conceptual photography, contemporary art

Salomé, Gérard Rancinan

June 30, 2012

The Disney Corporation is perhaps the most obvious of targets. Obvious because its saccharine values bear no relation to the harsh realities of life in late capitalist society.

But taking on Disney is no easy matter. The values are promoted by one of the world’s most recognisable brands. The brand is protected by the world’s best lawyers.

Anyone planning to get at Mickey and his pals may as well go the whole hog. And it is wonderfully clear quite how Gérard Rancinan has violated this anthropomorphic mouse.

If the attack is not subtle, the details are still amusing. You would not expect a Disney character to wear a red star, so perhaps things have changed in the Magic Kingdom.

Salome is also more political than you might think. An anarchy badge is pinned to her wristband and, in just such a spirit, she garnishes her trophy with dollar bills.

To be honest, I’m not sure how much we should read into the biblical story. One shudders to think of the messiah who may or may not have been predicted by Mickey. Goofy perhaps.

But God knows it must have been satisfying to drive that six inch nail into the lovable chap’s forehead. This violence and scorn seems to be the real meaning of the work.

Such work is not great for brand Disney. Though you can’t help feel that a less direct approach might have worked as well, since most brands already have an ugly side.

In 2009, Finnish artist Pilvi Takala was refused entry to a paranoid Disneyland Paris. Her crime was merely to be dressed as Snow White in order to comment on migration.

This work is part of Gérard  Rancinan’s Wonderful World trilogy which showed at London Newcaste Project Space in June 2012.

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