Thursday, 18 October 2012

Lecture Two - The Gaze and the Media.

according to usage and conventions which are at last being questioned but have by no means been overcome - men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at
  (Berger 1972)

Tendancy to depict the female body in a way that doesn't allow the female to return the gaze

Alexandre Cabanel - Birth of venus
  • goddess, virginal picturing of the women
  • the position she reclines in allows her to cover her eyes
  • technique used in advertising and photography
  • 2/3 of picture taken up by the naked body, concentration on the body rather than her character.

Sophie Dahl for Opium
  • 3/4 taken up by body
  • overtly sexual pose
  • advert was deemed to sexual for print or billboards
  • image was rotated to make it more acceptable, more focus on the face rather than the body

Titians Venus of Urbino, 1538
  • women regards us coquettishly
  • knowledge of presence but not succinct recognition
  • very passive nude
  • covers herself but in a casual manor'

Manet, Olympia' 1863
  • titans venus very casual, Manet more defensive
  • identifies olympia to be a prostittue
  • lifts her head as if she is addressing us

Ingres, Le Grand Odalisque
  • basis for a poster for Guerrilla girls
  • advertisement  stating percentage of male and female nudes

Manet, Bar at the Folies Bergeres
  • mirroring of the gaze
  • the woman is ready to serve us, arms open standard stance for bar worker
  • mirror is used to give an impossible reflection (to the right rather than behind)
  • allows her to be viewed in two separate ways
  • paris society - hall of mirrors, false social perception
  • what is different about this is that she returns the gaze

Jeff Wall, Picture for women
  • uses Manet's image as inspiration
  • gaze of the women and gaze of the camera reflected in the mirror
  • composition is divided up very cleverly

Coward, R
  • "the camera in contemporary media has been put to use as an extension of the male gaze at women on the streets"
  • nudity on the streets as the norm
  • this idea is repeated on billboards
  • the use of sunglasses means the figure cannot return the gaze
  • free to look because she can't see us

Eva Herzigova, 1994
  • wonderbra campaign
  • figure looking down on us
  • normalisation of nudity on the street
  • comedy of the line 'hello boys'

Coward, R
  • Peeping Tom
  • "the profusion of images which characterises contemporary society could be seen as an obsessive distancing of women, a form of voyuerism.

Male advertisement
  • but there are images of women
  • although switching it merely reinforces the idea of the gas rather than challenging it
  • the quantity is far outweighed by the number of female naked bodies

Dolce & Gabbana, 2007
  • men are pictured in a more active pose, rather than womens more passive
  • all looking at the camera

Marilyn: William Travillas dress from 'the seven year itch'
  • looks at the way the camera breaks up the female body in film
  • separate components

  • pleasure of looking at female bodies
  • cinema is the perfect place for voyeurism

Lara Croft, Tomb Raider
  • active character
  • overly sexualised object, pleasure in looking at a sexually exaggerated character
  • a visual spectacle to be consumed
  • pleasure is in the fantasy of her destruction

Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith beheading Holofernes
  • challenging the gaze
  • very physical
  • alternative character, active female role

Cindy Sherman, Untitled film still 
  • filmed without the gaze theories in mind
  • reclining female, although the image has been rotated to draw attention to the face
  • mirror in the womens hand, although there is no reflection
  • awkward hand, staged photography not natural

Barbara Kruger, Your gaze hits the side of my face
  • turning away from the gaze
  • feminist work
  • implication of violence 'hits'

Sarah Lucas, Eating a banana
  • implies a sexual act
  • picturing the self consciousness of the connotations
  • critiquing the idea
  • the look is very confrontational
  • this idea runs through her work

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