CALL FOR ART!
Proposal: “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze”
May 24th through June 18th, 2011
The Women’s Caucus for Art (www.nationalwca.org), a leading supporter of 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Images that pertain to the theme
- Image list with number, title, media, size and date for each image
- Artist resume
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”.
“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.