Painting in the expanded field and its notions caught my silent interest  a while ago, but I never really found a way to include it in my practice until now. My latest project introduced me to working with technicians and helped me to overcome the fear of working with someone else than myself. As known from my blog, working with myself was always my comfort zone and the best way of working.

Pushing painting out of its wall/flat space is something that I wish to continue working on. In my opinion, painting is thanks to that pushed into the contemporary and modern world, where paintings tend to be put aside.

I came across this text by Joanne Crawford , with which I strongly agree.

Crawford here notes that sculpture has been ‘allowed’ to become and important player within the ‘expanded field’ which is the opposite to the ‘fixed’ painting. Painting here is fixed within its own physical and material limitations. Painting is known to be unable to move away from the application of paint onto a flat surface and finds itself in an alliance with film, installation and performance ,,to the point of being absorbed by the ‘other’ and obliterated as painting.”

I believe that it then results in painting in the expanded field being taken as not painting. It falls into the category of ‘not-painting’ channelling its own version of ‘but this is not art!”.

Although It took me some time to find some artists that are working with the expanded field with the use of painting as a medium, I came across Katharina Grosse and her work Is it You?

Her work was exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art and consisted of seven paintings made in the years between 2009-2017 and site relational work in the central gallery of the museum’s contemporary wing. Both then represent two halves of Grosse’s work.

Katharina Grosse is an artist known for her in situ paintings, where paint and more specifically spray paint is spread across architecture, interiors and landscapes. I strongly connect to one of her quotes: ,, A painting is simply a screen between the producer and the spectator where both can look at the thought processes residing on the screen from different angles and points in time. It enables me to look at the residue of my thinking”. The connection here is as guessed to the mention of the screen. Here, Grosse simply speaks about the gaze theory in one sense of way.

One of her mediums she uses is spray gun which is meant to distance the artist from the artistic act from the hand.


In this blog post, I will be talking about the theory of the gaze, my understanding of it and its use in my work.

Because this theory is so broad and complicated, I will try to summarize it as much as possible. I will be taking words and opinions that I used in my dissertation because its something I used as a research for my studio practise.

The main reason for me to focus on the theory of the gaze was its misunderstanding in the modern art world and overall society. In the social media realm, the male gaze is something mentioned quite regularly as its very important in the feminist world. But in the arts world on the other side, the theory of the gaze is then used as the theory of the male gaze. In various magazines, galleries and so forth, the gaze is automatically connected to the theory of the male gaze, which is why I decided to dig deep into both and tried to create the differences between each.

But here, I will just speak about the theory of the gaze. The gaze historically speaks the most about psychoanalysis, but there is actually way more than that. The theory expands from phenomenology, which is the philosophy introduced by Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, further used by Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice  Merleau-Ponty.

Husserl’s perspective on phenomenology starts on his publicly presented thoughts about the transcendental perspective followed by his answers surrounding the fundamental worries about human knowledge.  This transcendental phenomenology was unnatural and therefore needed a lot of answers, which is why there is plenty of introductions to it as convincing motives for the adoption of it. One of which being the Cartesian way. It was because of his interest in Wesenschau; translated as look into essences, which suggests the ocularcentric thought influence. Although he retained a visual bias in the idea of it, he still undermined the spectatorial distance between viewing subject and viewed object in the Cartesian epistemological tradition. There are two important parts which need to be depicted. One of them being that we as viewers become more concerned with the thing’s presence rather than our cognitive relation to these things. The second one is the way we take these things to be there as a matter of course…. self-evidently and unproblematically.
Those together then propose the idea that all judgements concern the world.

On the other side of phenomenology was then Heidegger and his questioning of Being. His idea was to oppose the Western philosophy that states that Being must be thought of something thats permanent and unchanging. He opposed to it with the idea that Being is a temporal unfolding aka the time itself. Heidegger connects this to the Hebraic emphasis on hearing God’s word rather than seeing the manifestations. One of the main points is that to answer questions like ,,what there is or why there is anything at all” we would have to engage in onthology which central question concerns the meaning of being. Heidegger’s interest in the Greek attitude of wonder, which ‘lets things be’, lead him to linking that the basic state of sight shows itself in a peculiar tendency of Being which belongs to everyday-ness… the tendency towards seeing. Based on his opinions, we designated the tendency by being curious. Curiousity is not confined to seeing, but it expresses the tendency towards the peculiar way of letting the world be encountered by us in perception. Heidegger is known to not be happy about the technological way things became at that time as that time carried the distancing of subject and object to the extreme, making the presence-at-hand (something in front to be seen) more important than ‘readiness-to-hand’; using something without visualizing it first. Thanks to his critique of the primacy of vision, Heidegger was being seen as stressing the priviledge of the ear instead before being placed in the Romantic lineage of visionary innocence. Following that, and the claims around the light which presupposes the openness to the Being,  Heidegger is known to introduce two visual modes. The assertoric one and the aletheic gaze. Assertoric gaze is meant to be inflexible, monocular, abstracted, and aletheic gaze on the other hand is multiple, inclusionary, horizontal, and unaware of its context.

Now, we move forward to Sartre and his hostility towards any redemptive notion of vision.  His point was that the hypertrophy of the visual leads to a problematic epistemology which supports the hegemony of space that then produces a dangerously inauthentic version of the self. Sartre in his writings constantly comes back to the mention of the evil eye, or the mortifying power of the gaze, which is speculated to be connected to the trauma he  experienced as a teen. Because of the death of his father, Sartre found the same role in his grandfather. The grandfather, obsessed with photography, made Sartre’s thoughts play the role of the camera eye turning the other into stone, as he would be caught in the field of gazes while posing for the photographs to be taken. One of the things that happened was that Sartre, only thanks to mirrors found that he was not the handsome man he was told to be by his grandfather. Sartre is then known to introduce a break between consciousness and sights of the ocularcentric tradition, challenging the compression of the eye and the I as he was able to overpower the pressure of the play of mirrors and the defining power of adult gazes.

Merleau-Ponty follows Husserl with thinking that the existence of a thing is indicated by multiple profiles. It is the nontranscendental perspectivalism that reconveys people with the objective world. Merleau-Ponty also took a risk with taking liberties with Descartes’s claim in which its not the eye but the soul that sees, and created his turn on it as its is the soul which sees, not the brain. Thanks to that, the world seemed to be the space which was measured from ‘me’ as zero point of dimensions in which we live from the inside.

All those then indicate that the gaze has no owner, which contrasts the theory of the male gaze.

Jacque Lacan’s insight surrounded three orders. Imaginary, which introduces us to the real concept of the mirror stage (infant with its misrecognition faces the ideal ego that corresponds to what ‘he himself was’ and the ego ideal that corresponds to what ‘he himself would like to be’). The Symbolic which organizes it by its giving of directions is the second order. It is depicted by the use of language as the constitution of identity is connected to the Hegelian idea of recognition, and is known as the pre-existing order.  The last one and also the harderst order to be understood is the order of the Real. This order resists symbolization and is positioned outsided outside the Imaginary and the Symbolic… it exists only in the realm of the impossible. It does not stand as a word for reality and is impossible to be heard or seen.

Lacan’s theory uses the cones of vision in which screen shares its place with the image. Screen here has the use of protection. It is the protection between the gaze and the subject which tames it.

This blog post is long, but very important for my practice as all those points stated by each of the philosophers support my work.


Carman, T. (2003) ‘’What is Fundamental Ontology?,’’ in Heidegger’s Analytic: Interpretation, Discourse and Authenticity in Being and Time. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (Modern European Philosophy), pp. 8-52. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511498060.002

Fróis, J. P. (2010) ‘’Lacan in Art Education’’, VISUAL RESEARCH, 36(2), pp. 1-14

twentieth century: moore to popper. 4th edn. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. Available at: (Accessed: 17 February 2022).

Heidegger, M. (1964) The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking. Available at: (Accessed 21 February 2022).

Heidegger, M., Macquarrie, J., Robinson, E. (1962) Being and Time. Malden, MA, Blackwell.

Husserl, E., Alston, W. P., & Nakhnikian, G. (1964). The idea of phenomenology. The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff.

Jay, M. (1993) Downcast eyes: the denigration of vision in twentieth-century French thought, Berkerley: University of California Press.

Johnson, A. (2018) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Available at:  (Accessed: 6 February 2022)

Jonas, H. (1982) The Phenomenon of Life: Toward a Philosophical Biology. Chicago.

Sarup, M. (1992) Jacques Lacan. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf (Modern cultural theorists).

Shand, J. (2015) Central works of philosophy v4: twentieth century: moore to popper. 4th edn. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. Available at: (Accessed: 17 February 2022).

Smith, A. D. (2015) Edmund Husserl: The Idea of Phenomenology. Central works of philosophy v4 : twentieth century: moore to popper. 4th edn. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. Available at: (Accessed: 17 February 2022).

Solomon, R.C. (2001) Phenomenology and Existentialism. Available at:,+one+darkens+it.+Consciousness+is+the+no+longer+a+spontaneity;+it+bears+within+itself+the+germ+of+opaqueness.%E2%80%9D&source=bl&ots=fYq3clF1on&sig=ACfU3U3DTQEMOtwAklcRpk_Zd2uqzEvvDA&hl=cs&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiN2fPQl5P2AhXxnFwKHag2ANwQ6AF6BAgGEAM#v=onepage&q=%E2%80%98%E2%80%99one%20congeals%20consciousness%2C%20one%20darkens%20it.%20Consciousness%20is%20the%20no%20longer%20a%20spontaneity%3B%20it%20bears%20within%20itself%20the%20germ%20of%20opaqueness.%E2%80%9D&f=false (Accessed: 22 February 2022).

Stratford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2003) Edmund Husserl. Available at: (Accessed 3 February 2022)




The work has now been finished, so its time for a crit.
When my fellow students stepped in between my work, I started getting comments.

– You can see every side of it
– It almost becomes three shows. One from one side, one from the other and one in between
– The installation forces the viewer to move
– The air/ movement adds to the work
– Connection to painting in the expanded field
– The work now seems bigger than when it was just on the wall.
– The painting style has changed from the one that was before. The painting style is more confident and paintily than the work before. It is confident and feels more free. Bridge between abstraction and representation.
– this 3D work pushes the painting forward.
– Walking in the installation gives the work a different vibe
– The sides of the paintings now work more than when the paintings were on the wall. This gives the breathing space like when you usually  look at the back of the paintings. Here, there is no back, so the sides becomes it.
– Painting and perspective is what this work concludes.
– The installation was a pleasure to view and in the end, the fact that it doesnt match made it look better.


In this blog post, I will be talking about my understanding of the theory presented by feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey- more specifically her older claims before.

The basis of Mulvey’s argument is the reflection on the paradox of phallocentrism, which is an ideology whereby the penis is the central element of the social world, but still depends on the image of a castrated woman to give order and meaning to its world. Mulvey summarised, that “the function of woman in forming the patriarchal unconscious is two-fold, she first symbolises the castration threat by her real absence of a penis and second thereby raises her child into the symbolic”.  This was then supported by John Berger and his saying that men’s social presence is different from the one of woman’s. ,,Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at”, that is some of the words indicating what was said in the previous sentence.

Following the reason of this theory is that women in the narrative cinema play the traditional exhibionistic role. The women’s body represents a passive erotic object for the male spectators who are the agents of the look, with whom spectators identify to enjoy the control and possession of the woman.

It was said that Mulvey’s argument was to point out the operations of hollywood cinema. That cinema positioned the camera in ways to represent the male charackter’s point of view. That then encouraged the audience to self-identify voyeuristically with the character that observes women.

The females were here encouraged to either identify as a male spectator, or to feel the lack that was produced by the film’s presentational mode. Mulvey claims that this identification happens in connection to the mirror stage which was elucidated by Jacque Lacan. That stage was proposed to be a time of formation of the human ego or identity.


Chaudhuri, S. (2006) Feminist film theorists: Laura Mulvey, Kaja Silverman, Teresa de Lauretis, Barbara Creed. London: Routledge

Berger, J. (2008) Ways of seeing. London: British Broadcasting Corporation and Penguin Books (Penguin modern classics).

Mulvey, L. (1973). Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema Available at:  )

Cindy Sherman and her connection to the male gaze 

Cindy Sherman’s work and the theory of the male gaze was the anker point of my work Le Cerveau. The American photographer and her relationship and position in the field of the male gaze is a good example for understanding Laura Mulvey’s point.

Sherman is known for showing works that are a representation of feminism’s model and how femininity has been produced within the logic of Male Gaze through fetishism, scopophilia and the use of masquerade. The use of masquerade represents the female projecting onto herself the womanliness suited for the male gaze. It here then becomes a mask that can be worn or removed. This mask then lies in its denial of the production of femininity as imagistic.
Sherman then uses the projective eye in her works because its understood as violent and penetrative.,, It gazes and catches its victims in its vice grip: a tool with a purpose for the constitution of those without a penis as pathetic specks pinioned by its inexorable force-lines” is the explanation found in the text of Amelia Jones and re-written in my dissertation titled The Ressuraction of a Theory; The Gaze and its ‘successor’.

What I love about the Untitled 94 is the colour pallete, the composition and the emotion seen on Cindy Sherman’s face. This work seems like its not really connecting to the male gaze, but the emotion in her eyes, the wetness of her hair and the school uniform (?) she is wearing is telling me the opposite.
I feel like the cropping of the picture leads the audience to have the desire to see ‘more’. Sherman’s subject is not directly looking at us, which could  slightly move us away from being the possible male subject standing above her, but on the other hand, the subject could be just calling for help with her eyes not facing us.

There is so much to be unraveled in this work. The more I look at it, the more questions I have. Why did I think that the female subject is in danger? Why is her hair wet when her clothes is not? Why is the subject on the floor? What is the narrative of this image.


Notes/Summary of Amelia Jones’s Tracing the subject with Cindy Sherman

As Amelia Jones Jones states, Cindy Sherman has been claimed as an artist/genius excavating the human consciousness or as a producer of work exemplifying a postmodern culture of simulation. Sherman is also a feminist negotiating of the male gaze, or the condition of the abject in artistic practice. From Jones’s perspective, the fact that Sherman uses a subject marked as feminine, within the context of the feminist-inflected postmodern scene, necessarily relates intimately to a feminist problematic of the subject.
In the essay, Jones draws to feminism and phenomenology resemblance in Sherman’s work, which then participates in a particular mode of performative artistic production typical of post 1960 body-oriented practices. In translation, it is a mode where the subject is enacted through representation rather than veiled as in the modernist project. That mode then proposes a new relation between the viewer and the artist, linking to the phenomenological idea of chiasmus, a way in which embodied subjects intertwine through the regime of a visibility that itself turns the world into flesh. Sherman’s work here then encouraging the viewer to ‘turn inside out’, with the intention to experience the investments and desires relative to the figures enacted in Sherman’s work.
A reason to connect Cindy Sherman to the male gaze is coming back to a theory of the projective eye, which is understood to be violent and penetrative. It then gazes and catches its victims on its vise grip, a tool with a purpose for the constitution of those without a penis as pathetic specks pinioned by its inexorable force-lines. Following a reference to John Berger and his book Ways of Seeing: “men act, and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at.” (p.34)
The theories of the projective eye state, that there are three ways in which the victims take their place relative to it.
In the first case, there is a representation of feminism’s model or how femininity has been produced within the logic of the so-called Male gaze through the dynamics of fetishism and scopophilia. Laura Mulvey notes on this with words that woman stands in a patriarchal culture as a signifier for the male other, referring to that male can live out his fantasies and obsessions by imposing them on the silent image of woman tied to her place as bearer, not maker, of meaning.
The second case introduces us to the example of a masquerade: a production of the self as the thing most expected but marking it as fake. The female is projecting onto herself the womanliness suited for the male gaze. It is a mask that can be worn or removed. The masquerade would therefore lie in its denial of the production of femininity as imagistic (p.35).
The third case turns the eye into something other than projective. It is important to remember that the projective eye is not a transcendent function waiting to be revealed. World being seen through gaze has a long history, in which the gaze was mechanized through the apparatus of the camera and its prototypes, instrumentalizing the dualistic logic of Cartesian or Enlightenment conceptions of subjectivity. The logic is that: ,,I’m here–you’re there, I have camera with an industrialized nation behind me–you, are dominated by me.”

Cruz, A. et al. (1997) Cindy sherman : retrospective. London: Thames & Hudson.