Why did you start the project?
False Modesty started as a joke. My brother and cousin and I had been developing a character for a script, who for religious reasons would steal titty mags from his local news agent, cover the models up with clothing and replace the magazines, thereby returning the models their modesty and pissing off anyone who wanted to see some titties. We thought that this was such a funny idea that we decided to try making the ‘clothed porn’ ourselves, and we felt that the results were silly enough to publish on t’internet.
What began as a purely comedic idea has raised some more serious debate. When I exhibited the work last year, the reactions we got were quite diverse. A few people laughed and laughed, some were nonplussed, and some found it all highly distasteful, and didn’t try to conceal the fact that they thought I was a massive weirdo. I had some really interesting conversations with people about what they saw in the images. Many said that now the models’ nudity was covered, it forced the viewer to look into the eyes of the women in the photographs. Some said that to them, the women looked dead behind the eyes and it made them sad, but others said that it made them empathise with the women, whose eyes were no different from those of a sister, partner or friend.
Personally I enjoy pornography, although like pop music or anything that is abundant online, you have to wade through a lot of generic shit to find the good stuff.
I think the majority of porn does no favours to women, but then I think feminism faces far bigger problems in the real world. However, I’m fully behind the No More Page 3 campaign (though I think a fantastic compromise would be to dedicate page 2 to ‘John from Warrington’s big hairy balls’).
I think any artistic work that plays with the idea of women as sexual beings verses sexual objects, is good for keeping the debate going. Let’s be honest, we’re still miles away from gender equality in this country, let along in this world, and unless more people look at things like page 3 and go ‘what the hell? this is really fucking stupid’, then we’re pretty much screwed.
I have fingers in many pies. annajacob.com is the home of some of them.
The idea is simple, and the execution brilliant. False Modesty is a collection of dirty pictures of women with clothes, food and animals pasted over the Naughty Bits. Queen of Tarts and self proclaimed renaissance man Anna Jacob says, ”In this over-sexed and under-dressed world, we would like to bring you the gift of modest dressing and cutting-edge fashion/food/cute animals. Or as Madonna put it ‘We wanna dress you up in our love’.”
The False Modesty blog can be found here.
Click on any image below for a slideshow.