Food Chain Barbie

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Date: 2000

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Photography


Barbie.jpeg

Artist: Tom Forsythe

Confronting Bodies: Mattel

Dates of Action: 2000-2001

Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Description of Artwork: Forsythe photographs Barbies in various poses in order to critique the materialistic and gender-oppressive values he believes the doll embodies. His images, including Barbies doing household chores, Barbies wrapped in tortillas, Barbie heads impaled on fondue skewers, Barbies being dismembered in a blender, and Barbies having sex, have appeared in galleries throughout the country.

The Incident: Mattel sued Forsythe alleging a variety of claims including trademark and copyright infringement. Mattel sought a preliminary injunction against Forsythe. A Federal District Court denied the motion. Mattel appealed.

Results of Incident: Mattel's appeal was rejected and Forsythe is allowed to exhibit his work. Mattel continues to seek to censor Forsythe's artistic expression under the intellectual property laws.

Source: ACLU News Website. Additional Sources: ArtScope News Website; Nashville Public Radio - Public Arts Website; Sydney Morning Herald Website. (These sources also mention other Barbie-related censorship cases.)