From Manet to GQ: a critical investigation of ‘gentlemen’s pornography’

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dc.contributor.advisor Van Eeden, Jeanne en
dc.contributor.coadvisor Du Preez, Amanda en
dc.contributor.postgraduate Viljoen, Estella en
dc.date.accessioned 2013-09-06T14:31:51Z
dc.date.available 2004-03-12 en
dc.date.available 2013-09-06T14:31:51Z
dc.date.created 2003-05-08 en
dc.date.issued 2005-03-12 en
dc.date.submitted 2004-03-12 en
dc.description Dissertation (MA (Visual Arts))--University of Pretoria, 2005. en
dc.description.abstract This thesis offers a reading of GQ South Africa 2000, the first glossy men’s magazine to be launched in South Africa (in 2000). It traces the possible iconographical genealogy of glossy men’s magazines to canonical erotic artworks and examines the aesthetic conventions used by GQ to elevate its contents through an implied association with art. This thesis, furthermore, investigates the commonalities between GQ, a ‘mainstream’ publication, and ‘pornography’ (as defined by the United States Civil Rights Ordinance 1985). In this way, the fluid impermanence of ‘art’, ‘pornography’ and ‘popular culture’ as typologies is highlighted. The new taxonomy of ‘gentlemen’s pornography’ is introduced in order to counter the notion that material that has the gloss of ‘high culture’ and is deemed socially acceptable, cannot be pornographic. This thesis submits that a critical reading of glossy men’s magazines from an interdisciplinary perspective is imperative in order to reveal their ideological assumptions. The ideological position that informs this study is the radical feminist belief that pornography objectifies and subordinates women and is, therefore, harmful. The thesis is simultaneously grounded in the theoretical methodologies of visual culture and art history, and as such assumes the intonation of these disciplines. From a Postmodern point-of-view, popular visual culture not only wields power in terms of generalising (capitalist and sexist) western paradigms, but is also skilful at masking its significant influence in doing so. For this reason, this dissertation endeavours to raise a critical dialogue concerning the ideological ‘message’ of glossy men’s magazines. The sometimes antithetical nature of discourse critically centered on gender representation in visual culture may be attributed to the pervasiveness of familiar (and therefore seemingly harmless) female objectification in the popular media. This thesis examines the iconography of gendered stereotypes against the erotic/pornographic, high culture/low culture object/subject binaries, and, furthermore, situates these types in the wider dialectic of ‘obscene’ (off-scene) versus ‘acceptable’ culture. The glossy men’s magazines that form the interest of this study are a trade situated in the alliance of social elitism and representational control over the female body, and, thus, this thesis marks the point of intersection between consumer culture and the politics of display. en
dc.description.availability unrestricted en
dc.description.department Visual Arts en
dc.identifier.citation Viljoen, E 2003, From Manet to GQ: a critical investigation of ‘gentlemen’s pornography’, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://hdl.handle.net/2263/23114 > en
dc.identifier.upetdurl http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-03122004-082238/ en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/23114
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher University of Pretoria en_ZA
dc.rights © 2003, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria. en
dc.subject Simulacra en
dc.subject Female empowerment en
dc.subject Authorship en
dc.subject Aesthetic experience en
dc.subject Cultivation en
dc.subject Mechanisms of disguise en
dc.subject Branding en
dc.subject Aspirationa en
dc.subject Tropes of violence and sex en
dc.subject Fetish en
dc.subject Objectification en
dc.subject Subordination en
dc.subject Gaze en
dc.subject Obscene en
dc.subject Erotic en
dc.subject Representational discourse en
dc.subject Gentlemen’s pornography en
dc.subject Gq en
dc.subject UCTD en_US
dc.title From Manet to GQ: a critical investigation of ‘gentlemen’s pornography’ en
dc.type Dissertation en


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