Thursday, 10 March 2011

seminar notes 26.11.10

The gaze
Men act, women appear, men look at women, women watch themselves being looked at (Berger 1972)
Imbalance of power, power relation
Hans Memling – Vanity (1485) implies she enjoys looking at herself and enjoys being looked at.
Double power game
The nude becomes a genre of painting
Venus – goddess of love
Produced by men for the consumption of men
Ingres ‘le grand odalisque’ (1814) a western perspective on the east, weird and wonderful women to perve on.
The gaze that meets you is not a powerful one, usually a weak one
Doe eyed, look up as opposed to down, look of innocence or youth
Manet – Olympia (1863) a gaze that meets your gaze, more powerful, not in fantasy land, fantasy born out of reality
Manet – Bar at the folies bergeres (1883)viewing it in the first person, power, real.
Erotic appeal of paintings is it’s a one way gaze.
Jeff Wall ‘picture for women’ (1979) 1st person is the camera – we are seeing what the camera sees, an updating of the gaze critique.
Susan Sontag (1979) ‘on photography’ book
Image making is always about power, trying to show someone in a certain way.
Photography judges and aims to be judged.
Mechanical extension of the male gaze.
Images are produced in a male way, even if they are produced by men or women.
Commodity fetishism
A – B A finds B sexy and B finds A sexy too, very human.
A – C – B A likes B because of what B has/is wearing etc.
Knowing that you are constantly being scrutinised means you adapt your behaviour (panopticism)
Normalising – what you class to be ‘right’ is right.

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