Mapping the Politics of Vision: searching for a transformative gaze

Hugonnier, M. 2021. Mapping the Politics of Vision: searching for a transformative gaze. PhD thesis University of Westminster Westminster School of Arts

TitleMapping the Politics of Vision: searching for a transformative gaze
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsHugonnier, M.

Through this commentary, my intention is to create a coherent rationale to account for my film practice, which is based on, and is the result of, research. This reflective process will draw out the aesthetic and political approaches that I have forged over the last ten years, so as to reveal their singularity.

To do so, I revisit and contextualize four of my film works, which were produced between 2014 and 2018: Apicula Enigma (2014), Desire is Not Much, But Nonetheless (2015), May 13th,1968 (2011) and Cinétracts (2012 – 2018). Their subjects are, respectively, the non-human gaze, the gendered gaze, and the dominant gaze. I demonstrate how these works are an attempt to deconstruct the inherent complicity between the gaze and political ideology and, as such, I outline the profile of an artistic practice that understands filmmaking as being a transformative and seditious act. To reveal this, I elaborate on the position of the author and on the distance between the observer and the observed, which is understood as being a critical space. This leads this commentary to examine how these four films are intended to form a social critique in which the question of gender is at its core. Feminism, gender fluidity, and the anti-colonial and post-human perspectives will be brought forward in order to expose the underlying political outreach of these four works.

This commentary also investigates the relationship between the materiality of film and its illusion – the meaning of the tension produced. The production of film, as well as its reception and exhibition, form a critical space on which this commentary will focus in order to expose the particularity of the processes that were involved in the making of these films.

I will analyse how the politics of vision is the uniting thread of my practice, the goal of which is to deconstruct the cultural frame that informs the gaze in the search for an unalienated and transformative one. My aim, in this commentary, is to reveal the potential of my work, and to understand my position as a woman and my role as an artist, so as to affirm the emancipatory value of my practice and to take it forward.

File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
PublisherUniversity of Westminster
Publication dates
PublishedMar 2021
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

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