Woolley, Dawn ORCID logoORCID: and Watne, Davin (2018) Freedomination. [Show/Exhibition]


Freedom and domination appear to be mutually exclusive concepts. This performance draws attention to this binary, through the concepts of objectification and empowerment, by exposing and exploring a grey area in between. Women in contemporary societies often experience a simultaneous mix of overt and subtle messaging in adverts that suggest a women’s power is confined to her attractiveness and desirability. There exists a plethora of consumer products promising to liberate women if they choose to objectify themselves. Some of these messages are overt and highly sexualized as in Victoria Secret ad campaigns, others such as Dove ad campaigns offer a more subtle narrative that beauty is a path to better health. The adverts use sexual subjectification to promote commodities and the freedom to consume has become a pervasive form of oppression. Freedomination recognises this paradox and seeks to expose it through dialogue. Set up like an unruly debate, the Soapbox performance will ask: has feminism become a pursuit of freedom that is little more than a freedom to consume, and sexual empowerment that is confined to a highly commodified from of self-objectification?

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