Images found here.
Yolanda Dominguez is a visual artist and performer from Madrid. I ran across her work, Poses, from an interview of Yolanda Dominguez by a blogger here, and I thought it was one of the most interesting performance art pieces I have seen in a while.
Now, like I have already detailed in a blog post before, I am not a big fan of performance art, or at least the type which feels hokey or fake, or which intellectualize a concept too much, but upon execution showcases too little talent (*cough stupid abortion project cough*). However, I feel that Dominguez's work in Poses is an inspired exception to the rule, since it effectively managed to both shock and entertain people, while forcing them to think.
Basically, Poses is a series of performance art pieces set in several places in Madrid, where "ordinary" folk strike haute couture poses in the middle of an otherwise perfectly ordinary scene. Some people consider it a depiction of the "indestructible superciliousness that is haute pose". Initially, I just thought it was intelligent and hilarious.
I suggest you watch this video so you have a better idea of what I'm talking about.
My two cents: Fashion photography has its place in the art world, notwithstanding the fact that a lot of "serious" artists tend to place it on a lower level of importance compared to other art forms. This, however, is fashion photography's point: people shouldn't take it seriously. It's made-up and imaginary.
Except people do take it seriously. Empirical evidence shows us that a lot of people (especially teenage girls) actually use these depictions, among others, to create a standard of beauty for women that, as has been shown time and time again, is neither realistic nor healthy. What Poses does, and does so effectively and brilliantly by pushing the idea to its extreme, is to show us how absurd this notion or perspective is. Fashion photography is essentially rooted in fantasy, and rarely has any point in real life situations. This art project shows us that it would be best to remember that.
From Yolanda Domiguez's website:
through models that do not represent real women and that avoid all those who are not within their restricted parameters.
These images are virtually the only feminine reference in the mass media and they have a great influence in both men and women when building our roles in terms of behavior and ways of thinking.
Read more here.