Monday, 6 December 2010

Seminar 3 - The Gaze (notes)

Every glance is a judgement - looking is not a neutral activity and not passive.
Continuous surveying - women by men - men are watching women while women watch themselves being watched. (Direct link to Focault).
Behaviour change - self regulation - acting up to the gaze.

Patriacle gaze - women self regulating - men holding the power.

Hans Memling "Vanity' 1485
Narcosits - Vain obsessed with images - mocking element for being vain - reason - reinforces the idea of men having power over women - image of dominance and subordination. Controlling the idea of female beauty.
Made by a man for the consumption of a man.

Alexandre Cabanel "Birth of Venus"
Idea of idolised body - available - averting eyes - doesn't meet the gaze.
Look is encouraging the viewer to keep looking.
Pure ideology - dominated.

Manet - "Olympia" 1863
More of a reality.
Power relation - different - idea of a women available - never controlled.
Challenging the gaze - closer reality to human relations.

Ingre - "Le Grand Odalisque" 1814
2 gazes - man gazing at women - power control.
West to East - Orientalism - silk sheets - primitive - racist stereotype.
Almost a fantasy.
Cultural gaze.
Face - young and innocent - taken away by the womanly body.
Dominance over children.
Doe eyed look - classical art and seen in Hollywood starlets.

Manet - Bar at the Folies Bergeres 1882.
Literally forced into the position of the man. Seeing it through the eyes of the man.
Not a neutral gaze relationship.
Insists it is the man looking at the woman.

Jeff Wall - "Picture for women" 1979.
Mirror - women looking at him watching her.
He's looking at her.
Audience - we are the camera.
Woman - dismissive / standoffish?
Still a man looking at a woman.
Photography - neutral objective gaze. Seems to be natural and real.
Reminds us - behind the device - person controlling the camera.

Key points - look controlled by men.
Men control society (base).
The camera is an extension of male gaze.
Repeated ideas of women representations.

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