Don't worry Ray, there's a dick in the numero uno, you're not seeing things..well you are seeing "things" but you know...
I also see a stripper pole, complete with stripper(ish) person (the shame of that stereotype of a woman in a mini skirt sort of grinding on a pole..reprimand me). It's a stripper pole would be unwieldly by any stripper's standard...That girl looks like she's about to fall! Her balance is wrong plus she needs some climbing shoes and some chocks to accomplish this. Most strippers would run at the sight of that thing.
Funny how a discussion of the phallus brings on the denials and shushings, general frowning.
Mark DS..nonsensical? It's pretty darn obvious. I could bring you twenty teenage boys, teenage girls, grown up men and grown up women women who would laugh and KNOW what it was they thought was going on here.
Is it wrong that they bring that baggage to it? Not at all and the discussion of commercial work vs. art is an empty one without a long rest on the subjects of sex, eroticism, phallic symbols. On and on, c'mon, what kind of art are you folks looking at??
A huge part of the basic vocabulary of art, throughout history, has much to do with eroticism.
James knows he hasn't invented a new vocabulary here...you could go online right now and find a bunch of images with a monolith, or phallicky looking object with a figure draped over it in a sexually suggestive way. Car ads, a woman's hand on a beer glass..the list goes on and on and most folks GET this right away...it's been beaten to death in discussion, forever, confirmed and with an official stamp.
Ray is correct, the vocabulary here, whether James intended it this way or not, is pretty damn obvious. We are not in control of how the audience responds to the work and that is the beauty of the entire thing....
Like Bernd and Hilla Becher suggested in there work...we are ALL the same but we are ALL a little bit different. Some folks saw the phallus in their groupings of water towers etc..phallic, manly structures..who gives a flip and I'm sure they got a giggle from that and smiled a bit. they understood that it was exactly what they were suggesting when they compared industrial designs...it was a human thing in the end and it carried through to the various responses people have to their images.
I choose to think it's expected and in some ways a profound statement on the power of symbolism. If you see a phallus in the big number one with the girls leg clutching up..is there anything wrong with that? The image, IMO, begs for that type of, perhaps, over simplification..This is one of those images that you might see discussed in an edition of Sex and Advertising.
James I'm sure when you guys were shooting this project there was more than one joke made by the various crew members..male and female. If your crew didn't make any jokes about it then might need to look for another crew.
The subject might be off topic in the context of this thread but when i saw the image i knew immediately it would pop up...if it hadn't i would have been very surprised and disappointed. Amusing to me how a bunch of folks are resisting this and tucking their shirts in very carefully.