Designer terror-porn now in vogue

From The Age (Australia):

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE purpose of these remarkable, disturbing pictures? Given they’re in Vogue Italia, the primary purpose is to sell clothes. But disregard that truism for a second to consider them.

The cover of the magazine – the international bible of fashion, no less – features a rake-skinny, plague-pallored model undressing. Her skin so flawless and her mouth so blank she could be a mannequin. The setting is unmistakably an airport customs station. Two officers flank her, watching. Voyeurs; and we watch them watching her. One is only identifiable by his hairy arm and wristwatch. She looks at him, stern but impassive. He is dominant, she submissive.

She’s been stopped before a flight. Her exposed legs are the focus of the picture, which masquerades as surveillance. It’s sexual, and odd, but also quite mundane, quite familiar.

Inside the magazine are more pictures from the series, titled State of Emergency, shot by eminent fashion photographer Steven Meisel. The cover is the most benign. The rest move through the cruel, the fetishistic, the misogynistic to the quasi-pornographic. All are firmly based on the new aesthetics of terrorism. As a group they add up to a post-9/11 erotic fantasy; they are terror-porn. MORE

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