Monday, April 05, 2010

Call for Art: Northern California Chapter

http://ncwca.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/call-for-art/

Proposal: “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze”

Ceres Gallery, 547 West 27th Street, New York, NY

May 24th through June 18th, 2011

The Women’s Caucus for Art (www.nationalwca.org), a leading supporter of women artists since 1972, is requesting art on the theme of “Men as Object: Reversing the Gaze”. This proposal for an exhibition for Ceres Gallery is a collaboration between the Northern California, South Bay Area and Michigan WCA chapters and is open to all US women artists.

Send the following to karengutfreund@yahoo.com

Images that pertain to the theme
Image list with number, title, media, size and date for each image
Artist resume
Deadline to send images: Wednesday April 14th

The art we receive will be given to Ceres as a proposal for an exhibition. If we are chosen, we will have another call for art that will allow artists time to create new work. Please also email karengutfreund@yahoo.com if you would like to be kept on the mailing list for this and other feminist projects.

Prospectus for “Reversing the Gaze”

Since the early years of Feminist Art, women artists have responded to their subjugation in art by male artists by using their own bodies as the subject matter in their work. We credit feminist art of the 1970’s with giving artists today the “permission to be personal”.

There is a difference in women’s art from the work of male counterparts. We see the nude woman from different angles. The feminist artist chooses a personal vantage point, apart from that seen in men’s portrayals of women. The thesis of woman as both surveyor and the surveyed continues.

“Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of women in herself is male: the surveyed female…thus she turns herself into an object- and most particularly an object of vision: a sight”. Ways of Seeing, by John Berger

The goal of this exhibition “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze” is to turn the tables and to exhibit works that put the male in the position of subject and spectacle. Not only will the male be taking on the female role, but the surveyor is now female, no longer a “masculine” part of the female, thus creating a truly Feminist stance. The male is the spectacle for a woman’s enjoyment or mere viewing.

This is effective in two ways: as the male viewer encounters the male nude, he is forced like many women before him to turn the mirror on himself and secondly to feel the powerlessness of being owned or submissive. The individualism of the artist, the thinker, the patron, the owner, and the woman is transformed. The person who is the object of their activities, the man, is treated as a thing or an abstraction. By reversing the unequal relationship between men and women that is so deeply embedded in our culture, men will do to themselves what they have done to women for centuries. They observe themselves and their own masculinity as women observe their own femininity.

This exhibition will explore women’s responses to a male dominated world in a different way than an exhibition of women’s images of themselves. It will mark an important development in Feminist Art which has long concentrated on images of women meant to challenge stereotypical notions of womanhood.

A gallery filled with works depicting men, created by women, comments on the prevalence of the male gaze in art and of the continued domination of male artists exhibiting in galleries and museums.
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