Filmmaker Kathryn Ferguson has offered up her contribution to our Punk fashion film series - a work that responds to the hyper-sexualisation of women in music videos. Ferguson has previously explored themes surrounding female role-models for SHOWstudio with her film project Four-Tell earlier this year. Her punk film Rear Guard is accompanied by an essay by journalist Phoebe Frangoul. Frangoul comments;
'Rear Guard takes tropes that have become depressingly familiar and subverts them to shock the viewer out of their complacency. The ugly slogans displayed by the dancers in Rear Guard come from the same place as riot grrrls scrawling ‘SLUT’ across their stomachs in the ninties – another incarnation of post-punk’s subversive spirit.
Punk is ultimately about realising that beauty and ugliness are two sides of the same coin – a theme which is at the heart of Kathryn’s film. The human body – the female body in this case – is beautiful, but the eye of the beholder isn’t always benign. Understanding the tension between the subject and the gaze is key to unpicking and addressing pop’s current problem.'
Ferguson adds, 'Punk means protest. I'm particularly interested in the post-punk Riot Grrrl movement and how they used the ethos of punk to get their message across. An ethos that is still so relevant today and continues to inspire activist groups such as Pussy Riot.'