Meltdown 1

Gritty, raw, tumultuous… Are the first words that spring to mind when viewing Satoshi Saikusa’s ‘Meltdown’ series of photographs, for ‘The Face’ magazine. The Avant Garde cinematic approach lends greatly to a stylised, domestic violence narrative played out within the series of images. In Australia alone, 33.3% of women have experienced domestic violence since the age of 15 (Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc. 2015). With these statistics it makes you question the ethical concerns of the fashion industry glamorising a social issue, like the ‘Face’ has done with Satoshi Saikusa’s ‘Meltdown’.

The fashion industry is notorious for using ‘shock factor’ tactics and controversial issues to gain wide exposure and media attention. However, to commercialise such a violent social issue towards women of all ages in a magazine marketed at youth culture is of a great ethical concern. Özlem Sandıkcı describes the opinions on this advertising as polarising. “Some blame companies who use shock tactics in their advertising for emotional manipulation and commercialisation of serious social issues; others praise them for highlighting the very same issues.” (Date unknown).

Meltdown 2

Interestingly the series is represented through a male perspective of a women’s ordea,l through domestic violence. The photographer, Satoshi Saikusa, and stylist, Karl Templer, are both male. The woman is dressed in tattered clothes and heavy makeup that suggests at bruises to the face. ‘Meltdown’ heavily references the Film noir style, as the series reads like a cinematic narrative that is highly stylised and overtly theatrical, which are common traits according to the Film Noir foundation (date unknown, 46). In particular the black and white images of the female model being struck and dragged by the male, effectively glamourizing the social issue of Domestic violence.

MELTDOWN 3

The highly constructed cinematic approach to ‘Meltdown’ suggests at a heightened fantasy being played out within the images. When the social issue of domestic violence is marketed at youth culture in such a highly stylised and glamourised approach. It raises ethical concerns of commercialising a serious social issue, rather than raising awareness to it. Although advertisements do not offer fixed meanings, they significantly shape a preferred reading in order achieve a desired communication with the audience” (Sandıkcı date unknown, 46). In Australia alone, almost one third of women have endured domestic violence since the age of 15 (Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc. 2015). The fashion industry should be held accountable for glamourising such a serious issue even if it was meant to raise awareness.

References

Berry, Dr Jess, “Fashion Photography: From Heroin Chic to Narrative Glamour: Lecture 4,” 2432QCA Contemporary Fashion (Brisbane, Griffith Queensland College of Art, August 27, 2015) In person.

“Domestic Violence Statistics.” Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc. Accessed August 26th, 2015. http://www.domesticviolence.com.au/pages/domestic-violence-statistics.php

Sandıkcı, Özlem, “Shock Tactics in Advertising and Implications for Citizen-Consumer,” International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Vol. 1 No. 18 (publishing date unknown) p46 http://www.ijhssnet.com/journals/Vol_1_No_18_Special_Issue/6.pdf

“What is Noir?” Film Noir foundation.org. Accessed August 27, 2015. http://www.filmnoirfoundation.org/filmnoir.html.

Sandıkcı, Özlem, “Shock Tactics in Advertising and Implications for Citizen-Consumer,” International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Vol. 1 No. 18 (publishing date unknown) p46 http://www.ijhssnet.com/journals/Vol_1_No_18_Special_Issue/6.pdf

“What is Noir?” Film Noir foundation.org. AccessMeltdown 1Meltdown 1Meltdown 1ed August 27, 2015. http://www.filmnoirfoundation.org/filmnoir.html.

Advertisements