After several weeks without a computer, I have finally got my new home pc up and running!
This project started to evolve following my visit to the Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s exhibition at The Photographers Gallery. It started with me looking at how female image has evolved in society over the last half century to how women outwardly present themselves through fashion and style.
My previous research led me to focus on consumerism, specifically in fashion, driven by marketing and advertising. My location was Oxford Street and the surrounding areas. I observed how shops use slogans and imagery.
Early in the project I watched a documentary based on the book by social activist, Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Although this was a broader perspective on the rise of capitalism, it did help me to understand why we are driven to consume.
Although most of the Western population play a role in the capitalist model, some are conflicted by the uncomfortable relationship between consumerism and its effect on the natural environment.
On the Association for Consumer Research website, I came across an interesting excerpt from Advances in Consumer Research 1974 Volume 1 in a chapter called Fashion Behaviour – A Consumerist View. http://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/5733/volumes/v01/NA-01
For my research, I have considered some of the contemporary artists and photographers who have addressed the subject of consumerism and mass production.
Pop Art was the first art movement to address consumerism, following the rise of advertising and mass production. One of the first artists to create social comment on this subject was Andy Warhol.
The following image uses repetition which desensitises the eye to the individual image.
Warhol’s first Pop Art paintings were displayed in the windows of Bonwit Teller Department store in New York City, behind a row of well-dressed mannequins.
Barbara Kruger uses images accompanied with slogans which relate to modern day culture and personal image. Kruger developed the use of this strong visual language through her previous work as a graphic designer. Her work focuses on consumerism and desire.
I love Andreas Gursky’s social commentary work on mass consumption and its effects on an ever-increasing population.
Gursky often uses lines and colour to create strong compositions. He digitally enhances the images to distort the perspective.
Steve Cutts is an illustrator and animator who looks at modern day life and highlights the detrimental sides to consumerism and capitalism.
Assessment criteria 1.