I throughly enjoyed Catinca’s talk of her performance work exploring technology and “how our vision has become scanning machines like CCTV cameras”, this reminded me of Macleans Make Me Up and her use of 24/7 surveillance. “Tunnel vision and polluted eyes” is explored through how we see due to technology. The panopticon effect was mentioned where we are surrounded all the time by supervision and eyes. These were all ideals I spoke of within my dissertation and was really helpful to listen and talk to someone who is interested in the same area as me. Catinca made this interesting point of photography being a technological tool where you can be both behind and in front of the camera. It’s an aggressive medium that acts almost like a gun, in someway you are still a victim of your own gaze and viewers will feel the same.
I had a 1-1 with Catinca and it was amazing to speak to someone who is confident with the male/female gaze and technology and who is also a student. I ask Catinca to view To Consume, Just a Nibble or Two and To Bite to get her opinion. See initial notes from 1-1 below.
Reflection 30/04/21: After my 1-1 with Gary 29/04/21 it’s interesting to see different perspectives, one a man and one a women, on To Bite B&W Repeat projected. Even though the worked are at different stages, they both expressed different ideas, Catrina the way to the work I have – the male gaze, control, consumption of women etc, where as Gary has seen it as male violence and destruction. It’s all about the audiences view – I aim to revise this.
Catinca described To Consume as “uncanny but beautiful” and suggests the issues that come with women and their body through the beauty/modelling industry. “The sculptural element of the icing breasts are taken away when the act of eating comes to play”, in someways does the eating of the icing breast glamourise it, the moisture from the mouth makes the breasts shiny and wet. Like how women are glamorised by the media to appear seductive and beautified for the gaze of the male as well as the gaze of other women and their inner comparing self gaze. Margaret Wood – Edible was given as a book suggestion.
The female gaze is hard to approach as often the camera is quite a male dominated object in response to how we look. For example, within the cinema male film makers use the camera to sexually view a women, slow motion, zoom, panning etc. It’s interesting to see how Charlotte Jansen suggests photography is a female dominated area as it hasn’t been discovered as much by men, but I agree with Catinca, the camera is like an eye as Mulvey refers to, of which we look from. It feels as though it is a gendered technology/material. But it’s interesting with how I respond to that – the camera allows you access to how and what you see and this made me think, as I am the one filming, am I being problematic? Or am I highlighting and forcing the viewers to look at the problematic? – Yes!
Reflection 22/03/21: When creating Sweet Tooth, I used mirrors to help divert the eye of the camera (which becomes the audience) to see what I want them to see, it becomes a very direct approach to the art, creates a clear focus/structure.
Reflection 16/05/21: I am using the camera to go around/between the projection, as though the audience are viewing themselves. I want them to view all aspects of the work, as much as they can digitally.
We discussed the use of materials within the film, clay = feminine as we use our hands as tools, whereas men use actual tools with materials such as marble. Since the material in To Bite is icing it made me think of the relation to domestic household roles for women and the process of making them. The close up of the mouth, skin, beard and breast suggests this intimate skin on skin visual which is disrupted when the male begins to eat, bite and chew the breast. Because of the close up the screen becomes the skin and it “speaks to something within us internally” as though it is present with us. – Touch/feel its presences? It screams ideas of women being ‘binged’ especially in A Nibble Or Two, the repetition of eating the breast over and 0ver – almost too much?
Reflection 17/03/21: Reflecting on this 1-1 and thoughts with my 1-1 with Jane on the 19/03/21, its made me realise how intense/uncomfortable my work is visually getting. This was a goal I had at the end of L5 as I grew to realise uncomfortable work is much more interesting and attracting.
Catinca questioned my thoughts on the representation of women in the cinema/film. I immediately thought of the newest Baywatch 2017. This was a chance to change the sexualisation that was put on women in the famous series, but instead, it felt like they intensified the attention and objectification on women in bikinis etc, only using slim models, slow motion, attention on their body and breasts etc. Feeding the male gaze/sexualisation on women further, this could’ve been avoided and arguably changed. We also discussed film maker Joanna Hogg – female gaze director who uses mirror to break up and divert the gazes of the viewer as a tool. “There is a wall length mirror that occupies Julie’s apartment and it acts as a device that reflects the characters back to themselves unflinchingly and when the mirror is broken it distorts them and splinters their reflections.” (Cate Crafter, 2020).
This lead to the use of the camera/control I have with it and how being a female adds to the control and authority of diverting the gaze directly at the the mouth of the male consuming the breast. The male/model being my boyfriend suggests this level of comfort and added relationship to the use of the camera. – Fighting back the gaze with the use of the camera/threatening the audience.
Reflection 19/03/21: Conveys this intruding aspect to the work?
Reflection 21/04/21: Where as now I have welcomed this direct gaze, projecting films directly in front of the viewer/camera, forcing those to watch and observe what I am trying to explore.
Catinca asked for my thoughts on the female gaze, its use and is it effective. From the research of my dissertation and my own argument, has taught me that the female gaze is arguably more damaging than the male gaze and is somewhat more like the gaze itself. There’s this level of uncertainty/paranoia and nervousness that comes with the gaze itself, that has developed into a form of the female gaze, which has intensified with technology/social media. This is where comparison has also intensified and become much more damaging to the female gaze/perception. It is effective but we have to provide visual of sexual objectification etc in order to get our point across. We also discussed my thoughts on how the male gaze only just impacts the women, not the man viewing, where as the female gaze, impacts women themselves as well as other women they view as it is a two way impact.
As Catinca uses mirrors and diversion within her work, it was interesting to see this relation in mine again too. I have used mirrors in L5 and was something that was very successful and exciting to work with – distortion/diversion/reflection.We discussed the use of them when photographing the actual work itself, through the mirror. Suggests the lack of direct gazing, seeing the visual on a screen through a mirror that has been distorted/flipped.
!!! Reflection 21/04/21: I have taken it back and am excited after this 1-1. I threw all ideas at my work – zoning in on the mouth/breast more, mirrors, peep holes etc. Instead I am simply projecting the film in different spaces, I stripped the colour away which helped focus/work with elements (the gaze/observation) in a more subtle way which don’t distract from the actual film (Sweet Tooth B&W projections) as I felt they started too.
Reflection 16/05/21: Recently in In studio watching viewer watch To Bite B&W Repeat with small mirrors I have reintroduced this reflection element, using mirrors to divert the gaze of the viewer onto the work and those watching, being able to watch the viewer watch from another angle. The circular mirrors encourage voyeurism and a view you wouldn’t normally see of the audience.
Perspective with peep holes was mentioned as well – I felt like I had explored so much of this last year and it all worked so well, it was time to return and revisit this use of changing the environment and appearance of the work. Catinca uses peep holes in I Am The System Master (No Signal), see below, the holes to look through made the viewers realise it’s unsafe/uncomfortable to look when you are caught looking. We discussed it may be interesting to create a a space with similar holes while my films/images play so people have to place their eye to the hole to witness. It would intensify the simple act of looking.
Reflection 19/03/21: Recently I have projected To Bite and adapting the space/environment, using cellophane draped across the wall, with a large mirror below and small circular mirrors to photograph into based off of Catinca’s 1-1. It created some interesting and confusing images, almost abstract yet able to see what it is. The circular mirrors suggest peep holes and an interest to look. Sweet Tooth explores the female as consumption while exploiting the glamorisation society portrays it with.