September 7, 2022 11:00
In her seminal essay, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” (1975), Laura Mulvey introduced the concept of the Male Gaze and problematised the sexual politics that underpin visual representation throughout history and whereby the feminine is often objectified and men are demi-urgized in codifying the aesthetics of painting, television, film and advertising . In response to this notion, television producer and director Jill Soloway gave a powerful talk at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, in which she outlined strategies to make a female gaze tangible, Female Gaze, as a viable alternative that counters the dominance of male heteronormativity in filmography and the visual arts.
Centring their artistic exchange around Jill Soloway’s Female Gaze and adapting the practicable ideas she outlined, the artist-participants in the CRISOL project – Roberta Racis and Fabio Novembrini (Italy), Albert Garcia (Macau), Jereh Leung (Singapore) investigate questions of the spectator’s gaze and visual pleasure, the Male Gaze in relation to artistic creation and in relation to the gaze of the assumed audience and aesthetic emotion, considerations and questions they share through their artistic practices and current creations.
Jereh Leung since 2019 has started to develop a series of studies on the dialogue scene of Wong Kar Wai’s film “In the mood for love” that interpret the male gaze through the involvement of a female gaze and a personal reflection on what the feminine is for him, deliberately embodying the characters in the film.
Albert Garcia with his research questions the relationship between society and the individual. He also seeks to critically investigate the standards underlying the process of anthropisation and the design of our environment and habitats, rethinking how we imagine the human habitat and with it the forms of relationships between individuals that spatial organisation generates.
Roberta Racis and Fabio Novembrini reinterpret the construction of the diorama. The term diorama has Greek origins and means ‘to look through’. In the proposed practice, the diorama consists of different landscapes created with the help of a series of videos that are projected. The body in video constantly interacts with the body in presence, trying to realise a device of vision that reconsiders the very space of representation and the modes of access to it, through a series of non-linear landscapes that rethink corporeity and binarism.
In this Open Studio Session, under Daniel Kok‘s artistic advice, director of Dance Nucleus (Singapore), the practices of the artists coexist in the space, through a structure created in collaboration between the dance artists that relates individual research and the theme of Male Gaze/Femal Gaze.
The audience is invited to enter or exit, participate in some experiments and conversations and observe the ways in which their gaze plays a crucial role in the performative encounter.
Activating gaze is part of CRISOL – creative processes, created in 2019 with the aim of interweaving experiences between Italian and international artists exchange and experimenting with different models for trans-local co-creation.