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Untitled 1994, 1994

This work, Untitled 1994, originated as a response to a sexist Israeli advertisement selling stockings from the Italian company ‘Golden Lady’ in which the woman advertising them was a mere object’s of male desire. The advertisement company had the model sitting with wide open legs leaving no doubt to what John Berger saw as more then just looking, but actually to the “language of images” beyond what we see in images.

In the installation, first exhibited in Meta Sex 94, Identity, Body and Sexuality, curated by Tami Katz-Freiman & Tamar El-Or at the Ein Harod Art Museum, the viewer was invited to penetrate in between a mannequin’s legs adorned with the actual white ‘Golden Lady’ stockings to peep behind the white wall. Behind the wall, no dirty movie awaited the viewer, just a simple embroidered sentence on the lace of the upper part of the stocking. A sentence by 18 c. British poet Alexander Pope, quoted by Virginia Woolf in her important book: A Room of One’s Own:  “Most women have no character at all.

And as the viewer realized the irony inherent in the sentence, he became, as in Duchamp’s famous work: “Etant Donnés,” at once the voyeur and the object of the other’s gaze.


Ariane Littman