Gender, Gaze and Otherness Presentation

This is a presentation done by another group, therefore I do not have the slides to go along with my notes. I shall attempt to find similar photos to the ones discussed and work by the artist discussed.

Lee Miller

Lee Miller - The woman in Hitlers bath

Lee Miller in Adolf Hitler’s bathtub, Munich, 1945.

This is a photo by Lee Miller of ‘herself sitting in Hitler’s bath’. Her style supposedly developed fashion photography in surrealism. This is an interesting concept to me, linking representation into a photo of another subject perhaps, and is something I shall keep in mind for my final photo series.



(From: )

They briefly touched on a technique in film photography called solarisation. They described it as mixing a film negative with a positive, created by using a flash when developing the film. (See for more).


This is topic I have come across before while studying literature and cinema. I have known intertextuality to be a reference to another text, the use of which is to add meaning to the user. For instance, Mary Shelley references the Rime of the Ancient Mariner in her novel Frankenstein, as this contextualises her character’s actions and foreshadows his demise. However, a photo is a still image and thus has no narrative progression. Therefore intertextuality in an image is understanding one photo in the context of another.

Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus is known for her work looking at the ‘freaks’ of society, the social outcasts. The saying, “meaning depend on the difference between opposites”, was mentioned though I cannot find a source.

Her Work:

Diane Arbus 2

Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967

I have seen this photo before in my set reading (See ‘The Photograph – Graham Clarke – Chapter 2 How Do We Read a Photograph?‘ pp. 28-30) and it highlights what  Diane Arbus was trying to show.

Arbus subverts what was then a common view of social outsiders, that they are freaks, and instead gives them centre stage. All of her photos show a proud subject, not hiding away but accepted and this was not common at the timeof her series. Each of her photos highlights ‘otherness’ as well as gaze, their direct interpolation shows the subjects pride in the image and their ‘otherness’ qualities are not hidden but celebrated.

(To see more )

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin uses themes of domesticity, focusing on the harshness of life featuring drugs, sex and violence.

Nan one month after being battered 1984 by Nan Goldin born 1953

Nan Goldin, ‘Nan one month after being battered‘ 1984

This self-portrait shot signifies a lot of the themes in her work. The setting is clearly domestic but the facial expression is not one of comfort or homeliness. The bruising and blood-eye all connote the extreme violence that has befallen Goldin. The central framing and direct looking at the camera shows Goldin is not trying to hide the fact that she has been beaten, but is highlighting a part of her life that most people would try to hide. This shows her representing ‘otherness’ through gaze. She is using these themes to convey a message of power and realisation.

Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a taxi, NYC 1991 by Nan Goldin born 1953

Nan Goldin, ‘Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a taxi, NYC‘ 1991

This shot again reflects those connotations. The subjects are looking directly at the camera, and therefore the viewer, and are proud to be who they are. Discriminated by some, Goldin emphasizes the otherwise perhaps not talked about people/communities.

Nan Goldin's “Amanda In The Mirror”

Nan Goldin’s “Amanda In The Mirror

Goldin uses mirrors a lot in her work. Perhaps it is symbolic of looking directly at one’s self, or it is just the surface of that person and therefore a false ‘reflection’ of them as a whole person, maybe it is to critique a society obsessed with looks. (This shot reminds me of a shot of Dahl (Katee Sackhoff) from Riddick (David Twohy, 2013)) Goldin focus’ on photos of homosexual and transgender people.

Sarah Maple

Sarah Maple highlights injustices towards ‘others’ and particularly women. She is a feminist activist and shows her views through her photographs which highlight gender and pride.

Sarah Maple 1Sarah Maple 2Sarah Maple 3

She subverts common ideas of ‘lady behaviour’ and views toward women by showing the opposite. These images are powerful because they are so different to common representations of women in society. She uses shock as a tool to represent an alternative view of ‘gender’ and ‘others’. (See for more).


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