In Greek mythology Cerberus is a 3/many headed dog that guards the entrance to the Underworld. It was one of Hercules tasks to remove it.
This almost life?size [maybe a bit smaller, than me anyway] figure is constructed from a base of wired chicken wire, bound with painted and dyed fabric secured with black twine.
It is intended the kneeling figure kneels on the floor, heads flung back howling in anger.
The facial features, hands and feet are stitched in black thick thread.
Bitch is a derogatory name for women, as opposed to the opposite context of a dog being a “man’s best friend” contained by binds
reds and pinks to emphasise the figure is female, and exploding
“Identification—the power of identification is very strong. I lend the animal, I project the animal and shape my feelings.”
Sarah Lucas made an angry art work in 1995 of a T-shirt stretched over a table with additions. the placement referring furiously about the position of “screwing the female over a table” like another utensil for male use.
The term Bitch is in itself angry, in some ways referring to loving loyalty, but the emotion is demeaned and rejected.
When referring to a female dog people are often loath to use the term as it sounds somehow rude. Pornographic cartoons and rappers make full use of the label.
Why use this term…..to make a verbal impact, for a visual impact ….to claim it back as a strength, a fearsome image. an image that already possesses a familiar narrative and connotations, now appropriated in a unexpected way.
Lucas’ and Bourgeois’ work is strong and breaks taboos about sex and gender. Bougeois’ work is often also aesthetically pleasing and perhaps melodramatic [using fabrics breaks this ] but Lucas goes even further in using every day objects, clothes, tables., mattresses, fruit to shock and engage.