Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Horror, The Horror

Every year I was at art school, at least one first year student made a work based on the vagina dentata. I've seen enough variations to last me a lifetime. The one that made me laugh most was a pair of high heeled shoes, sheathed in red satin, with spiky dentures where one's feet were supposed to slide in. Many (too many) opted for not-so-subtle references to penetration and textured red or pink cloth. Sharply spiked sea creatures (note the fish-smell pun) were also a favourite.
I hated them all. I know a pussy full of fangs is an elemental part of feminist iconography, but I find the idea dull and crass. I'll never forgive my often too exuberantly 'old school' feminist mother for regaling me with its several meanings long before I even reached puberty.
Now there's a film, called Teeth, rehashing this tired idea. Ironically (or, maybe, predictably), it's written and directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein, son of renowned Pop artist, Roy Lichtenstein. Described as 'a black comedy horror', in that ear-jangling marketing-speak with which Hollywood spins its product, I hope it's an art in-joke. Given the plethora of clich├ęd sexual symbolism in the trailer, (including, for Christ's sake, an unfolding red rose), I suspect it isn't.
What's worse, it'll inspire yet another generation of art school students to rework this done-to-death schlock again instead of doing something genuinely original.

1 comment:

Aliena Pundit said...

We've had our share of vagina dentata in the Kingston art well as anxious penises...