Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lesbian Gaizzzzz

Hey was looking around for some theories that might help with thinking about commercialised images of lesbians in relation to a viewing public, this is all i got to so far though:

"Diana Fuss tackles most directly the mobilisation of a lesbian gaze within this cultural field [fashion photography] whichprovides a socially sanctioned structure in which women are encouraged to consume, in voyeuristic if not vampiristic fashion, the images of other women(Fuss, 1994:211). For Fuss this process by which women come to look as though they were lesbians entails, as she put it, ‘consuming’ images of women whose poses range from the coy to the aggressive. And this spectorial position is triggered by the distinctive codings which are specific to fashion photography many of which rely on, as Rabine points out, the fragment of the body, showing body parts in pieces, cropping the body to show either torso, or legs or in the case of the images Fuss looks at, seemingly disembodied faces ‘detatched from any visible body. These images of body parts .... "

bla bla fetish Kristeva bla bla Oedipalisation Freud bla bla

"… Fuss demonstrates how fashion photographs have to be able to generate homosexual desire so that it can be properly eliminated, but in so doing there is also a production of ‘lesbian desire within the identificatory move itself’. However, as she goes on to say, this lesbian eroticism is so apparent, so visible for all to see, that this obviousness actually also immediately negtes the ‘homoerotic structure of the look’. The illicit desire is ‘harnessed’ in the very process of being invoked as something that exists and that has to be contained and controlled. Thus there is a mobilisation of homosexual desire within an overarching visual economy which at the same time forbids it, producing it in order to say no. Or as if to say ‘better get it over and done with here and by these means’. These photographs therefore flirt with the viewer in a game which both allows the desire expression, and then reminds the viewer of the high cost attached abandoning herself to those desires. Fuss describes this as the ‘strategic deployment of a homospectorial look’(ibid: 227) So precarious is the passage for the woman or girl into required heterosexuality, that, especially in a commercial field given over to expanding the pleasures of feminine consumption, it takes immense efforts to bring this unruly terrain to order, and in a marvelous passage Fuss explains that the work of the fashion image is to provoke this desire so that it can be ‘channeled (or Chaneled)’ (idib:227). And unlike the viewing position supposed by the medium of film, the position ‘mapped by contemporary commercial fashion photography can be read … as feminine, homosexual, and pre-oedipal’ (ibid:228) …"

From: Angela McRobbie The aftermath of feminism: gender, culture and social change, 2009, Sage Publications, London, pp 106-7
Images worth linking to for article - no really!!!

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