'droplet' : [how can photography as a medium be extended beyond realism to highlight recent feminist issues in New Zealand?]

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Authors
Campbell, Sheyl
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Degree
Master of Creative Practice
Grantor
Unitec Institute of Technology
Date
2020-11-27
Supervisors
McDonald, Allan
Shaw, Yvonne
Type
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
New Zealand
women
sexual harassment
corporate sexual harassment
feminism
organisational culture
sexual violence
rape
pornography
#MeToo
#TimesUp
Todd, Yvonne (1973-)
Ulman, Amalia (1989-)
Lucas, Sarah (1962-)
Sherman, Cindy (1954-)
Citation
Campbell, S. (2020, November 27). ‘droplet’ : [how can photography as a medium be extended beyond realism to highlight recent feminist issues in New Zealand?]. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Creative Practice). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5033
Abstract
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can photography as a medium be extended beyond realism to highlight recent feminist issues in New Zealand?’ ABSTRACT: I am an artist exploring mixed media practices, including photography and video, from a feminist perspective. My aim is to stimulate debate and discussion in parallel with the contemporary #MeToo movement in NZ. My photobook droplet raises a necessary conversation in NZ society about sexual harassment in the corporate environment. It critiques these problematic behaviours with the aim of cleaning it up, and also symbolically articulates a counter narrative of empowerment. In this exegesis I consider my choice of photography and the photobook as the medium for my work. I discuss the male gaze, and the values that stem from it, and the strategies some postmodern art theorists have advocated to effect change. Four postfeminist artists, Yvonne Todd, Amalia Ulman, Sarah Lucas and Cindy Sherman, were examined for their tropes, metaphors and representations which subvert the male gaze. The common elements of humour and shock informed the ironic, playful and parodic approach within this project. Sophie Calle’s photobooks were closely examined for their materiality (table 1), and for how the covers, scale, layouts, typefaces and different paper-stocks amplify the stories she tells. Drawing from various media sources about corporate sexual harassment in New Zealand, I responded by photographing in a range of genres – still-life, botanicals, tableaux and cityscapes to create a narrative of sexual harassment, and an appropriate and subsequent counter response. Using this material I then created an installation in the gallery with the photobook supported by two simple moving image pieces and two framed prints.
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