Thursday 31 October 2013

Themes: The Gaze and the Media

The Lecture;
‘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' John Berger.

Hans Melming 'Vanity' (1485);
  • Mirror shows an impossible reflection of the womens face.

  • Having the image of a womens face reflecting in the mirror even today in contemporary advertising.
  • This gives you the idea that you are allowed to gaze upon her without interupting.
  • As if you are spying on her

  • This position is doing the same thing as the mirror.
  • Hand held ever her eyes, just waking or just about to sleep.
  • We can see the naked body uninterrupted.
  • Invited by the artist and the women its self to look upon the body. 

Sophie Dahl for Opium;
  • Interesting parallel to the mirror effect
  • This version of the advert was deemed to be too advertly sexual.
  • Turn the image on its side allows the emphasis to change, there is more emphasis on the face rather than the body.
  • Positioning of the hands is very inportant in this image, could be covering her self up, or being suggestive.
  • Looking out of the corner of her eyes at her body.

Manet - 'Olympia' (1883);

  • Also a suggestive manor of the hand position.
  • The women is actually a prostitute, the man is more interested in the modern nude, rather than symbolising her as a goddess.

  • Take origional image and put a gorilla head on it.
  • Showing the image on busses.
  • Image was pulled from the buses, as the image that is showed in her hand looked too sexual.

Manet - Bar at the Foiles Bergeres (1882);
  • Makes it as a type of self portrait, he does this but showing himself in the mirror.
  • He is conversing with her.
Coward, R. (1984);
  • The camera in contemporary media has been put to use as an extension of the gaze at women on the streets.
  • Model is wearing sunglasses, this is common in advertising, this means that the gaze will not be returned.

Eva Herzigova (1994);
  • Normalisation of an unclothed female body in the street.
  • No return of the gaze.
  • Lets you veiw her body without being diosturbed.

Coward, R. (1984);
  • The Profusion of image which charaterises contemporary society could be seen as bsessive distancing of women...a form of voyeurism.
  • Peeping Tom (1960).
  • Films women then murders them, seeing their final moments.

  • Not just the female body that is objectified.
  • His eyes are closed therefore we can look and not be disturbed.
  • There are examples where the male body is objectified in a similar way
    The issue of male objectification is often raised in gender classes that I have taught. 
  • I have heard many men and women suggest that men are now equally objectified in popular culture. Many a people have focused on the Lucky Vanos ads of years past as a sign of advertisers recognizing the desire of women to objectify men in our society. But what is really happening in advertising? Can men be objectified as women? If so, in what frequency is objectification present in ads? The Ads: Consider the number of ads presented in this male trope as compared to other examples of female objectification.
  • It is interesting that when I first began the Web site many years ago, the number of ads in this exhibit were small. Today, there are nearly 60 such ads.

  • Every single male on this page returns our gaze.
  • Representation of a superpower, the body is a machine.
  • There is nothing passive about the body at all.

Marilyn:William Travillas dress from 'The Seven Year Itch (1995);
  • Looks at the way that bodies are chopped up by cameras.
  • Laura Mulvey did not undertake empirical studies of actual filmgoers, but declared her intention to make ‘political use’ of Freudian psychoanalytic theory (in a version influenced by Jacques Lacan) in a study of cinematic spectatorship in narrative Hollywood cinema.

  • Mulvey notes that Freud had referred to (infantile) scopophilia 
    The pleasure involved in looking at other people’s bodies as (particularly, erotic) objects. In the darkness of the cinema auditorium it is notable that one may look without being seen either by those on screen by other members of the audience.  
  • Mulvey argues that various features of cinema viewing conditions facilitate for the viewer both the voyeuristic process of objectification of female characters and also the narcissistic process of identification with an ‘ideal ego’ seen on the screen. 
  • She declares that in patriarchal society ‘pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female’ (Mulvey 1992, 27). 

  • Two women are trying to cut off a man's head on a bed. Artemisia Gentileschi's Judith Beheading Holofernes shows a famous Biblical assassination. The sword-woman is Judith, a Jewish lady. The other woman is her maid, Abra. Their victim is Holofernes, the Assyrian general.
  • Judith has got into his tent and got him deeply drunk. To judge from his naked body in the sheets and from her slipped dress, she's got him into bed too, before he passed out and they could get to work. Gentileschi pays attention to her story.

Cindy Sherman 'Untitled Film Still #6' (1977-79);

  • Postmodern artists  whose work is adressing the male gaze.
Barbra Kruger, 'Your gaze hits the side of my face';
  • Way ahead of her time.
Sarah Lucas 'Eating a banana' (1990);
  • Humourous concept with a serious meaning.
  • What are you looking at?
  • Again slightly humourous, but still showing someone with a flat chest.
Tracy Emin 'Money Photo' (2001);
  • Rolling in money.
  • Can't be serious because she is making so much money.

Caroline Lucas MP in June 2013;

  • Green MP Caroline Lucas has been told to cover up a T-shirt displaying the slogan "No More Page Three" in large lettering during a Commons debate.
  • She wore the white T-shirt at the start of a debate on media sexism.
  • Chairman of the session, Labour's Jimmy Hood, interrupted her and told her to "put her jacket back on" and comply with Westminster's dress code.
  • Ms Lucas picked up a copy of The Sun and waved Page Three, but said she would comply with the ruling.
  • She added: "It does strike me as a certain irony that this T-shirt is regarded as an inappropriate thing to be wearing in this House, whereas apparently it is appropriate for this kind of newspaper to be available to buy in eight different outlets on the Palace of Westminster estate."
  • During the debate, the MP for Brighton Pavilion argued The Sun newspaper's Page Three, which features topless models, should be consigned to the "rubbish bin where it belongs".

  • CarolineCriado-Perez (born 1984) is a British journalist and feminist activist. She has been involved in high profile campaigns for women to gain better representation in the British media
  • Mary Beard- eminent classicist, The Guardian's Hadley Freeman, the Independent's Grace Dent and Time magazine's Catherine Mayer all said they had received identical bomb threats on Wednesday.
Campaign to represent women on British currency;

  • Elizabeth (Betsy) Fry (21 May 1780 – 12 October 1845), néeGurney, was an Englishprison reformer, social reformer and, as a Quaker, a Christianphilanthropist. She has sometimes been referred to as the "angel of prisons".
  • Fry was a major driving force behind new legislation to make the treatment of prisoners more humane, and she was supported in her efforts by the reigning monarch. Since 2001, she has been depicted on the Bank of England £5 note.

Social Networking;
  • Social networking is used to perpetuate the male gaze/the gaze of the media.
  • The body is broken into fragments-could be any female.
  • Plays on teenagers body consciousness, potentially carrying those  perceptions into adult life

Paparazzi show of Princess Diana;
  • Pap images steal shots for personal financial gain.
  • The publication of these shots creates a market for their passive consumption (mags and newspapers).
  • We contribute to the perpetuation of this cycle buy buying the mags, we create the market for our own voyeuristic pleasure.
  • Our desire is to see the mask of celebrity lifted, and ordinary life exposed.
  • This is ultimately what killed Princess Diana.
Reality Television;
  • Appears to offer us the position as the all-seeing eye- the power of the gaze
  • Allows us a voyeuristic passive consumption of a type of reality
  • Editing means that there is no reality
  • Contestants are aware of their representation (either as TV professionals or as people who have watched the show)
Victor Burgin (1982);
Looking is not indifferent. There can never be any question of 'just looking'.

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