The Body Poetic? Challenging Perceptions of Women through Moving Image Practice

By Su Ansell.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 7, 2017 $US5.00

As a moving image practitioner, an experimental, poetic filmmaker, I am currently engaged in creating an installation project, which questions notions of ownership around the female body and representation. “Breastwork” is a single channel video wall installation created by the artist with the collaboration of many women. The piece is designed to stimulate debate around issues of representation, arising specifically from the idea that the ubiquitous fetishised naked female breast has been incorporated as an icon into image-driven consumer-capitalist culture. This article and the accompanying work explore the contradictions inherent in the depiction of the naked female body in art and media, and the significant role that (feminist) image-making, and moving image as art in particular, can play in reconnecting women with the ownership of their own bodies, reasserting the female (to borrow terms from scholar and filmmaker Laura Mulvey in 1975) as “maker” rather than “bearer of meaning.”

Keywords: Representation, Feminism, Body, Video Art, Poetics, Moving Image

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.1-23. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 7, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 810.011KB)).

Su Ansell

Moving Image Artist and Senior Lecturer, Video Production, Leicester School of Art, De Montfort University, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK