The Body

The body has been subject to many art forms over centuries but the way it has been represented has altered. In regards to the ‘western gaze’, the gazer was always positioned more superior than those featured in the image. It used a phycological technique to make the viewer enjoy the art work more.

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We also have countless examples when this western gaze was exemplified in images of the impoverished ‘other’. The poor were a spectacle. One main part in reference to the body in photography is the male gaze. In modern times there are more example of this than the western gaze. The female body has become a spectacle. In some cases its women who push forward images of the body for empowerment, but these images can be interpreted as sexual rather than art to men.

Cindy Sherman created a series of untitled film stills were she mimicked western cinema as they were not real film stills – but rather composed to look as if they were. They were done to show the male gaze through the angles they were taken and her self portrayal. However, cinema has changed in modern times with films such as Magic Mike, so is there now a female gaze?

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We were asked to choose a image of the body and I chose one from Bill Durgins collection – Objectifying Forms. I chose this because it questions the gaze and who it is for. A point I want to raise with this is that the body is a form of art. If anonymous then it is art, in many cases when you put a face with the body it becomes sexual and pornographic. The use of anonymity ensures we are not distracted and see the form for what it is.

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