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The visitor to the exhibition at Londons Tate Britain knew the title of the artwork and approached it cautiously. But could that very large pink rectangle, hung at the far end of the gallery, really be it? It was only a pink rectangle after all. Reassured, the visitor approached more closely. Yes, this must be it, the bright pink words started to jump out, and very disturbing some of them were, too. The visitor stepped back again, and the pink rectangle asserted itself once more. The visitor approached again, and again some highly sexually explicit words came into focus. It was impossible to say if they told a story, or advertised something, or conveyed a stream of consciousness, because the viewer simply could not read the piece in its entirety. The cause of the viewers original caution was the title, Arsewoman in Wonderland, applied to Fiona Banners pieces shown in the exhibition of works by artists short-listed for the Turner Prize in 2002. In that interplay between the title and the largest piece, henceforth referred to as Arsewoman in Wonderland,i lies a key ekphrastic impact of the work. In common with much of Banners work, Arsewoman in Wonderland is composed wholly of written words. Its title refers to a pornographic film from the United States of America, called Asswoman in Wonderland.ii Banners piece is her written account of a large part of that film. Arsewoman in Wonderland is a complex work. It confronts the viewer with issues of how a written text can be a work of visual art. It infers an interplay between the film medium and the print medium and questions how a viewer might respond to an account of a film as distinct from the viewing of a film. Not least, Banner presents a work which could be seen to be pornographic, using sexually explicit terms to describe a pornographic film. She questions the fitness of pornography as a subject for art and therefore we are brought to consider the place of pornography in contemporary cultures. Knowing that the artist is a woman places the work in a cultural context with its own issues. Finally, the title echoes that of one of the most loved, analysed and iconic works of English literature, known as Alice in Wonderland. Arsewoman in Wonderland is powerful as well as complex. Its power lies in the devices that Fiona Banner has deployed to deal with her own responses to pornography. She has stated that she feels both attracted and repelled by it: I got quite interested in pornography, because it was dealing with those impossible images. Very alluring, very seductive and repulsive. But what can you do when youre fascinated by stuff but thats impossible?(Banner 35). She was drawn to use a pornographic film as the basis of this

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piece of work, but conceals the pornographic images of bodies and sexual activities behind a screen of words. Since these words describe another visual work, a film, she has in fact created an ekphrasis, the verbal representation of visual representation, as Heffernan (3) defines it. I interpret Arsewoman in Wonderland therefore as an ekphrastic construction which allows Fiona Banner to convey her contradictory responses to pornography simultaneously. Ekphrasis has been theorised as a verbal construct bearing significance beyond the overt meaning of its constituent words. It allows us to speculate on how words work to bring images before the minds eye, as opposed to how direct pictorial representations operate. Reading Arsewoman in Wonderland as an ekphrastic text, I base my interpretation mainly on WJT Mitchells approach,iii supplemented by the ideas of other theorists of ekphrasis such as James Heffernan. Mitchell sees three phases or reactions to reading an ekphrastic text. First, we may feel ekphrastic indifference, as we know that we cannot ever actually see what is being described. Words are not the same as pictures of objects; ekphrasis is impossible. But then, we feel ekphrastic hope, as there is a sense in which language can make us see, in our minds eye, the object or activities being described. Mitchell says that this is the point at which the visual and the verbal overcome their separateness and we have an imagetext. (89 n)iv But an immediate third reaction is the fear that our distinction between the visual and verbal has in reality collapsed; we might indeed see the visual image in actuality. The presupposition is that the reader is intent on a literary, probably a poetic text. In contrast, Arsewoman in Wonderland is an ekphrastic text composed of large bright pink sexually explicit words, viewed in the company of others in the art gallery. Its viewers are likely to be even more powerfully attracted and repelled by it than by a poetic text. Michael Archer refers to the detailed writing in Arsewoman in Wonderland leading the viewers eye to fall repeatedly on another description of the sex act... All the while, too, there is that small voice whispering in your ear: What are you looking at? You shouldnt be looking at this. Not here, anyway, with all these people around who can see what you're looking at. (Banner 59). Mitchells view, that the effect of a piece of ekphrastic writing calls forth opposing responses in the reader, is, I believe, fully validated here. But there is a further complexity. Ekphrastic writing pits the verbal against the visual, but such an opposition is illusory. Banners words make an impact through their form and colour, and what they

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look like will influence how they will be understood. Therefore we need to consider how visual artists use words in their artworks. The art work There is a long historyv of visual artists using written words in their works and this is especially evident in the 20th and 21st centuries. Artist use the written word in their images for a variety of reasons and its function changes with the aims of the artists and over time. In the 20th century the Cubists introduced the written word into their paintings and Dadaists played with both meaning and appearance of written words on a grand scale. The written words were normally associated with some kind of visual image. From the mid-20th century onward, it became much more frequent for visual artists to create works composed wholly of words. Conceptual art, from the 1960s on, is largely predicated on using words rather than images to express the idea of the work. Fiona Banners approach in Arsewoman in Wonderland is to use words alone to express overt meaning, while at the same time using the formal qualities of printed words so as to turn the text block itself into an image, thereby obscuring the meaning of the words. The appearance and materiality of print bring issues of interpretation to texts additional to the semantic load the words carry. Johanna Drucker and Jerome McGann,vi amongst others, have produced stimulating analyses of how the appearance of written words affects the readers understanding of their meaning (1993). Johanna Drucker, in particular, drawing upon her experience as an artist as well as on her academic investigations into alphabets, words and texts, has greatly increased our understanding of the significance of the form and layout of print; its materiality. In discussing experimental typography of the early 20th century, she develops the theme I believe that the issue of visible materiality pertains in the case of all written forms of language and, While the intentions, effects and processes involved in this self-conscious use of materiality vary widelythe insistence upon the autonomous status of the work of art (visual or literary) which veritably defines the founding premise of modernism was premised upon the capacity of works to claim the status of being rather than representing. To do this, the materiality of their form had to be asserted as a primary in-itself condition not subordinate to the rules of imitation, representation or reference. (1994. 3, 10-11)

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Jerome McGanns researches into texts and typography reinforce claims as to the effect of the look of words on the readers understanding of a text. One illuminating piece of research was carried out in collaboration with Johanna Drucker. Together they compare two differing printed presentations of a poem by Byron, one as written and laid out by the author, the other in the editors words and layout. The consequence is a graphical transformation of the shape of the poem as Byron originally wrote it. Setting the two shapes next to each other calls attention to this primary fact: that the graphic deployment of text is every bit as significant in terms of meaning as the linguistic elements of text. (Drucker and McGann) Banners particular deployment of text, the look, as well as the meaning of her printed words, are key issues in interpreting Arsewoman in Wonderland. Arsewoman in Wonderland is physically an extremely large (420 x 610cm) screen print on paper. The font appears to be Gill Sans Ultra Bold, originally designed in 1928, possibly better known in its computer version today. The print colour is bright pink. The huge pages are stuck straight onto the wall of the gallery. Whenever the artist deems it necessary during the exhibition, a new page will be stuck over the previous one, in the manner of a billboard, and one can see the build-up of layers. Figure 1 gives a general effect, including the wavy-edge caused by the build-up of paper layers, which could be that of a modernist, monochrome painting.

Fig.1. Fiona Banner. Arsewoman in Wonderland 2002 (installation

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view) DCA, Dundee, 2002

Insofar as the words can be read, they create a picture of the sexual activities shown in the film. But whilst Fiona Banner may use explicit terms for such activities, the genitalia and body fluids, the way she presents the words indicates that she is not writing pornography, but using the print medium to create her own work of visual art. With the exception of, say, personal jottings or scribblings or automatic writing, any piece of writing follows an agreed system. In this case the system is prose in the English language. This includes not only received spellings, grammar and syntax, but also typographical design conventions such as space between words, space around the block of text and so on. These make a difference as to how the words are understood and to the total effect of the writing. These systems of graphic presentation are operational, not merely passive schematic structures. They are active agents for creating meaning, instructions for reading, viewing, comprehending information (Drucker and McGann). Normally, such systems help the reader to understand the text in question. However, Banners use of these systems is subversive. Rather than aiding the readers understanding, she sows confusion. No typographer would leave so little space between the lines of text, or accept lines of such extreme length, or set such a quantity of type in upper-case only, or use so glaring a pink colour, because all that would render the text almost unreadable. And that is precisely why Fiona Banner has broken all the rules. We see that the spaces between the sentences appear to be the same size as those between the words so we lose some feeling for the syntactical structure and hence the meaning of the piece. The typeface is a sans serif font, less easy to read, in the main, than a serif font. Physically getting nearer to the piece means that only disconnected and small groups of words can be read easily. The total size of the page means that in order to see the whole, one has to stand too far away to be able to read the words. In the huge size used here the page evokes a billboard glimpsed from a distance and then briefly seen more clearly as one drives past, an object that lures and attracts, but impersonally. The materials that Banner uses further support this play on the viewers feelings of attraction and repulsion. She eschews the tactility of paint, preferring the smooth surface of print on paper. Compare these materials with those such as appliqud fabrics and stitching, as used by Tracy Emin in Everyone I have ever slept with 1963-1995 (Figure 2), which refer to traditionally feminine occupations and which present

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sensuous, tactile surfaces. Emins words are, or appear to be, directly produced by human hand, and relate to the female body. This contrasts strongly with Banners printed words, which are flat, glossy and mechanical. This mechanistic approach, the work coming from a print factory, reflects the fact that pornographic films are part of an industry, items mechanically replicated and sold around the world. Although in fact a unique piece, the effect of Banners artwork is that of a mass-produced article that does not bear the impression of the artists hand, but exposes only its mechanical production.

Fig. 2. Tracy Emin. Everyone I have ever slept with 19631995. 1995

The issue of pornography Banners previous work has included similarly large, printed pieces on paper, but their subjects have been relatively uncontentious filmsvii. However, Arsewoman in Wonderland shows a greater emphasis on contrivances to depersonalise the work; to attract and then push back the viewer. For one thing, it is considerably larger than previous work and it is its size which largely serves to confound the reading of its text. The work thus expresses Banners own response to its pornographic basis in the film Asswoman in Wonderland. Complex interrelationships between art, culture and pornography are therefore of relevance here. Is the work pornographic, or, more precisely, how far does its apparently pornographic foundation determine responses to it? Emma Brockes posed the question, apropos Arsewoman in Wonderland, Its art but is it porn? Questions opposing art and pornography are inevitably raised whenever apparently pornographic works are shown in high art environments such as galleries or art cinemas. Figure 3 shows a detail of the work which may allow some judgement of this issue.

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Fig . 3. Fiona Banner. Arsewoman in Wonderland. 2001 (detail)

In Arsewoman in Wonderland Fiona Banner uses straightforward vernacular language to describes close-ups of genitals and other parts of the body involved in a variety of sexual activities. Such writing could be dubbed pornographic. It is instructive to compare Banners description of the film Asswoman in Wonderland, with that of Roger Pipe, an American reviewer of the film (Pipe). Figures 4 and 5 show the video cover and a photograph, to give a flavour of its approach:

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Fig. 4. Cover of video Asswoman in Wonderland

Fig. 5.Alice and rabbit. Photograph of actors in film Asswoman in Wonderland

Tiffany watches as Chandler gets thoroughly slam fucked by Jake Steed and his fat prick. Hot stuff if you like sexy redheads being screwed silly by big dicks. Chandler sees Tiff and invites her into the mix and I have to admit this has me even more interested in seeing the rest of this scene. Asswoman goes right for the red snapper, munching on Chandlers lips and clearly enjoying her lesbian lust. That finished, Jake comes back to fuck Chandler in the ass. Banners sentences are more urgent and engaged. She notes visual light effects, often of skin gleaming wetly, silvery spit, a shiny edge, which, if we concentrated, could allow us to imagine the film more clearly in terms of visual attractiveness. Her misspellings make us think that she and we are actually seeing the film rush by and there is no time to write slowly and carefully. The sexually explicit words are picked up by reviewers and art critics, who emphasise the pornographic aspect. Helen Bushby comments in her review for BBC News Online Entertainment: It is impossible to read the whole thing, but you get the idea fairly quickly. As you scan the words, the obscene ones jump out at you with alarming regularity. Emma Brockes interviewed porn star Ben Dover, about whether Arsewoman in Wonderland was pornography. They were surrounded by the lovers of high art contemplating the work and listening in to the conversation:

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BD: Porn is the new rock and roll and what this piece of art is, in my opinion, is verbal justification for it. It allows all the Islingtonites (at this the shiver becomes a wave) to get off on the sexy stuff without sanctioning porn. I whisper to him: do you think its art? and Dover replies, oblivious to the now murderous vibes arrowing our way, Art? Its basically shite. I think the best that can be said for it is that you can probably read it and have a good wank. (Brockes) The works pornographic effect is thus attested by an expert. That was in London. A more robust view was provided by least one Scottish art critic: In all of this art, porn had literally become part of the furniture, no longer a transgressive statement. And heres the problem for an artist like Fiona Banner. Arsewoman in Wonderland isnt obscene, nor is it cold, mechanical bullshit . Its simply that, as an aesthetic strategy, the use of sex even dirty, pornographic sex, blown up in huge pink letters like youd find in a particularly kinky stick of Blackpool rockhas lost its

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power to shock. On the contrary, its become a clich, worn out by repetition and familiarity. Arsewoman, if its anything, is 10 years too late for the Turner Prize. (McNair). Therefore we have an apparently pornographic work, produced by a woman, being shown in a major public art gallery in the UK. The artists own position, however, is not straightforwardly pro-porn as Fiona Banner told her interviewer Pocock: She further explained her feelings about pornography, discussing her choice of Asswoman in Wonderland as the basis for an art work. JP: But you chose a porn film that was directed by a woman. FB: Yes, and I chose one I thought was good actually. All the films I choose I am slightly in love with. I am always very, very seduced by them. I mean with The Nam films, what I found very confusing was the allure and the seductive power of them, while at the same time I was completely repulsed by them. They are also propaganda. And somehow the more entertaining they are the more active and alive they seem to be in terms of the buttons they push. So I dont completely understand the porn thing yet. Except that I wanted to switch from something that felt very male to something that felt very female. Even though porn is made for the male gaze, I am not sure to what extent that is actually true. And in a way I think with porn films, you are looking at how much can you stretch the body, how much can you stretch any given orifice, how inside can you go. Then I went on to do a series of nudes, like the one that you saw me do at Port Eliot. (Pocock) As Banner said, she did not totally understand the porn thing. Her ambivalence reflects a continuing debate about how to analyse and evaluate pornography. Banner says, doubtfully, that porn is made for the male gaze. She echoes here the anti-porn feminists, whose influence grew significantly in the late 1970s, largely in response to the growth in legalised pornographic output in the United States. Names such as Diana Russell, Andrea Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, and Robin Morgan are among those most associated with a radical anti-porn stance. They claimviii that pornography demeans and degrades women in general. At its most extreme, this position sees pornography as virtually equivalent to rape. Robin Morgans pithy remark, that pornography is the theory, rape is the practice,(128) summed up the radical view. At

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the very least, they claim, the availability of pornography encourages cultural attitudes that continue to oppress women. An opposing view is voiced by so-called anti-porn and sex-positive feminists, such as Gayle Rubin, Linda Williams and Nadine Strossen. ix Their approach was to reanalyse pornography as a significant cultural construct where women could be stakeholders and not merely victims. Some feminists argued that publishing pornography was part of free expression and strongly opposed the calls for censorship that they perceived in the anti-porn groups writings. Others emphasise the need not so much to censor pornography as to reform it as an industry. Sex-positive feminists socalled, reject the automatic assumption that pornography per se always, and only, treats women as sex objects for men. Indeed, at the other extreme from the Dworkin/McKinnon view are women who are self-avowed and campaigning pornographers.x An example of the broader view of pornography, as an important aspect of any cultural and political entity, is provided by Laura Kipnis. She sees pornography as a pleasurable transgression that exposes societys hidden and dirty corners and which therefore carries a serious political message: A cultures pornography becomes, in effect, a precise map of that cultures borders: pornography begins at the edge of the cultures decorum... And a cultures borders, whether geographical or psychological, are inevitably political questions. (164) In terms of what can generally be agreed to comprise current Western culture, pornography often straddles an internal border, that between what we term high art on the one hand and popular culture on the other. How such terms are exactly to be defined is contentious and becoming more and more blurred, but we can agree that there is such a dichotomy. Pornography is typically associated with popular culture but is redeemed insofar as it associates with high art. Feminist debates about whether pornography should exist at all have paled before the simple fact that still and moving images have become fully recognizable features of popular culture and Presenting Blow Job [Warhols 1963 film] at a respectable art gallery was a practical attempt to elude the censors, but it also signified the tension between high art and pornography. (Williams 1, 431). Over the last two decades or so, museums and galleries have shown ever more sexually explicit works, increasing their acceptability and weakening still further the

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boundaries between high art and popular culture. Some notable examples are the pieces in Jeff Koonss exhibition, Made in Heaven, which depicted him making love with his wife, Ilona Staller. Works from this series have been exhibited in major galleries in Germany, the Netherlands and the United States, including the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco. Another example from the early 1990s is a self portrait by Sam TaylorWood (Figure 6). Like Fiona Banner, she used sexually explicit words in her image, but, unlike Banner, intended them to be read and understood. She also directly related them to a womans bodyher ownin an almost ekphrastic construction.

Fig. 6. Sam Taylor-Wood. Fuck, Suck, Spank, Wank. 1993

On this, Linda Nochlin waxes eloquent: Or take Sam Taylor-Woods poignant large-scale self-portrait Fuck, Suck, Spank, Wank, 1993, which brings up antique and Renaissance memories in the contrapposto pose, the escaping strands of hair, the trousers falling about the sitters feet (displaced classical drapery)its Venus, transposed by Botticelli and made utterly new in the artists studio, with a cabbage instead of a scallop shell. This photograph is as harmoniously composed as any Greek frieze, and much the richer for its references, however unusual, to the past. Linking what would be taken to be obscene, sexually explicit words to Classical and Renaissance art, places them in the high culture context and works to neutralise any

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opposition. So important is it to locate such a work firmly in high culture, Nochlin simply ignores the potentially pornographic words which carry the key impact of the work. If anything objectified the female body, this work could be interpreted as so doing. Seen against such works, Arsewoman in Wonderland moves even further towards the canon of high art, even to modernist art. Its printed surface appears cold beside the human bodies presented by Koons and Taylor-Wood, because Banner has transformed realistic moving images of human bodies into text. The transformations are, in fact, multiple. Before the pornographic film there was a book: a very particular book, Alices adventures in Wonderland. Multi-media imagetexts The Alice books have become iconic imagetexts, words and images being inseparable reflections and interpretations of each other, forever producing progeny in amazing variety. Behind Arsewoman in Wonderland stretches a centurys worthxi of other versions, representations, analyses, and general paraphernalia engendered by the Alice books. Taking as the Urtext Alices adventures in Wonderland, published in 1865 with the impressive illustrations of Sir John Tennielxii we may distinguish two main lines of development: material transformations, including editions enhanced by a notable line of artist illustratorsxiii and versions in different media; and what we may term conceptual transformations, that is, writing about the Alice texts. All this mass of documents, artworks and objects has created a set of generally received images and of (more or less) mythic understandings of the Alice books and their creator. The image of Alice herself was largely set by Tenniel, and to this day, the picture of a little blonde girl, long hair held by an Alice band, in a blue dress and white pinafore, with white or striped stockings and black shoes, is likely to make people think of the Alice character. Even in Banners account of a porn film we can detect the key Wonderland icons xiv then like shes materialising...the mad little bunny comes round the corner he passes her the glass, a label saying drink me dangles from the stem... she is falling through a bottomless psychedelic pit everything and nothing rushes past her falling...the blokes sitting down are wearing huge spotted top hats...bloke wearing a robe smoking a hubbly-bubblyshe is still falling, then she lands, suddenly, in a dark room with no edges... she picks up a mushroom from the ground and starts to lick ithe says something about the riddleshes wearing a

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crowna blond woman standing there she hold a sceptereat me lick me drink meshe asks him who she is supposed to be he sucks on his cigar and says whoever he is supposed to be you know the crazy cat thing...the moustached cat man starts laughing his head off...the picture blurs like a dream, everything spins like a vortex, and disappears onto a twisting curling unfurling never-ending hole. These scenes evoke many well-known images. We can detect the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar, the DRINK ME bottle and the falling down a deep hole. Film is the obvious medium for presenting the strange transformation in the Alice text. The first film based on the Alice books was made in 1903 and there is apparently no end to the stream of filmsxv the books have engendered. The film versions of, or influenced by, the Alice books undoubtedly expanded the audience for the tales and in the main reflect basic aspects of Tenniels images.xvi Some films and television dramas emphasise the undoubted aggression and anxiety in the Alice books. The darker side of the Alice texts appears particularly in Jonathan Millers and Jan Svankmajers very different versions.xvii Even Disneys Alice in Wonderland is seen as less than innocent.xviii The very latest Alice-related film apparently is to continue these more adult interpretations as a horror film.xix Its title, Phatasmagoria: the visions of Lewis Carroll leads us to consider the second major line of Alice-related output, the endless analyses of the Alice imagetext and, more to the point, of its author. Or authors. Lewis Carroll was also the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson: the one a story-telling man who liked taking photographs of naked little girls, the other a straitlaced bachelor mathematics don in an Oxford college. The puzzling duo has become a sort of persona text, forever meshed together and linked with the Alice texts, enticing academics, authors and artists to continually re-analyse their meaning. The Victorians, although not shocked, nevertheless had noted Carrolls interest in young girls. Post-Freud came a crop of psychoanalytic and Jungian interpretations. Words such as paedophile (with its hints of pornography) began to be associated with Dodgson/Carroll.xx Fiona Banner was therefore tapping into a reservoir of conflicting emotions, interpretations and images: a never-ending variety of transformations of the Alice texts. Ekphrastic transformation Arsewoman in Wonderland is itself an extreme example of such transformation: the Alice imagetext translated from a pornographic film into a work of visual art. It generally

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remains the case that still images are the ones that evoke ekphrastic writing, although some authors have created ekphrastic texts based in some way on the cinema.xxi In contrast, films are central to Banners practice (see note 7). Her desire is to re-present images in words and in such a way as to reflect the apparent movement shown in film. Basing her text on films adds a further layer of ekphrastic transformation to the work. In this context, Cristina Galu has noted multi-layering or multi-mediality in a work, again by a woman author describing, in this case, an imaginary cinema film: In Erato/ Love Poetry, Cha seems to render verbally a cinematographic fragment First of all, the level of ekphrasis incorporates a peculiar relation between its domains of representation. Both represented (the film fragment here) and the representing (Chas verbal description) represent another, real object: the condition of many women as docile and abused wives. By appealing to Meir Stenbergs theory of quotation one can re-trace the mimetic levels of ekphrasis: the film, both in the verbal and in the cinematic forms re-present, cite, allude to a real situation. Therefore, Tamar Yacobi concludes that like all quotation, () ekphrasis bundles together no less than three, rather than two, domains: one firstorder, strictly represented; one second-order, which is representational in the visual mode; one third-order, which is re-presentational in the linguistic discourse. Therefore Chas verbal re-presentation of the film comes to the reader at two removes from the original one. (Galu). Banner actually re-presents her text in a fourth domain, that of visual art, whose materiality allows her representation to make a cinematographic impact. She turns the cinema into an art gallery as we move from the cinema screen to a paper rectangle. Her billboard layers of paper subtly echo the sequencing of frames of a film. The very size of the text block in Arsewoman in Wonderland means her artwork envelops the viewer as does the cinema screen looming over the cinema-goer. Fiona Banner wants, as McGann says that Bob Brown wanted, to immerse the reader in the print medium, much as the viewer is immersed in images in the cinema...(qtd. in McGann 85). The contrast and tension between the still text object and the moving images which the words call forth are taken to the ultimate in Banners text. The ekphrastic effect starts to operate as Banner solidifies apparently moving pictures, originally projected as immaterial light, into the materiality of the plastic arts, while at the same time bringing the words most abstract

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quality, their literal meanings, in front of our mental vision. The static text, presenting words in sequence, forces us to take time over them, particularly given the difficulty of perceiving and reading the print, thus preserving some of the temporality of the film. At the same time, Banners short sharp statements catch the tempo of the film, rather than appear a poetic recollection of emotion in tranquillity Unlike Cha, Banner refers to an actual situation, and rather than abused wives she represents porn actresses at work. Banner further complicates matters by presenting her ekphrastic text in two guises. The words contained within that huge pink oblong do not easily give up their message without the pointer given in the title of the piece, Arsewoman in Wonderland. Indeed the very title may decide for many people whether they go to look at the work or not; it offers an immediate ekphrastic frisson. Titles of artworks are highly significant, as Welchmans analysis of the role and functionality of titles in visual modernism amply illustrates. He notes that Enmeshed in a complex rapport with the surface or volume to which it relates, the title of a paintingcan be considered as the name of that object. It is demonstrably implicated in the signifying capacity of the work, providing a lead term in its descriptive articulation and contextual historyThey [titles] both promote and emblematize the intertextuality of the wordimage (1, 12). The title Arsewoman in Wonderland hugely amplifies the signifying capacity of the artworkxxii. The inclusion of the term Wonderlandxxiii immediately calls to mind that iconic Alice imagetext with all its connotations, whilst the substitution of Arsewoman for the expected Alice is apt to stop the readers in their tracks. Fiona Banner has even translated the films title, Asswoman in Wonderland into British English, which makes clear to British English speakers the nature of at least some of the sexual activities being described in the artwork. Its association with Wonderland hardly improves matters. Certainly the term Wonderland carries a tinge of ekphrastic hope as an innocent little girl appears on the scene. But our gaze is not innocent. For the twentieth century reality means the worm in the bud. Things that spoke to the Victorians of naivet and sweetness, speak to the twentieth century of hypocrisy and deviant, dangerous, repressed sexuality. (Leach). For the reader swiftly moves to the Dodgson/Carroll persona, that photographer of naked little girls, hinting at paedophilia (fast replacing simple adult pornography as a highly worrying sexual issue in our Internet age).

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The title Arsewoman in Wonderland suffuses that huge pink oblong with anticipatory ekphrastic fear and hope of seeing a female, the Arsewoman, and undoubtedly her retinue. Now as a female, the Arsewoman is a classic subject of ekphrastic writing. For Heffernan, the contest it [ekphrasis] stages is often powerfully gendered: the expression of a duel between male and female gazes, the voice of male speech striving to control a female image that is both alluring and threatening, striving to overcome the fixating impact of beauty poised in space (1). Further, Mitchell says that ekphrastic poetry as a verbal conjuring up of the female image has overtones, then, of pornographic writing and masturbatory fantasy. (168). Ekphrastic writing is seen as a male production fantasising about a still and silent object that will typically be charged with femaleness that is dangerous as well as alluring. That ekphrastic texts are produced by women challenges these definitions of ekphrasis. Mitchell did indeed speculate that his interpretations might alter if my emphasis had been on ekphrastic poetry by women. But the difference would not be simply readable as a function of the authors gender. (181) Mitchell goes on to admit that neither had he considered ekphrastic representations of other kinds of visual representations, such as, for example, films. Here we have an ekphrastic text produced by a woman and based not on a picture or object, but on a film. Does the creators gender make a difference? Clearly she wanted to focus on femaleness. We recall that Banner said, apropos choosing to base a work on Asswoman in Wonderland I wanted to switch from something that felt very male to something that felt very female. (Pockock) It is difficult to detect the few details that might indicate that the words of Arsewoman in Wonderland were written by a woman. Perhaps only She looks down at her feet, black and shiny her toes point in, her white tights slightly wrinkled at the ankles,...clumsy white slingback sandals ... her collagen lipsquivering cellulite the guy behind dark, almost hairless like a doll have the feel of a womans perception at work. In particular, the effect of collagen and cellulite, bringing in issues of the cosmetics industry and womens worries about their appearance, quite distract us from the actresses activities. The gender of the author does not come into play in other parts of the text. These instead reflect the fact that it a film that is being described. Sound plays its part, in total contrast to the silent urns, jars and portraits of classic ekphrastic poetry: ...shes moaningshe

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groans againshe yelpsviolent yelps...he moans and so on. Banner tries to capture the movements of the actors, then from the side you see her doe eyes, then you dont, then you do, then you dont,...hes rocking forward and back forward and backhands on top of her head still messing around the hairhair rushing forwards,. There is much licking, sucking, and frantically rubbing. Indeed, in the text, the women appear to be the most active of a very active group indeed.. Here the men are the ones most likely to be still, even if only occasionally all you can see is the soles of his feet and his bolloks (sic) just like a dead man. he stands there transfixedhes still, corpse-like hes waiting for her stands looking at herboth of them there like theyre operating on him This last simile actually transforms the still unravishd bride into an anaesthetised man being cut open by women, which should surely confound the traditional view of the ekphrastic object. However, the point must be re-iterated, Banners words are simply not presented in a way that allows such cool analysis. That pink screen of words holds us back from any excitement that she and we may feel. Mitchells characterisation of the ekphrastic Other is pertinent here: Perhaps ekphrasis as literary principle does the same thing, thematizing the visual as other to language,The ambivalence about ekphrasis, then, is grounded in our ambivalence about other people, regarded as subjects and objects in the field of verbal and visual representation. Ekphrastic hope and fear express our anxieties about merging with others... The central goal of ekphrastic hope might be called the overcoming of otherness. (163) The Arsewoman functions as the ekphrastic Other. Abstracted and depersonalised as a synecdoche, she represents a part of us that we keep hidden or make vulgar jokes about. The Arsewoman is the absolute opposite of the male poets still unravishd bride of quietness and the misogynists passive Duchess. Fiona Banner describes a very active woman indeed, and active in terms of sheer physical sex to boot. Not only that, the Arsewomans specialty is anal sex, an activity linked to homosexuality and as such may be all the more disturbing as an object of ekphrastic writing for a male reader worried enough by a poetic description of Medusa. However, Banners words indicate her own ambivalence about the Arsewoman figure. She is the sweet girl Alice, who nevertheless turns into the coarse and actively sexual

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Arsewoman, her alter ego, who has lost her innocence in the post-Freud world. The Arsewoman participates in the sexual activities, but her willingness is predicated upon her being drugged, even, at times, inactive the stoned blond (sic) girls just lying there luxuriously, watching, disaffectedit is the blond stoned one looks sort of disinterested, transfixed somehow Banner here actually re-presents the still female object of ekphrastic poetry, although she seems to be in a state of self-contemplation. Nor does Banner give her an active future, for at the moment of her apotheosis, the dream ends ...someone whispers all hail arsewoman, and the others echo, the colours twist and the picture blurs like a dream, everything spins like a vortex, and disappears onto a twisting curling unfurling never-ending hole. Alice becomes her dream, a sexually mature woman, but tarnished, part of a pornographic film. A goddess, but not the classical Venus. The Arsewoman represents a darker female side, Alices alter ego. Here it is not a male poets gaze or pen that activates a monstrous female, but a woman artist who uses images of death to describe a man overcome by these hyperactive women. On the other hand Alice has to be drugged before she can be inducted into sex. The ekphrastic tables may be turned if a woman is their creator, but at least in this case, the creators ambivalence remains. Banners words and their presentation in the end work to attract and repel; otherness is not overcome in Arsewoman in Wonderland. In conclusion Arsewoman in Wonderland is an ekphrastic text that challenges and subverts a generally received view of such texts: that they are produced in the main by a male author, in a literary form, reflecting on a visual object characterised as female. Banners subject is the active sexual activities portrayed in a film, rather than the visualisation of a still object. Also unlike most ekphrastic texts, Arsewoman in Wonderland is first and foremost an object of visual art, hung on a gallery wall, and as such it operates differently from a literary work. The literary work is intended to be read, its effect comes from the skill with which the author uses language as he considers his subject. Banners work, in contrast, is made to be viewed. The words themselves are not intended to be read as a piece of literature, as conventionally perceived. They are, however, used with some skill. Banners text is a tour de force, breathlessly pinning down fast-moving sex play, bringing an artists eye to visual details, adding in sound, all to make us watch a film. However,

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unlike a conventional ekphrastic text, Banner does not muse on her subject, nor, apparently, does she want the words to be read. So far, we see certain major differences between Arsewoman in Wonderland and conventional ekphrastic texts. The words do indeed describe a female, more accurately, women and men, but one cannot equate the Arsewoman with the still and silent female subjects of typical ekphrastic texts. The Asswoman of the film is a real woman, Tiffany Mynx, not only a porn star but a multi-talented business woman who directed, scripted starred in and designed costumes for Asswoman in Wonderland. All these aspects of her are contained in the film. A woman, Fiona Banner, has considered her portrayal, in detail. Her response is not to make images of Tiffany in action, but to term her Arsewoman, and thus to transform her into the ekphrastic Other; a woman with whom we would never consciously identify. In Banners text she may be hailed as a goddess, but an Arsewoman is not the fruitful summer Mother Goddess; rather the one of the sterile underworld. At one level, Arsewoman in Wonderland is boldly defiant. Banner uses very blunt words to describe clearly genital sex, bodily fluids, moans and contortions. Yet despite this use of language, which we might imagine was precisely to put sexual activity on the gallery wall, Banner has constructed her artwork so that it resists us, we cannot envisage the writhing bodies at all, the words cannot be read except in fits and starts. Banner has transformed the too dangerously alluring Asswomans rounded and mobile flesh into a flat pink oblong. In the end, Banners own ambivalence about clearly exposing a pornographic text has resulted in an almost unreadable piece of print. The original, very realistic, visual presentation has been rendered in words that apparently strive for clarity, but are then further transformed into an art object which confounds our vision and invokes the ekphrastic responses of hope and fear. Fiona Banner has thus powerfully used the complementary strengths of the visual and the verbal through the medium of the written word and the materiality of visual art, in order to reveal and conceal disturbing images, and face us with our own desires and fears.

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List of Works Cited Banner. Text by Patricia Ellis, Michael Archer, Katrina M. Brown and Susanne Titz. Exhibition catalogue for Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, 17 February -14 April 2002 and Dundee Contemporary Arts, 20 April -- 9 June 2002. Dundee Contemporary Arts, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, and Revolver Archiv fr aktuelle Kunst, Frankfurt/Main, 2000 Brockes, Emma. Its art. But is it porn? <,3604,830011,00.html> (17.11.07) Brooker, Will. Alices adventures: Lewis Carroll in popular culture. NY: Continuum, 2004. Bushby, Helen. Porn and Perspex at the Turner Prize. <> (17.11.07) Carroll, Lewis. The complete works of Lewis Carroll. With an introduction by Alexander Woollcott and the illustrations by John Tenniel. London: The Nonsuch Press, 1939 Carroll, Lewis. The annotated Alice: Alices adventures in Wonderland & Through the looking glass by Lewis Carroll. With an introduction and notes by Martin Gardner. London, Anthony Blond. 1960 Drucker, Johanna. The visible word: experimental typography and modern art, 1909-1923. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1994 Drucker, Johanna and McGann, Jerome. Images as the text: pictographs and pictographic logic. <> (28.11.07) Empson, William. Some versions of pastoral: a study of the pastoral form in literature. Penguin, 1965. Galu, Cristina. Ekphrasis and multimediality: de-stabilizing history and subjectivity in Theresa Cha's Dictee. Rhizomes: cultural studies in emerging knowledge. 9 Fall 2004. <> (14.11.07) Heffernan, James A. W. Museum of words: the poetics of ekphrasis from Homer to Ashbery Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993 Leach, Karoline. Tony Goldsmith and the Freudian influence <> (28.11.07) McNair, Brian. The shocking truth about porn. Scotland on Sunday. Sun. 8 Dec. 2002. (17.11.07) Mitchell, WJT. Picture theory: essays on verbal and visual representation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994 Morgan, Robin. Theory and practice: pornography and rape In Lederer, LJ ed. Take back the night: women on pornography. NY: William Morrow, 1980 Nochlin, Linda. Feminism and art: Nine views. Artforum. October 2003 issue. <> (Registration site) (28.11.07) Phillips, Robert. Aspects of Alice: Lewis Carrolls dreamchild as seen through the critics lookingglasses 1865-1971. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970 Pipe, Roger T. Talking blue reviews. . <> (24/11/07)

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Pocock, Joanna. From Arsewoman to explosives: a chat with Fiona Banner Interviewstream <> (24.11.07) Welchman, John C. Invisible colors: a visual history of titles. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997. Williams, Linda, ed. Porn Studies. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.

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Arsewoman in Wonderland: ekphrastic transformations of pornography List of Illustrations

Fig. 1 Fiona Banner. Arsewoman in Wonderland. 2002. Installation view. DCA, Dundee, 2002. 420x610 cm. Fig. 2 Tracey Emin. Everyone I have ever slept with 1963-1995. 1995. appliqu tent, mattress and light Fig. 3 Fiona Banner. Arsewoman in Wonderland 2001 (detail), screenprint on paper, glue. 420x610 cm. Fig. 4 Video cover for VHS version of film Asswoman in Wonderland. Fig. 5 Photograph of actors dressed as Alice and rabbit for the film Asswoman in Wonderland. Fig. 6 Sam Taylor-Wood. Fuck, suck, spank, wank. 1993. C-type print. 145x106 cm.

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Banner has made at least four versions of Arsewoman They are all viewed as text on a surface, and all refer to the film Asswoman in Wonderland. See Banner, 2002. This documents Banners work up to 2002 and includes critical essays by various authors. It is copiously illustrated. In particular it deals with her Arsewoman pieces.


Asswoman In Wonderland. Dir. Tiffany Mynx. 1998. Extreme Associates. The film is now out of print but was issued on VHS tape and DVD. It is listed on, but is not available from there. The IMDB (Internet Movie Database) site states that This AVN award winning adultfilm is about Tiffany Mynx (AKA Ass-Woman) who mixes alcohol with drugs which causes her to hallucinate into a Wonderland filled with sex and eroticism. This film is best known for its originality and high-class make-up for its genre. Tiffany Mynx not only directed and acted, but wrote the script and designed costumes. I have watched most of it, but lost interest. A VHS format version can still be bought from Excalibur Films at <> (24.11.07)

iii iv

I am indebted to WJT Mitchells work in this area, particularly his book Picture Theory. When discussing the relationship between the visual and the verbal, as these terms are commonly understood, it is difficult to avoid tautology. The visual, e.g., pictures, can be read for meaning whilst printed or written words are also images that are for viewing. The term imagetext may encompass a rich set of considerations. Mitchell (89 n) discusses the concept at length, and gives a fuller definition, albeit one which underlines the difficulties: I will employ the typographic convention of the slash to designate image/text as a problematic gap, cleavage or rupture in representation. The term imagetext designates composite, synthetic works (or concepts) that combine image and text. Image-text with a hyphen, designates relations of the visual and verbal. The necessity of a concept such as the imagetext was first made clear to me by Robert Nelson in our team-taught seminar on Image and Text.

A well-illustrated account of the way in which written words have been used in modern artfrom the impressionists to the present day, with some reference to earlier instancesis given in Simon Morleys Writing on the wall: word and image in modern art. (London: Thames & Hudson, 2003). For further information on specific movements and artists, seen in more detailed historical perspective, see the magisterial Art since 1900: modernism, antimodernism, postmodernism by Hal Foster, et al. (Thames & Hudson, 2004). In particular section 1962a, 456-463, dealing with the Fluxus movement, section 1968b, 527-533 covering conceptual art, and section 1972a, 549-553 discussing Marcel Broodthaers, show the use of words in art as highly important movements of their time. Women artists make significant use of words in their art. One might instance Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, Susan Hiller, Shirin Neshat, Tracey Emin and, of course, Fiona Banner. Nancy Princenthal analyses Banners work in the context of other artists who, as she puts is, are also

particularly prolix with words in Prolix, Fiona Banners Word Works. Art on Paper 4.5 (May-June 2000): 40-45

. Space constraints preclude a fuller discussion of Johanna Druckers and Jerome McGanns key

body of research in textual studies. Carried out individually and together, it provides us with an indepth understanding of issues such as how the materiality of text may affect its possible meanings. McGann is a professor of literature, while Drucker is a visual artist as well as an academic. Hence they bring rich and varied experience of text, image and language to bear. As well as the works noted here, some key titles are McGanns Black riders: the visible medium of modernism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993. The black riders are such things as alphabetic characters, typographic and bibliographic marks; and Johanna Druckers Figuring the word: essays on books, writing and visual poetics. NY: Granary Books, 1998. Also see Drucker, Johanna and McGann Jerome. Images as the text: pictographs and pictographic rhetoric. Information Design Journal 10. 2. (2001): 95-106.

Banners fascination with words, text and film informs most of her work. She started producing enormous billboard-like wordscapes in 1993 with Top gun, an account of the film of the same name. In 1994 she made The Desert describing part of David Leans film Lawrence of Arabia. The Nam is her hand-written account of six films about the Vietnam war: Apocalypse now; Full metal jacket; The Deer hunter; Hamburger Hill; Platoon and Born on the 4th of July. This was published by Frith Street Books in 1997 as a thousand page soft cover artists book The Nam. In 1998 Banner created Break point , a description of the car-chase scene in Kathryn Bigelows 1991 cult film Point break. In 1999 Banner exhibited Dont look back, a text work consisting of three narrative accounts of DA Pennebakers film Dont Look Back, 1967, about American singer Bob Dylans first British tour in 1965.


Some key texts are Andrea Dworkins Pornography: men possessing women. London: Womens

Press, 1981 and Catherine McKinnons Only words. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1995.

Pamela Church Gibsons updated edition More dirty looks: gender pornography and power London: British Film Institute, 2004 brings together a variety of important papers, all being anticensorship, including Lynn Segals Only the literal: the contradictions of anti-porn feminism and Linda Williamss Second thoughts on Hard core: American obscenity law and the scapegoating of deviance. Gayle Rubin was an important feminist writer. See her Thinking sex: notes for a radical theory of the politics of sexuality. In Carole S. Vance (ed.), Pleasure and danger: exploring female sexuality. 267319. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984. Nadine Strossens book Defending pornography: free speech, sex, and the fight for womens rights. NY: Scribner, 1995 vigorously countered the anti-porn view. A more recent response to the anti-porn

movement is Laurie Shrages, in Feminist theory. 6.1 (2005) 4565.


An engaging example is Annie Sprinkle, whose website homepage <>announces that she is a Porn Star and Prostitute turned Sex Guru and Performance Artist. Jill Nagle, in Whores and other feminists. N Y: Routledge, 1997, edits a variety of accounts and essays by sex workers who are also thinkers and authors.


The first publication of the Alice books was soon followed

by highly academic analyses of the texts

and their author, and all manner of popularisations have since been produced. For example, by 1899 Stuart Dodgson Collingwood, could write: Alice" has been translated into French, German, Italian, and Dutch, while one poem, "Father William," has even been turned into Arabic. Several plays have been based upon it; lectures have been given, illustrated by magic-lantern slides of Tenniel's pictures, which have also adorned wall-papers and biscuit-boxes. Mr. Dodgson himself designed a very ingenious "Wonderland" stamp-case; there has been an "Alice" birthday-book; at schools, children have been taught to read out of "Alice," while the German edition, shortened and simplified for the purpose, has also been used as a lesson-book. With the exception of Shakespeares plays, very few, if any, books are so frequently quoted in the daily Press as the two "Alices" From the life and letters of Lewis Carroll, (Rev. C.L. Dodgson) NY: Century Co. 1899. I am indebted to Robert Phillipss presentation of literary and scholarly Alice-related work up to 1971, including psychoanalytic and Jungian approaches, for example by Paul Schilder, John Skinner, Phyllis Greenacre and Judith Bloomingdale. (1974). The range of significant authors who have been moved to comment on the Alice texts include WH Auden, Robert Graves and Virginia Woolf, among many others. A critical analysis of a sample of Anglo-American Alice-related production from 1990 to 2003 is given by Will Brooker (2004). We find literary criticism, academic feuding over psychological interpretations of Carroll/Dodgson, through to videogames, fan clubs and theme parks. Brooker gives thorough notes and references. There are also numerous societies and web sites devoted to Alice and her author. For example, the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, <>and the Lewis Carroll Society <> and many others world wide. These groups research their subject and maintain databases of varying kinds of relevant information, albeit of varying quality.

Sir John Tenniel was a well-known illustrator and highly satirical political cartoonist. His fame did not prevent Carroll, himself an amateur artist, from pressing his own rather vapid drawings as models for Tenniel to follow. Tenniel resisted. In one famous incident, ruefully described by Carroll in a letter published many years later, he had sent Tenniel a photograph of Mary Hilton Badcock, one of his child friends, to use as a model for Alice. Carroll noted Mr. Tenniel is the only artist, who has drawn for me, who has resolutely refused to use a model, and declared he no more needed one than I should need a multiplication table to work a mathematical problem! I venture to think he

was mistaken Quoted by Martin Gardner (Carroll. 1960.25). For an in-depth account and analysis of Tenniels work for the Alice books, see Michael Hanchers The Tenniel illustrations to the Alice books. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1985. For criticism and interpretation of Tenniels work as a whole, see Roger Simpsons Sir John Tenniel: aspects of his work. London: Associated University Presses, 1994

See Graham Ovendens edition of The Illustrators of Alice in Wonderland and Through the

looking glass, London: Academy Editions, 1972 (Revised 1979). Ovenden is himself an artist and illustrator. Lauren Harmen lists 99 illustrators of Alice books, including, apart from Tenniel, wellknown artists or writers such as Arthur Rackham, Mabel Lucie Atwell, Salvador Dali, Peter Blake, and Ralph Steadman. She also includes images from each on her web site, <> and <> (17.11.07)

My extracts from the text of Arsewoman in Wonderland were arrived at using a magnifying glass

on a double page reproduction of the work in Banner 2002. I can vouch for the fact that even going through the text word by explicit word yields a vivid but incoherent idea of what is happening.

The Alice books have attracted film makers from the first, and many versions have also been made for television. Alice-derived films are produced around the world in varying cinematographic genres. A number of web sites list Alice-related films: one of the most informative is Alice in Wonderland: film and TV productions across the years at <> , which declares that only familyoriented films are listed, and to which I am indebted for information about the films it describes. Alice-related films are included in the comprehensive IMDB database <>. Just how significant Alice-related material was, and is, in the UK at least, can be judged by the fact that almost as soon as the BBC started a regular, if limited, television service, in November 1936, it showed a series Alice through the looking glass in 1937. The service was closed down in 1939 with the start of the Second World War and resumed in 1946; in that year the BBC showed a new Alice in Wonderland.


Paramounts 1933 film Alice in Wonderland deliberately tried to reproduce the Tenniel images. For

a full account and description see <> Disney actually bought the rights to the Tenniel illustrations when planning his Alice film, but in the end, his films visualisation gives a quite different effect.

Of his own adaptation of the classic Carroll story, Miller said, For the last hundred years we have

thought of Alice as a charming fairy story, full of cranky animals and jolly playing cards, as brilliantly illustrated by Sir John Tenniel. But Alice in Wonderland is a Victorian fantasy about the pains and perils of growing up. I have discarded the traditional masks to reveal an enduring

melancholy. It seemed to me to be dark and intriguing. It brings back a quality of the neo gothicof the Victorian gothic Miller made his black and white version, for BBC1 TV in 1966. All the parts, other than Alice, are played by adult human beings. It is available as a DVD from the British Film Institute, <> .Jan Svankmajer scripted, designed and directed his mixed puppet animation/live action film Alice. Neko z Alenky in 1988/9 (there appears to be some doubt about the date). The Czech soundtrack was dubbed into English. It is highly surrealistic, and includes many original and somewhat alarming images conceived by Svankmajer. Very short clips can be seen at <http://www,>. More information is given in <>. Brooker (229-264) gives a detailed analysis of a number of films and other material which interpret the Alice texts as psychologically subversive.

The Disney film was released in 1951 but did not actually become very popular until the 1970s.

Brooker (208) notes To read these elements [of the Disney visuals] as linked to drug experience might seem arbitrary were it not for the fact that Disney actually promoted the film along these lines after Fantasia Its psychedelic colours and supposedly drug-induced dreaminess, made it into a cult film.

This film is for release in 2008, and is directed by Maralyn Manson. The IMDB entry gives the

genre as Fantasy/Horror and the plot synopsis is: In Victorian times, an author who lives by himself in a castle, has visions of a girl named Alice. His name is Lewis Carroll and he finds himself terrified of what waits for him each night. He has become a symptom of his own invention. "Now all my nightmares know my name." <>(21.11.07)

William Empson (216) noted To make the dream-story from which Alice was elaborated seem Freudian one only has to tell it Robert Phillips brings together key Jungian and psychoanalytic approaches (Freudian interpretations. (329-480) This chapter include the 1933 Goldschmidt piece Alice in Wonderland psycho-analysed (329-332) which stimulated a host of psychoanalytic and related interpretations. It is now considered more parodic than anything else, fraud rather than Freudian as Brooker puts it. (79-80) Brookers chapter Analysing Alice, (77-104) analyses the storm of protest sparked off by Karoline Leachs book In the shadow of the dreamchild: a new understanding of Lewis Carroll. London: Peter Owen, 1999 in which she claimed that Carroll was a normally sexed man, who was actually interested in Alice Liddells mother. August Imholtz defended her against the enraged academics in his review of her book, in The Virginia Quarterly Review. 26. 3. (Summer 2000). 551-5. Florence Becker Lennon, who was a student of Freud, examined Carroll as a subject of analysis in her biography of him. Victoria through the lookingglass New York: Simon and Schuster, 1945.


For example, a 2002 conference of the International Association for Philosophy and Literature

(IAPL) on Multidimensional intermediality in the cinema had a session on Cinema and ekphrasis. Adam Thorpes novel Still, Secker and Warburg, 1995, is written as a film that is comprised wholly of text. More to the point, Don DeLillo wrote two novels, Libra in 1988 and Underworld in 1997 where the amateur film that Abraham Zapruder made of the Kennedy assassination is described as it affects different viewing groups. yvind Vgues (2007) discusses the ekphrastic effect in Inside the Zapruder Museum, Working papers on design; 2. <> (7.11.07)

As indeed does Emins title Everyone I have ever slept with, without which we would take a very Carroll did not quickly arrive at the title that has been immortalised. He first made a written copy

different view of a tent decorated with peoples names.


of the story, illustrated by himself, as a present for the little girl Alice Liddell, to whom he had told the story. This he called Alices adventures underground. Having been pressed to consider publication, he then thought about the title Alices hour in Elfland before deciding on Alices adventures in Wonderland at the last minute, just before publication in July 1865. It is curious that his first title was perhaps nearer to expressing the darker, aggressive aspects of what he himself called a fairy-tale. Fairy tales, as we know, are replete with such characters as ogres, evil stepmothers and grandmother-eating wolves. I was gratified to find that Donald Rackin had come to a similar conclusion, in Phillips (452), The fact that Carrolls first version of Alices adventures in Wonderland was called Alices adventures under Ground (sic) is surprisingly prophetic. Perhaps even the final version would be more appropriately entitled Alices adventures under Ground, since, above all else, it embodies a comic horror-vision Carrolls final iconic title thus itself obscures multiple layers of meaning.