Executed in 2002, Josephine Meckseper’s RAF (Crop) is a cropped version of the larger photographic work RAF, created the same year. Staged and styled in the manner of a glossy magazine advert, the work takes its place within an oeuvre devoted to addressing the objectification of women by consumerist society. By consciously appropriating a genre responsible for the commodification of the
female form, the German-born artist seeks to expose the outmoded cultural assumptions that continue to infiltrate the worlds of
advertising, commerce and retail. Part of a generation of artists who grew up during the Cold War and witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall as students, Meckseper’s feminist outlook is grounded in the language of political insurgency. The work’s title, RAF, invokes the
Red Army Faction, or Baader-Meinhof Group: an organization to which Meckseper’s family was closely tied during the 1960s. By
conflating this heritage with the contemporary visual lexicon of fashion photography, Meckseper transforms her female protagonists
into symbols of anarchy: fixing the viewer with defiant stares, they stand firm and empowered, poised on the brink of rebellion.