Ebony Eden, “For Every Flower Forced to Bloom,” 2013
*Trigger warning: sexual assault*
This set of nine film stills is a heart-wrenching allegory for the horrific effect that sexual assault has on the victims, young girls in particular. The symbolism of a flower being torn open in a twisted perversion of a beautiful, natural event is absolutely heartbreaking.
I asked the artist to elaborate on her thought process:
It’s not so much about a loss of innocence exactly, but more about having your control and autonomy taken from you at a critical time for personal growth - specifically transitional years, i.e., the teen years, an important time for figuring out who you are as a person and growing up in general and having this personal growth interrupted or taken from you.
While making the work, I thought about the flower metaphor and flower symbolism in art history relating to feminine sexuality and virginity. I thought about the use of words like “deflowering,” “ripening,” and “blossoming.” - I find the flower/virginity metaphor really cliche and it has always made me uncomfortable…as a feminist I find it pretty disturbing, though to some people it’s beautiful. I don’t like the hype around virginity and society teaching young people that their value has anything to do with sex, etc. Away from all this association, visually the forceful opening and destroying of a flower is very violent and it’s almost impossible not to make the comparison.
Visit her website here.
Look how gorgeous these ducks are :3
The cutest face in all the world