Neon Mamacita

Pretty Wasted

October 19, 2014 by annie

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The timing of this photo spread is almost too perfect. It was published on the heels of California passing a new law specifically aimed at protecting women on college campuses who are too intoxicated to consent to sex; several days before the discovery of the body of Hannah Graham, the UVA student who was murdered after a night of heavy drinking;  and within a month of a Columbia student carrying a mattress on her back to protest her school’s handling of her rape.

I can’t help but feel that Interview must have known that it would illicit negative reactions and wanted to invite the attention. After all, Interview has never been one to shy away from controversy but the concept of presenting unconscious women on a filthy floor, under seedy lighting, is still about as tasteful as an ebola themed fashion shoot.

Frankly, I’m really not sure what to think of this post. I’ve never really had a problem with controversial shoots. In my view, fashion photography shouldn’t shy away from images that provoke discomfort, address controversial issues, or even break some rules of convention to get a great shot. I’ve published shoots that capture the suicides of famous women, show young girls beyond their age, and present models as ethnographic studies. I post these because I believe that the work is good and the auteur is pushing the boundaries to consciously provoke thought but not to mindlessly enrage.

While we might criticize Interview for it’s unsavory depiction of these women, if these images were presented in a gallery as fine art no one would object as long as the artist had a clear intention. I don’t object to the images so much as there is no clear purpose in them. So what point is Interiew trying to make?

Shot by Fabien Baron for Interview Magazine

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