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“The Snail Girls of Blackpool”

By Sasha Makarewicz

“The Snail Girls of Blackpool” is a reworking of a Punch illustration into another more disturbing context while in the style of a Punch article. It is taking the illustration and breaking it down to a literal interpretation for a comic effect while still addressing the mood and atmosphere of the time and the satirical mode Punch embraces. The speaker is the common Victorian misogynist as he sketches a grotesque scene on the beach that distorts the masculine gaze on a feminine subject. Punch seems to distort feminine subjects into these objects for a misogynistic gain that dehumanizes them and makes them into these things rather than rational beings. This piece was probably initially distorting women’s fashion at the time but what I do with the piece is merge disturbing and disgusting aspects of the illustration and turns it into something desirable as a means to distort and dissolve the gaze here. I promote the ugliness and perversion of the eye of the beholder through this misdirect of aesthetical beauty. I use misogyny from an absurd standpoint to analyze this form of misogyny here or at least that is the hope of the article if the article has any hope at all to it. It is also an odd article that might say more about the artist than the art in which he is attacking. The rhythms of the article were laboriously constructed but the subject matter and the scenario of the article came frighteningly easy when sitting down to do it. However, this piece acts as this mirror. It is the gaze confronting the object of desire and how they inform each other and it should work in other ways as well. Using the image and remixing and reworking the text that exists with it in some fashion, I am able to smuggle in a cultural context undergoing a second viewing from my point in time and affirming but also dismantling the satire and the mode of satire to which Punch subscribes.