), but likely didn't protest those, unless the media is just ignoring all the vandalism of theatres that takes place at theatres showing Kill Bill(or what have you), and the theatre owners subsequently apologizing to battered women and promising to donate money to shelters.


Last edited by voice of the damned on Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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