CW: Rape, sexual assault
From the classical antiquity of Greece and Rome into these controversial times we are living in, the act of rape has drawn different opinions, regarding both the act itself but also the culpable.
Living as a girl in a country where more than 55% of people truly believe that rape can be justified, I have always felt the need to express myself about this particular topic. Recently this subject gained more “popularity” than before, people started to talk openly about it. I decided to build my artwork around this problem, inspired by the artworks of Barbara Kruger and Shirin Neshat. With a little irony, the right colour scheme, and a controversial subject being proposed to the viewer, you can easily tell which and who were my sources of inspiration.
“Deception//Misconception” highlights what the society I live in believes about the act of rape nowadays, with the help of both a bold statement, and also different affirmations that people made about who can be culpable for rape, and why, through irony. The title, colours, the position of the model, composition, and text were chosen carefully so that they could reflect perfectly the message.
Starting from the composition of the photograph, where the model’s position could be easily considered as “outrageous”, I tried to form a symmetrical composition, so that the subject of this artwork could be framed by the walls.
One thing that can immediately seen is the bold statement She asked for it, written with a font similar to the one used by Barbara Kruger. The colour that I chose, yellow, usually makes us think of something positive, rather optimistic and cheerful, which contrasts the text. The kind of contrasts that completes the irony of this artwork.
Lastly, the title is letting the viewer choose between a deception, or a simple misconception, something that makes this piece open to interpretation. After all, the viewer gives sense and meaning to an artwork, by filtering it through their own perspective.
The process of obtainning the final work consisted in a little bit of research, and then transposing the knowledge and ideas into something visual, with irony as the main process.
It was both infuriating and scary to read what people believe about the act of rape, and how can a woman be considered the culpable. Shocking, infuriating, and even interesting were the words that came into my mind after reading some of the affirmations. After gaining a little bit of more knowledge about this “case”, I could finally discover a pattern in the quotes. Both rapists, and people that think rape can be justified strongly, believe that you can blame either the women, or the context. They would usually state that it was the woman’s fault because of the way she dresses or acts, most of the quotes being related to this idea.
Experiencing so many types of feelings from anger to disgust left me with no actual and precise idea of how am I going to treat this subject. “Should I respond with hate, or rather use irony?” was the first question that came into my mind. Of course, I was tempted to do something a little bit uncomfortable to the viewer, something straight-forward, something that would scream how angry I am at those kind of people. But I didn’t. I decided to go with the sarcasm and irony, since it has a different kind of impact upon both the viewer and the creator.
Finally, I think experimenting with a new style, and letting myself be guided more by my feelings, rather than technical aspects in art made me be more aware of what a great impact can have upon both parts: the ones who can see it, but also the one who is creating it.It made me truly believe that every artwork has behind a technical process, and an emotional one, both extremely important.
Andreea-Iulia Giotină is a Romanian first-year Fine Arts at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. At TAMK Andreea has been able to discover a multitude of techniques for creating art.
“As an 18-year-old international student, experimenting with different styles and mediums has been a key factor in developing my own personal style. I am making my voice heard by creating visual pieces, where I project my opinion regarding different social aspects by filtering them through different artistic processes. I still have a lot to learn and discover, but I am definitely one step closer on this journey.”
Follow Andreea on Instagram @andragiotina