Year One - Contextual and Professional Studies

Art Materials used for Shock Value

Moma Definition
Merriam-Webster Definition

Stephanie Sarley

What is this artists material? Video, Performance, Social Media or Fruit?

Stephanie Sarley became a viral sensation with her ‘Fruit Fingering’ series, in which she films herself stroking and prodding pieces of juicy and flesh-like fruit … sexually provocative videos became the subject of censorship and copyright disputes after her work was repeatedly removed, stolen and appropriated online. These videos even resulted in Instagram disabling Sarley’s account three times in one month.

Feminism and Fruit Article/ Interview

Is this porn being portrayed as contextual feminist art?

Personally, having researched this artist I have come to the realisation that I do not consider this art. Yes, art is subjective but I feel Stephanie Sarley is using shock value to get attention on social media. I would suggest this is a form of porn which is being portrayed as contextual, feminist art. Sarley sometimes uses sexual sound effects within her videos, forming the conclusion to me that this is not about art or feminism. I would suggest this is a cover up to allow this type of content on instagram, being posted under the umbrella of feminism, who have strict guidelines for content. Feminism modern times, is a very sensitive subject, which people are afraid to question in fear of offending. Resulting in this ‘art’, being allowed on social media fueling the motive of popularity and monetary value for the ‘artist’.

Banana on Wall

“Bananas! Art world gone mad—this duct-taped fruit sold for $120K.”

The New York Post Front Cover Headline
Comedian, Maurizio Cattelan 2016

“A ripe banana duct-taped to the wall, all in the name of art. But this is conceptual art. He made several models: first in resin, then in bronze, and in painted bronze (before) finally coming back to the initial idea of a real banana. Whether this qualifies as art, well, that’s up to you! Art is subjective. The price tag—paired with the work’s absurdity—got the attention of social media.”

Vogue Article
Buyer eating the ‘art’.

Is this ‘art’?

Art is subjective, so you could argue that anything is art. Having researched into this I realise that this piece of art has more substance to it than initially preserved via the media. Resulting in a more contextualised work than made out to be. However, I still don’t personally view this as art. But I do admire the creativity behind the concept and the money the artist would have produced from the controversial ‘art’ piece.


To summarise, I think the relation of shock value in art is a medium in the sense of performance. The physical medium may be video, instillation, photography etc but the performance is really the medium. As performance is what makes these works relevant.


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