I’m interested in representing bodies through the lens of “the Female Gaze.” This term was coined by Jill Soloway in response to Laura Mulvey’s theorization of “the Male Gaze,” where cinematic depictions of women are seen as the objects of male pleasure. The Female Gaze is an alternative way of seeing, a way of looking/representing that gives everyone agency and makes everyone a subject. Inspired by the Rococo Aesthetic, I use this lens as way question the dominant gaze. Rococo was a style created in reaction to boredom with symmetry from the austere baroque style, and opted to depict humor, wit, emotion, and and whimsy. Characterized by it’s light heartedness, this artistic style presents itself at a more intimate scale- indoors or private spaces. I’m interested in why both the less imposing Rococo Aesthetic and female gaze have been relegated as less serious or less dominant forms of art and subjectivity.
This specific installation Let’s Eat Cake, demonstrates the ritual of sharing food. Sharing a meal is a simple, yet sacred occasion. It is a universal act that is important to building relationships within people groups. Intentionally eating together creates time and space to engage and share, including sharing empathy. My goal for this work was to employ the notion of the female gaze, the lens of the Rococo aesthetic and the ritual of sharing food as a conscious effort to create empathy as a political tool- and decenter the divide between self and other.