Date of Award

2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

Faculty

Faculty of Education & Arts

First Advisor

Nicola Kaye

Abstract

The underlying theme of this thesis is that cinema and related media create sites in which the viewer becomes a kind of voyeur, and in doing so normalises the voyeuristic gaze. Relationships between those who possess the gaze and those who become the object of that gaze are structured both ideologically and through the apparatus of the camera itself. These ideologies are arguably driven by a patriarchal paradigm, particularly within mainstream cinema where men appear to control the gaze and women are positioned as the object of that gaze. Even within cinema however that appears to be explicitly misogynistic like the horror genre, there are instances where the relationship between these two positions is more interactional. Through the example of David Cronenberg's cinema and my own practice I aim to demonstrate how the gaze of the viewer and the active gaze of the on-screen characters is repositioned from focusing on the female body to the male. In this way the male character comes to occupy the liminal space between active subject and passive object in relation to the gaze. Furthermore within this thesis and within my current work Window Loop the question is raised about the truth-telling status of the camera as visual information captured and exhibited. It is my assertion that film always distorts reality, in that information becomes framed and manipulated both to create a context and for ideological purposes, as a consequence the voyeur's gaze within the mediated environment is always susceptible to misperception.

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