This art piece intends to critique the pre-supposed narratives surrounding gender roles and heteronormativity. The choice of repetition through the school room punishment of lines renders the seemingly ‘natural’ subject of gender uncanny. This echoes David Shrigley’s own darkly humorous use of lines in his art work ‘Untitled’ (1996).
The work intends to critique the propagandist potential of consumerist culture, which enforces an artificial heteronormative model of femininity within the minds of young girls. Thus the doctrine of femininity, and the gender binary, doctrines taken to be so natural that they are performed unconsciously, are put forward to the viewer as ideological propaganda.
The quote “after the blood come the boys” is taken from the film ‘Carrie’ which itself inhabits a sick space of adolescence, exploring the powers of the uncanny that are seen to manifest within the young girl Carrie. The choice to appropriate dialogue from a popular horror film rather than the words of a queer theorist or a literary classic is important. This illustrates the importance that pop culture holds in the construction of gender identity, putting forward the importance of a genre that conventionally inhabits little critical space in academic cultural discourse. The words are attributed to Carrie’s mother who is seen to greatly fear the power of female sexuality, both within herself and within her teenage daughter, and are directed to her daughter in order to frighten her into acquiescence. Thus, through this mantra being passed down from mother to daughter, the quote mirrors the enduring power that the ideology of gender holds from generation to generation.