Traversing one's space: Photography and the feminine

Document Type

Book Chapter


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communications and Arts




Allmark P. (2009). Traversing One’s Space: Photography and the féminine. In: Backhaus G., Murungi J. (eds) Symbolic Landscapes. Springer, Dordrecht


This chapter explores differences in masculine and feminine comportments and how these styles of enactment become encultured and objectivated in the art of photography. The project of constructing/apprehending reality through photographic art has as much to do with imagined spatiality as with the perceptual. Imagining involves the virtual body—the ability to consider alternatives. In order to break away from the masculine hegemony in the photographic art, the feminist photographer, sensitive to the differences in masculine and feminine body schema, attunes herself to the felt experiences of feminine embodiment, eschewing the body schema that traditionally binds photographic art to the masculine. The body schema and the virtual body involve a tensional dialectic that constitutes the imagining body. So the feminist photographer attunes herself to feminine embodied resonances and through the virtual body considers alternatives resulting in the imagined enactment of spatiality that become the photograph. Masculine alternatives are not resonant with the feminine body schema and so are not selected. The photograph provides a fine example of the intertwining of the perceptual and the imagined and the author provocatively articulates what we might label as “the gendered landscape.” Photographie féminine allows for the exploration of the spatiality (geographicity) of feminine symbolizations.




Link to publisher version (DOI)