Wednesday, March 27, 2019

On "gaze": A coda

If you want to get at, easily and simply, what my point is in the previous essay, look at these two things:

Scarlett Coten

(any of it, I think, but Photographs -> Mectoub is a good starting point). Compare with the cited book from the previous:

Showcaller (Not Safe For Work Even Slightly)

The former is a, to my eye, an essentially positive force, and is the clearest expression of anything I recognize as a "female gaze" as I have seen. Not all women will find pleasure, comfort, delight in endless pictures of good looking and yet somehow gentled men, but it's obviously going to appeal to a lot of women. Maybe, as a man, I am getting it all wrong, I suppose, but I don't think so. This work appeals to me, in a way, but it's not ultimately for me. It might be about me.

This is work that I feel is shaped for the female viewer.

The latter is, again to my eye, an essentially negative force. Chetrit strikes me as railing against something, trying to goad the viewer, and at the same time trying for positive reviews from heterosexual white men. Chetrit strikes me as wanting to fight me, demanding that I look at her, and simultaneously angry that I do. The work is definitely aimed at me, but not in a particularly healthy way.

I don't think Showcaller is particularly shaped for women's pleasure, enjoyment, comfort.

1 comment: