Last week we had a Critical Studies lecture that talked about what sort of message we as designers and artists are putting out there to the world. We were shown some really quite shocking adverts that had been around in the 1940’s and 50’s where women were belittled, and patronised and shown as being less of a person as a man, and although we all laughed at the images they did at the same time feel uncomfortable to look at, as we all seemed to agree that this just wasn’t right. However, when it came to images that were still being created in the modern world, where supposedly inequality is no longer an issue, i was mortified to see an image that was put forward by Dolce and Gabbana in 2007 that displayed an image that showed a woman laid on the floor with a man on top of her and other man standing around in some sort of voyeuristic male activity.

I noticed on the following website that the author tried to defend the company, even though the advert had been banned in Italy, saying:-

“What, exactly, is going on in this Dolce & Gabbana ad and does it really matter? Don’t fashion labels get a pass when it comes to raciness and imagery that connotes culturally questionable activities?


An interesting thought is that the words i put into the search to get this image was "Dolca and Gabbana, gang rape" and this is what comes up!!a


I wonder what exactly went on in that meeting room when the presentation for this advert was given, and what the sales pitch was? You do not expect this to be happening in the more ‘enlightened times’ we are ‘supposed’ to live in. I have also come across a photographer who also creates images that i find questionable. I have challenged him as to why he feels the need to create these images, and his answer is that it is ‘Art’…i think we need to be very careful what we categorise as Art, and also about what message we put out to the world and where our responsibilities lie.


For what reason??



I think there is enough genuine suffering in the world without us feeling the need to 'stage' it!



How old does this girl look to you? - what message does this put out to the world? - that it's ok for young girls to be so outwardly sexual? - who is the target market here?


I have to say that all of the above images sicken me, the made up images of violence particularly as i have been a victim of violence myself and don’t feel it should be portrayed in this way, and especially the last image, probably because i am a mother myself, but i am sure that my feelings are echoed by many.

Below are some images of furniture made by an artist called Allen Jones – again, they are simply beyond belief….a woman is obviously (in his eyes) a sex object that holds such a low station in life that you can sit on her or rest your drink on her..

Allen Jones's 'chair' creation

A range of furniture, including a Hat Stand!

I understand that in the Art world there should be room for creativity without too much censorship, but i feel that we have now entered an age where ‘shock tactics’ are often used under the heading of Art, and that with the knowledge we have we should be far more responsible and take into account the message we are putting out to the world!