Detourenment ‘Luncheon on the Grass’

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Luncheon on the Grass

Luncheon on the Grass (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Detournement of ‘Luncheon on the Grass‘.

This detournement of Manet’s, Luncheon on the Grass (1863) explores the double standards that men have for women. The wearing of the barque is an extreme example of men freely expressing themselves while the woman remains hidden under the cloth. Her toes exposed and placed lewdly between the legs of the man on the right suggests intimacy, as does the man on the left leaning in, suggest, perhaps they are a couple.  The taxi in the foreground references the resent occurrences of the rapes of Western women in taxi’s by Eastern European men. The bus in the background references the resent gang rapes of Indian women on buses for wearing Western clothes in India. The woman’s Western cloths that are tossed to the side among the food, implies a nakedness beneath the barqua and easy access for the men. Although she wears the barqua she still appears naked but some how more vulnerable, than, where in Manet s original, the woman looks comfortable and not threatened, even though the men are dressed and the woman is not. It does suggest however the woman’s consent, where as in the detournement there is a suggestion of the opposite. Could this be because of the allure of the forbidden. The tossed clothes on the left suggests a struggle and the woman’s present decorum implies the submissive. Manet s original the tossed food and clothes suggest fun and relaxation.

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The Western woman appears unperturbed by the potential threat that incurs her, but with the woman in the background and the other bur qua clad person on the right, she seems to be supported in her exposure. In Western society today, with terrorism and globalization there is a fear of the unknown, but in this picture there is a complacency with the ignoring of the threat, or is it, sheer in your face antagonism. What does the bur qua clad individual feel, when, confronted by a Western culture that blatantly ignores other beliefs?

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The Western woman in this example is isolated in her nudity and confronted by a pending threat. She is surrounded by others giving the impression she is not in her own space, but has brought her complacency to the other. However her attitude is the same, the arrogance in the belief that she is, within her rights to take her, in your face attitude where, ever she likes, with no regards despite the demise of her companion on the right. This is not however a belief which encourages antagonism, but a belief which expresses freedom. The woman expresses the right to expression, and in doing so, have the right to safety.

Luncheon in the City

This is entirely different setting. I thought I would just place the picnickers in a busy street and see how it feels. The violinist on the left appears to be looking at the naked woman, which would be fair to say that’s probably what most people would be doing, though in this case everyone else seems not to notice. It is odd enough to be lounging around on a busy street having a picnic, never mind, naked. Though in advertising bill boards and the like, it hardly seems unusual for a woman to be naked in the street. The irony in this detournement is, the picnic its self, not, so much the nakedness or the serenade. The musicians almost make this feel probable.

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