Basic notes for Assignment 4 (nothing to see here, move along)…

Alan Jones (1937- ) Overview of work, from furniture through Kate moss photo to current sculptural and print work with fauvist themes and view of people as stylised ideal forms, who just happen to fall into a standard acceptable European category of acceptable looking.

How are we viewing the furniture?

are we being invited to surveil something that perhaps we feel we shouldn’t or observe an absurdity?

These are an ultimate show of women as objects, Is this Jones stating his view of women? as sex toys and furniture, in which case which is first? using Judith Williamsons view of Toteism, are we being invited by Jones to be the idealised women? or view ourselves using the furniture?

As much as Mulvey was discussing the moving image, I think her comment “In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female. The determining male gaze projects its fantasy onto the female figure, which is styled accordingly.

(Re-read Freud) Castration anxiety, dominatrix, although the furniture is submissive which means we the viewer are in charge? is this about the artists love of his mother? Counter with mirror phase Lacan, are we projecting ourselves into the images? Are we the object or the person, woman or furniture.


Next, is Jones trying to elicit a response based on the absurdity of the positions? is he making it ok by making the women obviously plastic and unreal? Although turning this around, wouldn’t it look more absurd if the figures had been male? Why do they have to be female? Why white? why fetish clothing? Does it make them more sexual? does Jones think we will react more?



Work with Kate moss p63 Berger ways of seeing “in the art form of the European nude the painters and spectator-owners were usually men and the persons treated as objects, usually women. this unequal relationship is so deeply embedded in our culture that it still structures the consciousness of many women. They do to themselves what men do to them. They survey, like men, their own femininity.” Kate is complicit, is it because her wealth is attached to her looks? was it a good business deal?

Current work still based on good looking people, not natural forms, stylised.



Allen Jones images on Artnet (accessed 6th May 2017)

Alan Jones furniture photo (Accessed 7th May 2017)

Williamson, J(1978)Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising. First edition. Glasgow. Robert MacLehose and Company Limited

(2013)Visual Culture : a reader

Berger J() Ways of seeing

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