This musician is utilizing Instagram and selfies to subvert the objectification of females throughout history – and she’s calling it Sad Girl Theory
Self-proclaimed tragic queen and Instagram musician Audrey Wollen found our attention a year ago, marking out her very own electronic area with Judith Butler/Sailor Moon mash-ups, a twitter account documenting her real afflictions and recreations of renaissance paintings – certainly one of that has been the target of Richard Prince’s present Instagram pillage. However if there’s something the LA-based musician has been doing about it’s Sad Girl Theory that you need to know.
She proposes that – despite things being in the up for ladies these times – often being addressed since the lower intercourse nevertheless sucks, so when an work of governmental opposition we ought to acknowledge that and become as goddamn miserable even as we want. “The color of feminism that’s chosen for media attention is almost always usually the one many palatable to your capabilities that be – unthreatening, good, public,” explains Wollen. “I felt variety of alienated by modern feminism, that I simply couldn’t offer. as it demanded a great deal of me (self-love, great intercourse, financial success)” Taking cues from her understanding of art theory, Wollen’s work is designed to reframe the sadness of females throughout history as being method of fighting right back. Below, we got the 101 on Sad woman Theory alongside her throughts on Virginia Woolf, Brittany Murphy and reclaiming objectification via the medium of selfies.
Just just just How could you explain just what Sad woman Theory is?
Audrey Wollen: Sad woman Theory proposes that the sadness of girls must be recognised being a work of opposition. Governmental protest is generally defined in masculine terms – as one thing outside and frequently violent, a demonstration when you look at the roads, a riot, an career of area. But i believe that this limited spectral range of activism excludes a whole reputation for girls that have utilized their sorrow and their self-destruction to disrupt systems of domination. Girls’ sadness is certainly not passive, self-involved or superficial; it’s a motion of liberation, it really is articulate and informed, it really is a real means of reclaiming agency over our anatomical bodies, identities, and life.
That are your favourite unfortunate girls?
Audrey Wollen: Sad woman Theory comes into the world out from the cult of tragic queens which have constantly fascinated girls that are young individuals like Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Sylvia Plath, Frida Kahlo, or Virginia Woolf. My favourites alter all the right time, but at this time I’m actually into Brittany Murphy, Hannah Wilke, Elena Ferrante, Clarice Lispector, and Persephone, queen for the underworld.
Exactly why is Sad Girl Theory necessary now, and exactly why should most of us be unfortunate girls?
Audrey Wollen: i believe Sad Girl Theory possesses resonance now because feminism has made such a“comeback that is big into the media lately. Personally I think like girls are increasingly being arranged: whenever we don’t feel overjoyed about being a lady, our company is failing at our personal empowerment, once the sounds which are demanding that joy are identical people taking part in our subordination. International misogyny is not the consequence of girls lack that is’ of or self-confidence. Sad woman Theory is just a authorization slide: feminism doesn’t need certainly to advocate for exactly exactly how awesome and enjoyable being a lady is. Feminism has to acknowledge that being a lady on the planet now is amongst the hardest things there is – it’s unimaginably painful – and that our discomfort does not must be discarded into the title of empowerment. You can use it as being a product, a fat, a wedge, to jam that equipment and alter those habits.
“Girls’ sadness just isn’t passive, self-involved or superficial; it really is a motion of liberation, it really is articulate and informed, it’s a means of reclaiming agency over our anatomies, identities, and lives” – Audrey Wollen
Had been here a moment that is specific had been giving an answer to? Personally I think just like it will be appropriate at any part of history.
Audrey Wollen: Completely! Before history, even! The patriarchy may be the system that is oldest of energy there’s. Sadness, tears, even self-harm have already been considered outward indications of femininity for hundreds of years. An indicator, of course – never an autonomous work. It is so worthwhile to dig deep into history in order to find artefacts of women’s liberatory gestures that have been cornered away as “madness.” It’s comforting to learn that people had been never ever perhaps maybe not fighting.
just How are self-identified Sad Girls relating to – or subverting – the cliche of women as poor and painful and sensitive?
Audrey Wollen: i believe that those cliches associated with the poor, delicate ladies are simply here to psych us away, because we have stuck in a catch 22: in the event that you act “strong,” you’re a bitch; in the event that you act psychological you’re poor and pathetic. When you’ve accepted you do, because those cliches are designed to swallow our entire existence, you can do what you actually feel like that you are going to be affirming a sexist cliche no matter what. It is dangerous to own your politics that are radical in a period of response – trying to “disprove” the patriarchy, just as if the patriarchy really has some logic or proof behind it.
Just exactly just What present tasks are you taking care of?
Audrey Wollen: I’m wanting to compose guide, which is the culmination of Sad woman Theory, or at the very least the materialisation from it. I’m additionally investigating and dealing on a new human anatomy of artwork in regards to the very early hysteria clients of Los Angeles Salpetriere, the paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec, the erotics of this medical center, and my resemblance to 1990s Nicole Kidman.
Exactly What inspired your variety of repetition photographs?
Audrey Wollen: It began having a love that is purely aesthetic traditional paintings that finished up spiralling in to a semi-erotic desire to destroy them, sublimate them. By re-performing those pictures, i desired to put myself as an element of a lineage – a brief history of anonymous, nude girls. Section of that is a want to re-claim the image, to go on it right right back through the male hand, but In addition accept that i’m not able to escape the initial: many of us are followed, haunted, by these representations of girls. They set a typical for femininity that a lot of girls mimic unconsciously every time, that control our understanding of what exactly is gorgeous, what exactly is sexy, what exactly is effective.
So, there’s the pleasure of disruption (of stealing, of smearing) but additionally of fantasy and identification: I would like to function as the woman into the artwork, I’ve always wished to function as the woman when you look at the artwork. By placing my own body in to the image, i really could jiggle it out from the very strict confines of history, allow it inhale only a little, and also glance at the thing that was taking place here, exactly exactly what those systems had been coping with, what ideals these were guaranteeing. That provided me with an approach to consider every sort of image, not only traditional paintings but conceptual art for the 1960s, fashion photographs, anime TV programs, etc.
They kinda remind me of just what the art critic John Berger stated about representations of females in art – exactly just just how they’re always viewed or applied. So how exactly does your work react to that?
Audrey Wollen: Yes, exactly! Berger is simply saying females don’t come in art as topics, just objects – we don’t stop talking concerning the objectification of females when you look at the news or in artwork, but we don’t think we really grasp the implications of this sorts of representation. You are incapable of your own actions, and you are vulnerable to anyone’s actions upon you when you are an object. You might be a receptacle that is hollow other people’s desires and motions. The artwork is just a scene of genuine horror and physical violence, even though it is only an excellent image of a pretty woman lying on a sleep.
Exactly what can 21st Century Instagram girls study from art history?
Audrey Wollen: the Instagram is thought by me girl has already been element of art history; she’s submerged in it. The selfie is slightly various since it is mediated by technology as well as the internet as opposed to a guy by having a paintbrush, however it nevertheless acts an identical function. I’m actually thinking about exactly how porn, artwork, and technology have blended together to produce a generation that is whomle of who endlessly repeat their particular image. I do believe that people may use these products regarding the patriarchy as tools to dismantle it: the objectification of girls could be re-staged and read differently. Therefore let’s flip it around: imagine if the naked girl that is horizontaln’t a symbol of subordination, but a sign of rebellion? How about the character of objects could be used to our benefit? In anime, there are a great number of figures who’re half robot, half woman, that are completely infantile and eroticised but still completely lethal. Exactly what do we study from her usage of object-ness?