More thoughts on subverting the male gaze – NSFW

WARNING – this post contains images of nudity. NSFW

Several of my fellow students have been extremely helpful in sorting out how I should take the idea of working with a feminine or ungendered gaze on the nude male. My thanks to Stephanie, Micahel, Stefan, Kate and Gesa particularly and all the other poeple who have commented here on my blog and on the OCA Photography Students Facebook page – for me, the group feedback is a massive part of my thought distillation process and a part I could not do without. Their comments can mostly be seen under the Comments section in my previous post on the subject. The long and the short of it is that my original photos were actually quite traditional in their style and content, and that I needed to subvert them in some way to bring in the feminist perspective. Returning to my interest in C&N of using thread and cutting to alter images, I have been trying out a few different ideas and there is definitely something that I can work with here.

In the images below, I have firstly stitched the (Google Translated) Chinese word for womanly/obedient across the model’s rear and in the second, I have used a cross stich generator program to pixelate his genitals and then photoshopped the cross stitch colur chart in place of the real thing.

There is much research to do yet, on both the importance of tattoos (w/r to Image 1) and for both on the role of feminine arts such as sewing as acts of subversion to the genreally male-oriented artistic paradigm. (Note to self: look back at the concept of  Subversive Stitching as a political statement)

Additionally, it has been suggested that I consider using Greek or Latin rather than Chinese to stitch words on the model’s body, which would reference the Ancient World’s obsession with sculpting the naked male figure. So much to think about, but I am moving this work onto Preparation for Assignment 4 in Coursework, as I will almost certainly be using it for the Assignment itself.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “More thoughts on subverting the male gaze – NSFW

  1. Catherine

    The aesthetic of the stitching appeals to me most here, particularly the colour of the gold thread against the monochrome. There’s an essence of pain there though – but then, having a tattoo is painful as well I guess.

    Like

    Reply
  2. Kate

    I think this is so interesting Holly. The stitching chart is inspired – a kind of feminine code – it reminded me of knitting charts as well. It might be worth doing a search on Ravelry for Adult projects and patterns. Interestingly, weren’t many of the traditional fibre crafts in the male domain – the various guilds for embroidery and knitting? Yet now it’s something of a foreign language to increasing numbers of men.

    Like

    Reply
  3. Stefan J Schaffeld

    Like your subversive approach and layering technique . Embroidery is such a prolific area. A good friend of mine is working especially in Maroc with women in embroidery . Her name is Aglaia Haritz (Switzerland) and the collaborative work is at http://embroiderers-of-actuality.com
    Thinking about pain, literally and metaphorically – looks like an area for further exploration. Understand that embroidery is one of your areas, makes it personal. Wondering whether using less personal statements is moving more toward political or stereotyping message. What is your position?

    Like

    Reply
    1. Holly Woodward Post author

      I’m dithering at present about whether I want it to be personal or political, Stefan. After a relatively apolitical youth, I find that as I grow older I am becoming more interested, and more vociferous. Maybe now is the time to give some of my work an overtly political slant.
      I did an assignment on pain back at the beginning of C&N and might think about revisiting the subject through cultural opinion and subjective meaning. Like nudity it is a subject fraught with entrenched viewpoints and I will need to tread carefully.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. lynda512863

    This is a very interesting project Holly. I love the gold threads with their trailing ends. I think using Greek or Latin is the way to go – there is definitely a link to the world of sculpture then.

    Like

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Research Point 1 – Barthes’ Rhetoric of the Image | Holly's OCA I&P Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s