The Female Gaze: Part 3: Foto Femme United

In the first two installments of The Female Gaze I put forth the idea that the female gaze consists of work made by women with a female viewer in mind. Expressed through images that explore the desires, experiences and viewpoints of women outside of tightly structured gendered expectations, posing and male ego flattering. I’ve come to think of these images as atypical to mainstream image creation and consumption. In opposition to the famous sentiment spewed forth by Hans Hoffmann in “praise” of abstract expressionist Lee Krasner, “This is so good you wouldn’t know it was done by a woman”, these works could only be made by women. The photographers engaging in the female gaze manipulate the tools of the medium to undermine, repurpose, and redefine women within the public space of photography.


Read the rest at Foto Femme United...

The female gaze: part 3 written for Foto Femme United

The Female Gaze part 2: Foto Femme United

https://www.fotofemmeunited.com/article/196In The Female Gaze: Part 1 I put forth the idea that the female gaze is work made by women with a female viewer in mind. Images that explore the desires, experiences, and viewpoints of women outside of tightly structured gendered expectations, posing and male ego flattering. It is neither the opposite of the male gaze nor is it simply any work made by a woman. Women can and do, participate in the male gaze regularly. It is inevitable and unavoidable. The male gaze has always dominated how women were taught to view the world and themselves. Part of engaging in the female gaze is deprogramming, digesting, and deconstructing the language of our gendered values. Some artists have a knack for disregarding and/or challenging this indoctrination and creating some engrossing work as a result. Work made to appease a drive and vision, not to placate the amorphous blob of outside opinion. It’s in the disregard for the banality of the expected that the private becomes political.


Read more at Foto Femme United….


The Female Gaze: Part 1 :: Foto Femme United

You may have heard the phrase female gaze being tossed around more and more, but what is it? The more I read about it, the less I seem to know. It has been stated that the problem with describing the female gaze is that it’s often “defined by what it doesn’t show, what it refuses to linger on” and I think that moves us a bit closer to an understanding. Within the patriarchal tradition of art history “men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only the relations between men and women, but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of women in herself is male: the surveyed the female. Thus she turns herself into an object…(Berger*).” This is the male gaze that Laura Mulvey references in her iconic essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema in 1975. We passively consume images and their messages more than any generation in history, which means we are constantly inundated with this gendered viewpoint. We praise and celebrate the rare images that surprise us as a culture, but they are not the norm, and the average person isn’t seeing images outside of mainstream media unless they have sought them out. The question of whose gaze, is a question of value. Whose interpretation of the world do we consume?


Read the rest at Foto Femme United

what is the female gaze?
Using Format