Saturday, 20 October 2012


'According to the 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 1927

Berger talks about Hans Memling painting 'Vanity' - nude woman, holding a mirror of her face reflected, an inaccurate representation of what is reflecting due to the way she's holding it, strange distorted, double view of what is being reflected.  The painter makes the painting so him and others can enjoy the womans figure, he places the mirror there and calls it vanity to distract from what the main focus of the image actually is.
The same idea repeated, sitting down, arranged on the photo, drawn to the most sexual part of the body, the woman allows us to look at her way because she is absorbed by herself, looking in the mirror.

Berger also looks at Cabanel's 'Birth of Venus' mythological representation of a goddess, supported on a wave, being looked over by cherubs.  the position she reclines in covers her own eyes/face with her hand, decide we see again and again in paintings.    Two thirds of the picture is taken up by her naked body, focus on the body not on her as a character or a person, allows the viewer of the painting to look, unchallenged.
Sophie Dahl for Opium
the advert was deemed to sexual for magazine or billboard, they turn in around vertically, this image focuses more on the face so can be published, takes some of the emphasise of the body in the sexual position.
Titan's Venus of Urbino, 1538
Head turned, eyes slightly upwards, an acknowledgement but that we are perhaps spying, a passive nude, she covers herself with her hand in a loose manner, Berger compares this with Manet's 'Olympia' 1863.  He picks out the details, the difference between the hands, Venus is a very causal position for the hand whereas Olympia it is very assertive.  Identified as a prostitute, flower in hair, gift of flowers etc. 
MANET - Bar at the Folies Bergeres, 1882    
Is a woman that stands at the bar, almost ready to serve us, stands with arms open, waiting for the order, whats strange is the reflection, gives us an impossible reflection of her body, would usually be reflected behind her but her reflection is slightly to the right. This idea that the whole social life in modern society was a false perception.  The woman is portrayed and returns our  gaze, she looks at us, we are reminded of that by the mans reflection in the back
Jeff Wall 'Picture For Women' 1979
Showing the studio reflected in the mirror behind the woman.  We have the gaze from the woman returned, the camera placed really carefully in one of the frames in the background, the ceiling, idea of perspective with the lights on the ceiling.  The return of the gaze.

Coward, R. (1984)
• The camera in contemporary media has been put to use as an extension of the male gaze at women on the streets
the photo carries on without any acknowledgement of the woman half naked in the street.  Several devices that are used in advertising that prevents the return of the look.  No challenge of us being able to look at her, a fashion device used so we can't see her eyes.

Eva Herzigova 'Hello Boys' 1994
This figure looking down on us, normalisation of nudity on the street, 'Hello boys' makes it light hearted

Coward, R. (1984)
• The profusion of images which characterises contemporary society could be seen as an obsessive distancing of women... a form of
Peeping Tom, 1960 
Spike on front of the camera, films her death for kicks

Male, semi clothed, reclining in the same position, free to regard his body as an object. 

D&G - typically portrayed in an active mannor, celebration of the male figure, all the men are challenging the gaze that you don't et with woman in female advertising.  

A visual spectacle to be consumed
• An overly sexualised object
• pleasure is in the fantasy of her destruction 

Pollock, G (1981)

Women ‘marginalised within the masculine discourses of art history’
• This marginalisation supports the ‘hegemony of men in cultural practice, in art’
• Women not only marginalised but supposed to be marginalised 

Cindy Sherman

When she talks about her work wasn't made with 'the gaze' theories in mind.  A female reclining, Shermans turned the image round, so the emphasise is on the face due to the rotation of the image, it doesn't allow us to look unchallenged.  The mirror is turned away from the viewer, no reflection here, we haven't caught her in the act of regarding herself.  Her work interrupts the gaze.  Her hand awkwardly placed on the chin, staged photography to look as if its a captured moment.  The body is not posed in a particularly sexual way.  
Barbara Kruger 'Your Gaze hits the side of my face'
Implication of violence with the word 'hit' the impact of this mode of looking is perhaps more than something that is just harmless.  Well known for her combination of text and imagery.
Sarah Lucas 'Eating a Banana'
picturing the self consciousness, doing something really simple and innocent thing like eating a banana, could look slightly sexual, gives us a look, very confrontational, side glance almost as if 'what ave you got to say about this?'

Tracey Emin: 'Money Photo' 2001

sometimes vulgar to make money from art, personal attack 
Amanda Knox trial:
Joan smith writes an article criticising the portrayal of Amanda Knox.  
She writes:

The idea that women are natural liars has a long pedigree. The key document in this centuries-long tradition is the notorious witch- hunter's manual, the Malleus Maleficarum or The Hammer of Witches, which was commissioned by Pope Innocent VIII. The book was written by two Dominican monks and published in 1486. It unleashed a flood of irrational beliefs about women's "dual" nature. "A woman is beautiful to look upon, contaminating to the touch, and deadly to keep," the authors warned. They also claimed that "all witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable".
It's not difficult to see these myths lurking behind Pacelli's description of Knox: "She was a diabolical, satantic, demonic she-devil. She was muddy on the outside and dirty on the inside. She has two souls, the clean one you see before you and the other." The lawyer's claim that she was motivated by "lust" could have come straight from the Malleus, which insists that women are more "carnal" than men. 

The Daily Mail has emerged as the major fall guy by mistakenly publishing the wrong online version of the Amanda Knox verdict.
Knox won her appeal, but the paper's website initially carried a story headlined "Guilty: Amanda Knox looks stunned as appeal against murder conviction is rejected.”

The Mail was not the only British news outlet to make the error. The Sun and Sky News did it too and yes - hands up here - so did The Guardian in its live blog.
It would appear that a false translation of the judge's summing up caused the problem, leading to papers jumping the gun.

So why has the Mail suffered the greatest flak? In time-honoured fashion, echoing the hot metal days of Fleet Street, it prepared a story lest the verdict go the other way.
But it over-egged the pudding by inventing "colour" that purported to reveal Knox's reaction along with the responses of people in the court room.
It even included quotes from prosecutors that were, self-evidently, totally fake.

In other words, by publishing its standby story, the Mail exposed itself as guilty of fabrication. 

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 

Susan Sontag (1979) ‘On Photography’
• 'To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed'
• The act of photographing is more than passive observing. Like sexual voyeurism, it is a way of at least tacitly, often explicitly, encouraging what is going on to keep on happening' 

Paparazzi shot of 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) 

-design of chair allows audience to see torso, legs open, suggestive.  people offering themselves up for a passive viewing experience.

Looking is not indifferent. There can never be any question of 'just looking'. - Victor Burgin (1982)

1 comment:

  1. The evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito is overwhelming. They gave completely different accounts of where they were, who they were with and what they were doing on the night of the murder. Neither Knox nor Sollecito have credible alibis despite three attempts each. All the other people who were questioned had one credible alibi that could be verified. Innocent people don't give multiple conflicting alibis and lie repeatedly to the police.

    The DNA didn't miraculously deposit itself in the most incriminating of places.

    An abundant amount of Raffaele Sollecito's DNA was found on Meredith's bra clasp. His DNA was identified by two separate DNA tests. Of the 17 loci tested in the sample, Sollecito’s profile matched 17 out of 17. Professor Novelli pointed out there's more likelihood of meteorite striking the courtroom in Perguia than there is of the bra clasp being contaminated by dust.

    According to Sollecito's forensic expert, Professor Vinci, Knox's DNA was also on Meredith's bra.

    Amanda Knox's DNA was found on the handle of the double DNA knife and a number of independent forensic experts - Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, Dr. Renato Biondo, Professor Giuesppe Novelli, Professor Francesca Torricelli and Luciano Garofano - categorically stated that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade. Sollecito knew that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade which is why he lied about accidentally pricking her hand whilst cooking.

    According to the prosecution's experts, there were five instances of Knox's DNA or blood with Meredith's blood in three different locations in the cottage. Even Amanda Knox's lawyers conceded that her blood had mingled with Meredith's blood. In other words, Meredith and Amanda Knox were both bleeding at the same time.

    Knox tracked Meredith's blood into the bathroom, the hallway, her room and Filomena's room, where the break-in was staged. Knox's DNA and Meredith's blood was found mixed together in Filomena's room, in a bare bloody footprint in the hallway and in three places in the bathroom.

    Rudy Guede's bloody footprints led straight out of Meredith's room and out of the house. This means that he didn't stage the break-in in Filomena's room or go into the blood-spattered bathroom after Meredith had been stabbed.

    Sollecito left a visible bloody footprint on the blue bathmat in the bathroom. Knox's and Sollecito's bare bloody footprints were revealed by luminol in the hallway.

    It's not a coincidence that the three people - Knox, Sollecito and Guede - who kept telling the police a pack of lies are all implicated by the DNA and forensic evidence.

    Amanda Knox voluntarily admitted that she was involved in Meredith's murder in her handwritten note to the police on 6 November 2007.

    Knox accused an innocent man, Diya Lumumba, of murdering Meredith despite the fact she knew he was completely innocent. She didn't recant her false and malicious allegation against Lumumba the whole time he was in prison. She admitted that it was her fault that Lumumba was in prison in an intercepted conversation with her mother on 10 November 2007.