Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Britney Birthing Sculpture: Four Questions

There are four things I don't understand about the Britney sculpture causing so much controversy right now:
  • Why does the face look nothing like that of Britney Spears?
  • Is this the sculptor's idea of the physical position in which a woman should give birth?
  • What's up with the animal head?
  • In what sense is the sculpture pro-life, which the artist claims it to be?
UPDATE: Spencer Troxell, who gets his blog on, has linked to this post. Thanks, Spencer!

7 comments:

Charlie said...

I read that it's supposed to make childbirth look sexy, hence the pose and the bear-skin rug. As to the first and last questions, I wonder if the author is just trying to generate publicity and make a name for himself.

XWL said...

My father cynically suggested that he was really doing a sculpture of the pregnant girl on LOST (which would give the bear head more meaning), but changed what he described the statue as being about when he realized he'd get more publicity if he invoked the Britney.

Mark Daniels said...

xwl:
That's interesting. Although I've never seen 'Lost,' your father's
notion isn't implausible.

Charlie:
Only a man would try to make childbirth look sexy...and probably not one with a wife who has given birth to children. If my wife suggested that birthing was sexy, she'd probably clobber me.

Mark

Spencer said...

I've read all of the other material you link to regarding this piece of information, and have come to two conclusions:
1. This person was desparate for an opportunity to sculpt a naked Britney Spears. For whatever the cause.

2.This person has never witnessed a childbirth.

And, my final analysis--because I only comment on the really big stories--Is that this is a very wrongheaded message to send out in the name of the pro-life community. The artist, when confronted about sexualizing Britney Spears, said, in effect, 'I've only done to her what she's already done to herself.'
Wrong! You can't do that sir. Britney Spears is a liberated young woman, and while it's okay for her to express her sexuality however she pleases, you have no business objectifying her. Just the cold, hard facts. Along the same lines, if you're really interested in winning converts on the subject, you shouldn't present an image that makes childbirth sexy. If a woman did it, that would be different. But coming from you, it can easily be construed as typical, patriarchal subjugation of women. You could be read as saying, 'Carry your baby to term, because it makes you more appealing to men.'
On such a delicate issue, diplomacy and empathy is the key. Freudian art-explosions are generally to be avoided.

Mark Daniels said...

Spence:
I think that you're right and appreciate the way in which you've articulated your opinion.

Charlie:
What I meant to say in my final sentence above was: "If I suggested to my wife that birthing was sexy, she'd probably clobber me."

She'd have good reason for it, too. Our son weighed 10-lbs., 4-oz at birth and our daughter checked in at 12-lbs., 2-oz.

Mark

purple_kangaroo said...

Very, very strange. This was the first I'd heard of it. Can he use Britney's name and image to sell his artwork without her permission?

Mark Daniels said...

PK:
Apparently he can. But I'd like to know if any of the legal types who come here regularly could enlighten us on that point.

Mark