Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Notes from Practices of Looking - An Introduction To Visual Culture - Marita Sturken/ Lisa Cartwright

Modernity: Spectatorship,Power, And Knowlege: The Gaze and the Other.

"The gaze, whether institutional or individual, thus helps to establish relationships of power. The act of looking is commonly regarded as awarding more power to the person who is looking than to the person who is the object of the look." - (Page 111, begins line 9) For example, in art, media,film,etc the male gaze is used. This is where the audience is forced to veiw the image through the eyes of a man (typicaly a heterosexual man) and this effects the way we veiw the subject he is gazing at (typicaly a woman). This then "helps to establish relationships of power", the relationship being men having power over women. This idea is progressed further in mediums such as film because the male gaze causes men to have the leading roles. This creates a structure in which women are denighed agency/objectifyed by the male gaze, lowering them to the possition of a prop. This creates steriotypical gender roles in the narrative structure. Which means that men typicaly play a role in which they are active and do things and women typicaly play a role in which passive, powerless and an object of desire .

"The traditional of institutional photography, in which prisoners, mental patients, and the people of various types were photographed and catelogued,can be related to the traditions of visual anthropology and travel photograph, as well as the tradition of painting peoples of so-called exotic locales. All funtion to various degrees to represent codes of dominance and subjugation, difference and otherness." - Page 111, begins line 11) The use of art as a tool present the differences bettween people creating opposites. This creation of opposites creates superiority through the belief that something that is everything that you are not must be negative through the belief that what you are is good/better/more important. It also gives the ability to define the norm in a certain area, creating a hiarachy.

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