A feminist dialogue with the camera
Chelsea College of Arts
Funded by an Arts and Humanties Research Council (AHRC) Doctoral Studentship
My research is practice-based and seeks to contest the limited and reductive tropes of feminine representation and attendant objectification in a contemporary western context. My practice is within the field of moving image and utilises a video art aesthetic, deploying the strategies of performance to camera, direct address and narrative. I contend video art and the moving image can be both a radical tool for deconstructing dominant mainstream images of femininity as well as playing a role in reconstructing and developing progressive re-presentations of female subjectivities.
In this context, I argue there is much to be gained in revisiting the artwork made by feminist artists at the time of second wave feminism. Many of these artists utilised the nascent form of video art to challenge and subvert issues of feminine representation by means of deconstructing the tropes and stereotypes of feminine representations as well as making visible their subjective, quotidian experience that was either distorted or suppressed in mainstream media. In this way, they interrogated the prescribed roles of women in society and developed strategies that are still relevant and productive in a contemporary context.
In order to examine and explicate these issues, my research takes the concept of trans-historical dialogue as a starting point to initiate discourse between contemporary and second wave theory and the artwork through which it emerged. I will identify and critically analyse specific video and moving image works that relate to issues of representation as well as considering my own practice-based research in relation to these works and the different cultural contexts in which they are made.
Professor Catherine Elwes (Director of Studies)