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Lucas laboriously skins, slices and eats a sausage and a banana, which are handed to her by the artist Gary Hume. The phallic connotations become painfully obvious. Sausage Film epitomises Lucas’s wry, confrontational style. One of her earliest photographic self-portraits, Eating a Banana, made in the same year, shows the artist in typically defiant mood, exuding a tough, streetwise demeanour that cleverly undermines what might otherwise be viewed as a crudely sexist pose. As Lucas has commented, ‘With only minor adjustments, a provocative image can become confrontational, converted from an offer of sexual service into a castration image’.

August 2004