In the mid-to-late 1980s, Cindy Sherman produced the “Disasters” series, picturing grotesque and disturbing scenes that explored the relationship between the female form and the expulsion of bodily matter. Although the female body is absent from the majority of the images, it’s implied through the use of symbolic material.
The tableau in Untitled #175 (1987), for example, suggests a bulimic binge, depicting food, waste, and vomit. Theorist Laura Mulvey discussed the abject imagery in Sherman’s work in terms of society’s misogynistic tendencies. Due to male idealizations of female beauty, she explained, women are forced to “identify with misogynistic revulsion” and deny their basic bodily fluids and functions, such as mucus and defecation.
Marilyn Minter, 100 Food Porn, 1989–90