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Uhhh…OK…This just has to be seen to be believed.
Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston
Here’s an interview with the artist.
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Tags: art, eros, music, pro-life, sculpture
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while it’s wonky for a pro-life monument, it’s actually a surprising well done statue for something that in any way shape or formm relates to britney spears
my question is: is britney pro-life? she obviously didn’t abort this baby, but what is her “official stance”?
I first looked at the photos last night and was completely horrified and disgusted, but it took me until this morning to be able to put into words why.
I’m not offended that the artist chose Britney Spears as the subject – I actually agree that because of her social situation and lifestyle she is as good as any other subject; the pro-life movement is all about supporting those who would have a difficult time making the choice to have a baby.
Everything else about this statue is anything but pro-life. On all fours on a bear skin rug? Can anyone think of a *worse* position to be in during childbirth, when the body is racked with the pain of contractions both in the abdomen and in the back? She would actually have to be pushing against gravity to get the poor child out, not to mention the undue strain on the rest of her body with her back end that far in the air.
And this is described as an *ideal* depiction of childbirth? Ideal for whom? Certainly not for the mother who has already made the difficult decision to conceive and carry a child for 9 months then endure the worst pain of her life to bring him into the world. No, more likely ideal for Britney’s male fans who are only fans because she is young, sexy eye-candy, not because of any talent she may or may not possess. Ideal for those who flinch at the idea of the willingness of sacrificial suffering a *mother* – a *person,* with a will, who is infinitely more than an object to be desired. This statue serves only to carry the idea that a woman’s goals in life should be no more than to act as sex objects for lustful men into the realm of childbirth.
Not only that, she is put on display in this awful position all by herself. This seems to be the very stereotype of the pro-life movement that would be most harmful to its cause: that women should be forced to bear children under any circumstances, even if and especially when, they are all alone. Where is the father of the child? Where are her parents, the lucky, and hopefully happy, grandparents? Where is the nurse or midwife or any woman who knows her emotional and physical duress and is going to hold her hand through this? I would think the pro-life community would want to promote the kind of support it claims to give to desperate women making the difficult choice it promotes.
I don’t know whether the pro-life movement needs a monument or not, I just know it doesn’t need this one.
Britney Spears had a Cesarean section. It was an elective C-section because Britney was afraid of childbirth. Apparently her mother had told her it was one of the worst experiences of her life and Britney wanted to avoid that. So actually this whole thing is kind of stupid!
BTW, when I was attempting to deliver my first daughter at home, her cord prolapsed through. I had to get on my hands and knees with my butt in the air to keep her head from compressing the umbilical cord and depriving her of oxygen. THAT is what this reminds ME of… Britney with a cord prolapse!
One of the few interesting tidbits I’ve learned in the cultural anthropology classes I’ve had to take is that the position assumed in childbirth is not the same across cultures — I seem to remember that the most common arrangement is actually a standing position.
While you may find this a stupid piece of art, as I do, how is it specifically not pro-life? It’s art, not a political manifesto. Also, since when is art inherently realistic and ideal? (By the way, the article never stated that this was an ideal depiction of childbirth. It used the word “idealized,” which is far different.) Images that attempt to reproduce reality exactly are not art. Art is a visual representation of a verity, not a photograph.
Umm…Tom, what’s unartistic about a photograph?
I never said it was a “stupid piece of art.” My sister struggles to support herself as an artist, and I never criticized the statue as art. My criticism is pulling the pro-life movement into it; most pro-lfe groups promote respect for the child AND the mother. A male coworker of mine (not Catholic, pro-lfe, nor particularly religious at all) saw the picture and recoiled at its closeness to pornography. If this is a normal reaction, how is this artwork good for the pro-life movement?
And the article states that the statue is “an idealized depiction of Britney in delivery.” Which means to me that the artist, at least, thinks this should be the ideal situation of childbirth to strive for. Please explain how that is not true, because I don’t see how “ideal” and “idealized” are “far different.”
that was weird. . . how did my comment get all irished up?
there’s some kinda weird virus-thing going on here. . . all the comments are now appearing edited with a bunch of funny accents. . . I have no idea what the heck anyone is saying. Is anyone else seeing this?
Look at your calendar, Turbo. 😉
u r s0 l33t.
“whats unartistic about a photograph?”
I never said that photographs were unartistic. I’m simply saying that visual art is lame when it attempts to copy visual reality exactly, as a photograph does.
“I never said it was a ‘stupid piece of art.'”
I never said that you did.
“My criticism is pulling the pro-life movement into it; most pro-lfe groups promote respect for the child AND the mother. A male coworker of mine (not Catholic, pro-lfe, nor particularly religious at all) saw the picture and recoiled at its closeness to pornography. If this is a normal reaction, how is this artwork good for the pro-life movement?”
Let me see if I’m reading you correctly. You say that, other than the fact that it depicts childbirth, the sculpture is “anything but pro-life” because it fails to promote respect for mothers due to its highly unrealistic birth posture and similarity to pornographic images?
If that’s indeed what you’re saying, then I have a few points. Firstly, the fact that the image is foremost a depiction of childbirth outweighs any possible details. In looking at Michaelangelo’s Last Judgment, for example, what’s the most important part? Is it where Christ is seated? Is it the depiction of the boatmen of the river Styx? Is it the nudity of the characters in the painting? Or is it the fact that it’s an image of the Last Judgment? I contend that the latter is the most important part. Similarly, in the image of Britney Spears, what is the most important part? Is it the position she’s assumed? Is it the bearskin rug? Or is it the childbirth going on? I maintain that it’s the childbirth that is the primary and dominant feature of the work, and that it outweighs the other features. Hence, the dominant feature is pro-life, giving us a net result of “pro-life.”
That all assumes, however, that the secondary features of the image, namely Ms. Spears’ supposed pornographic posture, are truly not pro-life because they fail to respect women. I answer that the respect of mothers, though a laudable goal, is not inherent to the pro-life cause. The only essential goal of the pro-life movement is the stoppage of abortion. So, even if it was a piece of art which supported childbirth but argued against mothers, which it isn’t, then it still wouldn’t be against the pro-life cause. With regard to the pornographic nature of the image, I maintain that the sculpture can only be seen as pornographic by those who would see pornography anywhere — when was the last time a pornographer *sculpted* pornography?
“And the article states that the statue is ‘an idealized depiction of Britney in delivery.’ Which means to me that the artist, at least, thinks this should be the ideal situation of childbirth to strive for. Please explain how that is not true, because I dont see how ‘ideal’ and ‘idealized’ are ‘far different.'”
Do you *really* think that the artist believes that women should give birth naked, alone, on a bearskin rug, and in a funny position? That’s an insult to the intelligence of the artist. The meaning of “idealized” that the article uses might more appropriately be “romanticized.”
Tom, I’m going to have to disagree with you. You ask “when was the last time a pornographer sculpted pornography.” The pose, not the medium, is the question here. When was the last time you saw a woman — whether giving childbirgh or not — grasping a bearskin rug by the ears with her pelvis arched in the air and her posterior thrust backwards? I bet that it was either (a) on a pornographic calendar; (b) in a pornographic magazine; (c) in a women’s underwear advertisement; (d) on an album cover. There’s one thing that all of these contexts have in common: sex. Now, the pose is not itself inherently vulgar, but it is, I would argue, in herently sexual and likely to arouse the male viewer, even if only in the sense of reminding him of sex. The focal point of that pose is the woman’s genitalia, and so it is a very particular kind of sex — not the kind where the embrace or the joining is significant, but rather the kind where the entrance is significant. I’m not going to go into more detail, but I think we all “get the picture.”
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