Probably the most notorious work by Natalia LL, Consumer Art presents models delighting in bananas, frankfurters or ice-cream. Obviously, this seemingly innocent activity acquires a strongly erotic edge. Combination of a “cold” film recording with a “hot” sensual motif stands for a rejection of the purely analytical character of conceptual art.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Natalia LL was one of the first artists to step forward and criticise conceptual art for excessive rationalisation and avoidance of physical sensuality. In Consumer Art she also refers to the imagery of popular culture, where consumption and erotic motifs are often paired.
However, the artist’s approach to consumption and creating the image of a woman in popular culture received varied interpretations. For example, Piotr Piotrowski remarked that in the 1970s, when Polish communist mass culture was highly puritan and the products consumed by the model difficult to reach, paradoxically, the film might have had the adverse effect of actually promoting consumption.
On her part, Agata Jakubowska accentuated the active role of the model in the film, in sharp contrast with the mass culture’s fixed image of women as passive “objects of erotic contemplation”. In Consumer Art the classic paradigm of domination of one sex over another is reversed: it is the woman who takes an active role, while masculinity is reduced to mere products of phallic shape.
References: 1, 2, 3... Avant-Gardes. Film / Art between Experiment and Archive, Warsaw 2007; A. Jakubowska, Kobieta wobec seksualności – podporządkowana, uwikłana czy wyzwolona? O kilku aspektach twórczości Natalii LL z perspektywy psychoanalizy Lacanowskiej, “Artium Quaestiones”, 1997, vol. 8; P. Piotrowski, Awangarda w cieniu Jałty, Poznań 2005.
Language: no sound
Source: 16 mm
© Natalia LL
Ownership form: deposit