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The gaze in art and popular culture - Essay Example

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The Dynamics of Gaze Class University Date Gaze or the concept of how the audience saw people in a presentation, either in a film advertisement or a music video, sprouted several theories and interpretations about the dynamics and identity issues it produced in relation to the viewer…
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The gaze in art and popular culture
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The gaze in art and popular culture

One of the pioneers in the study of gaze within the context of films is Laura Mulvey. She theorized that gaze was traditionally viewed in relation to gender oppression. In her work "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” Laura Mulvey introduced the concept of gaze and its dynamics to be a manifestation of imbalance of power between the male and the female where the male dominates the female and thus the term – male gaze. Mulvey’s theory is Freudian in origin where she “breaks scopophilia down into an active part, which is always male, and a passive part, which is always female. Women are the objects that are looked” (Finzsch, n. p.). In Mulvey’s male gaze, the male’s patriarchal role is extended to the film where the male imposes a hegemonic gaze to the women as mere objects of desire. Thus, it produces an imbalance relationship as women are reduced to an object of two distinct modes of male gaze where they became Madonna’s in male perspective (voyeuristic) or whores (fetishistic). In her work, viewers tend to identify with the protagonist of the film who is typically a male and thus, the perspective conveyed by the film is that of a man and it follows that women will be looked upon as an object of desire. Bell Hooks took a different perspective in defining the dynamics of gaze in film in relation to the viewer. ...
e male gaze is punished by white oriented society and therefore, this suppressed desire to gaze in real life is unleashed in film gazing to the effect that it is more intense and radically different than the regular male gaze. In this type of male gaze, Hooks shared the perspective of Mulvey in reducing women to mere sex objects (albeit Hooks did not venture into voyeuristic type or viewing women as Madonna) where white women was always the archetype of beauty . In this regard, this relationship between the black viewers and their idolatry towards white women in films as the idealized beauty produces the oppression among black women as she is pushed further down in the totem pole of power. First, her race is already a subject of oppression that she share among the black men but her lot is more difficult because it is aggravated by the fact that she is a woman which by default is already a subject of imbalance of power between genders. Third, being a black woman subjected her to “triple oppression because of the previous factors that already subjected her to oppression that she has to deny her own sense of beauty to give way to idea that the idea of beautiful and desirable will always be white. Bell Hooks argument may have been valid if this was pointed out decades ago where racial discrimination was still rampant and that the concept of beauty was limited to the female blond or Caucasian girl. The “triple oppression” that was vehemently argued by Hooks is already outdated today because black women are now also portrayed as desirable objects and no longer does the idea that a black woman has to deny herself of beauty because of the color of her skin. To cite several objects, we can cite several female group and artists who had been packaged as sexually desirable ... Read More
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