What does a rejection of the feminized man reveal about misogyny?
This work is from the series 'On Beauty' which looks at the gendering of aesthetics and how the concept of beauty is tied to sexual objectification. The series is comprised of photography, video and installation. One of the primary homes of my work is online, where communities find, share, reify, re-appropriate, and re-imagine my work for a variety of uses. In this space our bodies and ideas are not marginal.
I am interested in the gendering of aesthetics and how the concept of beauty is tied to sexual objectification. I utilized male models–living representations of idealized masculinity–in order to explore the semiotics of the construction of gender. I was curious to see what the result would be if I photographed men using the unspoken rules that dictate the way women are conventionally posed in photographs and paintings. Shorter than most of the models, I used a to ladder to shoot them from above while directing my subjects to look at me only with a soft expression. Mostly I asked the models to look away– to be looked at. I asked them to hold their arms close to their bodies as if they felt vulnerable. This was not 'natural' for them. In my photographic approach, I strove to reveal aspects of their masculinity which might otherwise be downplayed for fear of appearing effeminate. The tactics of revealing a man's body, directing his emotions as is done with women, while posing him in a relatively prone position resulted in a non-normative display of masculinity. How does the 'feminized' male body potentially impact the viewer and interrupt heteronormative gazing? As viewers, can we look at aestheticized vulnerability without inserting a gendered, sexual agenda onto it? Do beautiful men fall victim to the virgin/whore dichotomy or does their masculinity protect them from this reduction? What does a rejection of the feminized man reveal about misogyny?
- Year Created: 2011
- Submitted to ArtBase: Thursday Mar 3rd, 2011
- Original Url: http://sophiawallace.tumblr.com/post/3226524806/untitled-modesty-from-the-series-on-beauty-c#notes
- sophiawallace, primary creator
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