Julia Hovve “Volatile Icon”


Julia Hovve is a London-based artist whose photography is filled with dreamy faces and melancholy boys. For “Volatile Icon” she turned the camera onto girls to look at elements of the current climate and to explore the effects of the paradox of corporate feminism on 90s and 00s girls. It’s 2018, and in a world where the US president condones and even encourages sexual violence there has been heavy resistance in the art world and from women everywhere. She started to have conversations with the people around her recording them as she went. From these conversations she created “Volatile Icon”: a short film drawing on girlhood and all its clichés, to consider a more intersectional mode of the gaze and how we look at women. 

I started to look deeper at what it was that women were so angry about. I wasn’t angry and I didn’t get it. I accepted the muted dread so deep that its fused to my veins. I didn’t feel like dwelling too much on the time I curled myself around the body of my shaking friend, insomniac from the memories, or when I got a call from someone else after she disappeared outside the bar – I wish I missed it, or when I heard screams outside my window. Trying to tell the difference between a girl and a wild animal. Calling the police. Going back to sleep. It’s normal to stand at the bus stop, and feel unknown hands dig nails into your waist, whispering into the back of your neck how much they ‘want to fuck you’ where it settles in your hair. It’s probably not their fault, and you should probably wear jeans or stay home because now you’re drunk, and you’re acting easy, and your skirt’s so short you’re asking for it.

Models: Iman and Greta from Oxygen
Assisting: Hedwig Vervoort and Leaf Faerythorn

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Amandine Kuhlmann