The trope of the battle of the sexes dates back to the earliest art and writing: there are allegorical drawings on the theme in C14th Luttrell Psalter, among other medieval texts. In 1973, the year in which Alexis Hunter made the first of her Sexual Warfare works, the term ‘Battle of the Sexes’ was famously attached to a tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King, with King’s victory seen as a significant for the struggle for women’s liberation. Hunter’s Sexual Warfare highlights the use of violent language and imagery circulating in the public discourse around feminism at the time. A number of feminist artists around this period were critically engaging with (and tactically defacing) advertising imagery: among them The Hackney Flashers (founded in 1974), and the feminist graffiti artists whose work was captured by the photographer Jill Posener in the early 1980s.
Alexis Hunter & Jo Spence, Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, 2013
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