Sticker Project: Reframing Rihanna

For my sticker project, I chose to reframe Rihanna to show the truth behind her popstar image, which is reflected in one of her tweets. In order to accomplish reframe, I utilized text as a point of intervention. By placing Rihanna’s tweet across a photo of her, I reframed her bad bitch image and revealed the truth. Deciding how to efficiently utilize text as a point of intervention was the biggest challenge in the reframe assignment. Initially, I wanted to use basic text and typography to present Rihanna’s tweet, but after critique and consideration, I realized that the text needed to be taken to another level in order to successfully and powerfully reframe Rihanna’s image.

Instead of simply utilizing a text box, I placed a screenshot of Rihanna’s tweet across her face. This made the text a much stronger point of intervention, because it was accompanied by twitter logos that strengthened the reality of her tweet, in addition to providing authentic twitter typography. Furthermore, by utilizing text as a point of intervention, I made the negative side of Rihanna’s social media presence and image visible.

In terms of placement, I plan to put my sticker on the doors of bathroom stalls in the women’s bathroom in Heimbold. Specifically, I want to place the stickers on the side of the door that the viewer will look at while using the restroom. Determining the placement of my sticker was a particularly interesting experience, especially when considering the genders of the bathrooms. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to place my sticker in the bathroom, but when I went into each bathroom with my sticker, the context varied incredibly.

In the men’s restroom, the sticker took on a significantly different meaning than my original intent. Rather than enable the sticker’s message, the environment of the men’s room seemed to take on a “double negative” vibe and made the sticker appear to be promoting submissive behavior and domestic violence. This vibe was even further strengthened when I placed a mock-up of my sticker next to a sign promoting safety on campus, with specific numbers to call in case of domestic violence.

Noticing this change in the message of my sticker based on the environment was my favorite revelation in this assignment. It amazed me how much a space can shape the meaning of a visual intervention or piece of street art.

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