A Woman's Image
of Mass Media
Photomural, 24 ft x 8 ft, 1979
The photomontage was produced from a handmade collage and photo blow-up. It documents two “media performances” by Lacy and Labowitz that took place in Los Angeles between 1977 and 1978.
On the far left are images from Record Companies Drag Their Feet, a collaboration between WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women) and Leslie Labowitz. The performance took place on Sunset Boulevard under the billboard of the rock group KISS and was designed exclusively for a news media audience. WAVAW’S demands for a boycott of major record companies because of the degrading and violent images of women on record album covers were transmitted across the airwaves nationally.
In Mourning and In Rage, on the right, is a performance by Lacy and Labowitz that took place at Los Angeles City Hall and involved media, the feminist community and city government. A memorial event for the victims of the highly publicized “Hillside Strangler,” it counteracted the sensationalized coverage on the front pages of print media and TV news by providing powerful and angry images of women that were seen across the world.
The mural points to the relationship between the entertainment industry and news media, by focusing on their use of victimized images of women: record album covers sell records; nude dead women on the front page sell newspapers.
Photo credits: Susan Mogul, Suzanne Lacy, Leslie Labowitz, Michelle Conway