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Power and Seduction Essay

The gaze holds the contention of being an almost exclusively male property. Men look at women and women ‘watch themselves’ being looked at (Berger, 1972). This makes men the possessor of the gaze while women become double objects; object of the male gaze and object of their own gaze. 2. Per Wells, what’s the older anthropological definition of fetishism? It is defined as ‘an inanimate object that takes on special powers such as warding off danger and misfortune and is the centre of religious rituals’. 3.

Per Wells, why is Freud’s concept of fetishism a controversial one? Freud relied on the male castration anxiety which in a way, coins the fetishist as male, making fetishism as an exclusively male perversion. 4. Per Bakhtin, what’s the difference between ‘carnivalesque’ and ‘classical’ body? Mikhail Bakhtin, a noted literary theorist referred ‘carnivalesque’ as the ‘grotesque’ body. It shows how bodies are linked together in a cycle that continually grows and changes. This representation was however displaced by the ‘classical’ body, the epitome of purity image.

It is ‘smooth, orifice-less and self-sufficient’ (Bakhtin, 1984, 29) as it hides the chaos and humour collective to the carnivalesque image. 5. Per Freud, voyeurism and exhibitionism are what forms of looking? Freud identified voyeurism and exhibitionism in children as an auto-erotic looking; the object is the subject’s body. While the adult look is a component of the externally directed sexual drive to ‘objectify’ the other. 6. Per Burgin, what is the function of suture? Suture helps the subject construct or incorporate itself in the discourse.

In film for example, the subject would be able to identify the audience and the character thus creating the ‘point of view’ and other photographic techniques to achieve its end. 7. Per Burgin, what is the primary instance of suture in still photography? Example is when the subject ‘identifies’ in a radically selective manner, the attributes of the object surveyed. This ‘selectivity’ is achieved by identifying the camera position and thus creating a conflation between voyeurism and narcissism. 8.

Per Burgin, is this identification an either/or process? Yes. This identification is selective. 9. Per Burgin, how is a photograph like a fetish? A photograph freezes a fragment of time. Although one characteristic of fetishism is it separates reality from fantasy, the photograph can still arouse sexual tendencies no matter the disavowal of the perception. 10. Per Burgin, why is it frustrating to look at a photograph for too long? Photographs give us pleasure but after sometime, we would begin to notice the little centrality we have over the object.

As the surveyor, it is important for our gaze not to be alienated or else, it will create an aversion. 11. Per Burgin, what recognition produces a tear in the suture process? When the subject recognizes that the object’s gaze belongs to the camera and not to him, the imaginary relationship is torn. 12. Per Burgin, what function does a caption serve? Caption supports the still image the way reverse shots do the trick in the cinema. So, as the surveyor gets alienated, his look will be displaced to the caption that when expires, finds itself returned back to the image.

13. Why does McGrath call modernism a ruse? McGrath called modernism a ruse due to the social suppression of knowledge in the issues of class, race and crucially that of gender. Amidst the modern concept of art as ‘universal’, the feminist art lacked contribution because of its inability to contend with the modern, yet still patriarchal world. 14. Would Weston agree with the terms of McGrath’s critique? Yes, given that Weston lived capturing women’s essence and sensuality and McGrath wrote to advance it, they basically are in the same platform.

15. What must the photographer and the voyeur maintain? They must always maintain a certain degree of distance from the object. This will not only keep the focus and mastery of the photographer but as well prohibit the exercise of other drives towards the object. 16. Per McGrath, how does the act of photographing relieve castration anxiety? The camera and photograph become ‘fetishes’. They both play as pleasurable props that give men the reverence of feeling and maintaining their erection. 17. Per McGrath, how is a photograph like a fetish?

Like a fetish, photographs require a disavowal of knowledge. They contain meaning and stand in place of the real object’s absence. 18. Per McGrath, how does a maximum depth of field serve in the construction of a fetish? The maximum depth of field could be established using two techniques; the aperture which gives the sharpest focus, and the printing of the photograph. The first heightens the visual qualities, making it more invoking to touch while the latter’s use of high gloss paper gives it the closest original beauty. 19. Per Freud, what are examples of symbolic topography?

Freud claims that things around exist in genital symbolism. Anything that stands represents the male genitalia; landscapes, hills, trees and rocks. With almost the exception of the cigar which, ‘is sometimes just a cigar’. 20. Per McGrath, what do Weston’s framing devices achieve? The cutting of the frame, the literal cutting of the head or the covering of the eyes ensure a more sadistic implication and thus more enjoyment of the nude. Print Source Burgin, V. , (1982). Photo; Power & Seduction. Houndmills: Macmillan Education Ltd.


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