Female Gazing: How we look at art and who is represented

A Female Looks (Introduction)

What does the female look like? What is it about her looks? What distinguishes her look from another? These are objectively valid questions. But so is asking what her way of looking looks like: what does she see and how does she perceive the world? Many are the observations that have been made regarding the way humans look and how seeing informs our view of the surroundings.

The question of seeing has also played a fundamental part in art, especially in art that has to do with vision—visual art. Artists and viewers alike have been asking: how do we look at art? Who is represented, and how? And who is really looking?

With the development of moving images—cinema—the questions got more visible, because now, instead of a displayed canvas which the observer could study according to his own pleasure, now there was another person directing the vision. How does this catered presentation impact the experience of the art piece and the meaning perceived? And did this tailored and formative effect of art really first arise with the camera? With regard to this, scholars and movie makers have since the later part of the 20th century been using the lens of film to understand the correlation between gender and cinematic perception: who gets to be the spectator and why?

In Female Gazing: A Female Look Through the Lens of Cinema, I will try to answer this question and thus look at the history of the gendered gaze in art and the subsequent domination of the male vision, as well as three case studies of films that attempt to show the female perspective. I will hence illustrate what the female gaze looks like and how it differs from the traditionally portrayed worldview. Finally, I will show of how artful storytelling can help us see a future of female—and even more multifaceted—prospects. To read the full text, click HERE.

© Malin J. Jornvi (2/12/18) FF2 Media

Featured Photo: The eyes of actor Diane Kruger who has been voted one of the most beautiful women
on earth and portrayed Helen of Troy in Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy (2004). (Photo Credit: allswalls.com)

Bottom Photo: Still from Gone Girl (Twentieth Century Fox)

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