Monday, 27 February 2012

Reconstructing the Gaze - Midweek Features - 06/01/2012

This week’s collection has been inspired by an image by ©
Rosy H entitled Deconstructing the Gaze

As Rosy points out along with this image, “deconstructing” and “the gaze” are familiar terms amongst feminist theorists. Whether “the gaze” sees/seeks the elements it finds beautiful, such as faces, bodies…, the models often portray a body that is overly thin, and at times unhealthy. Without digressing into the tainted portrayal of woman’s beauty, I’d like to explore this idea of “the gaze” from a different perspective, one reminiscent of many of life’s filters, as well as what molds, activates, or controls them. Since our greatest filter in life is our mind and how we view the world, I began to meditate on the dynamics of mental, emotional, and psychological triggers. What motivates the filter into certain actions? What actions do we put into place intentionally as protective devices, survival mechanisms, or simple strategies for dealing with or avoiding things? What romanticised or fantasised actions have been programmed to shift these filters into autopilot as the first signs (of whatever the vice may be) come into view?

I like what philosopher David B. Allison has to say about feminist deconstruction. Feminist deconstruction from Allison’s viewpoint “signifies a project of critical thought whose task is to locate and ‘take apart’ those concepts which serve as the axioms or rules for a period of thought.”
It’s safe to say then that this form of deconstruction—from a feminist POV—attempts to analyse these universal understandings in order to break down preconceived ideals and/or social impositions by uncovering a clearer picture of the nature and role(s) of women within society.

My goal in this collection is to focus on different dimensions of this phenomenon from the idea of REconstructed thinking, perception, ideals, and do it from the limited scope of view of one artist/writer as it’s filtered through one moment in time. What are the actions and/or thoughts women are driven to in these moments? And as I meditate on where to begin and end on this, I realise the impossibilities in drawing to a close something so profound—a profound I’ve only chipped away a layer of dirt and earth from.

As matters of the mind unfold, it all begins with what we take to heart.

To heart by © Cynthia Lund Torroll
What do you
take to heart
Things that don’t
come apart or
those very things
that do
A line, a curve, the loss of nerve, a tone, a poem, the little known, a face, a trace, a move with grace or
one that leaves no trace
An impossibility after
the cure behind
the cancer
Of a thing imagined happening
or the timing of
Take this here
and hold it there
happy happenstance, the blossoming of glance, a turn without a chance
a personal romance

Is it stamped in permanent, blood-stain coloured ink that she HAD high hopes, or can it still be said that she HAS high hopes?

She had high hopes by © Thelma Van Rensburg

What could it hurt to cling to the wise words of Les Brown: “Shoot for the moon. Then even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

Shooting for the Moon by © lovemexxx

Amongst life’s clutter pile of distractions, can we hear the voice of thoughts and heed its wisdom?

The voice of thoughts by © Dorina Costras

If only it was as easy as finding where the shadow begins in order to trace it back to expose the woman…

Et toi? by © Suu2anne
A woman real
In every sense
And yet perceived
And seen
A silhouette
A mere shadow to that
So take
Your ride
Enjoy your
Infatuation of
Whilst she passes

Listen to the SHE found around you—traces of her can even be found in the littlest of things—and when you catch her voice in the whispering wind, go ahead and allow yourself to get swept up into the breeze and see where it leads.

SHE by © coppertrees

She who guides the Summer in
She who guides the Wind
She who cries the Rain
She who suffers with pain

Isn’t it sometimes a matter of imagining (the endless possibilities of) things into existence?

Imagine by © RobynLee

The Ultimate Question—of course—is: Just how many stairs must a woman climb in order to answer life’s riddles?

In a Dream by © Luisa Zajko
The alder tree stands tall – -
far off in the distance,
in some mind forgotten meadow
of bliss, surrounded by the
brightest of yellow daises
and reflected sunrise – -
providing the picturesque land
with shade while clean, pure water
irrigates the untainted ground.
I’ve climbed thousands of stairs
and circled every lighthouse
with the hope that they’ll
show me the way;
their guiding lights
could only reach so far.
I’d like to shed my skin,
swim in its calm creek,
and dry off with the aid of new sunlight
before I make my way to the alder tree,
yellow daisy in my copper-toned hair.

Ohhhhhh, if only it were as simple as uncovering “the ability to manipulate time and space with a single thought…”

Aflame by © Allison Pearce

Accompanying poem “Aflame”
By Alison Pearce

Aflame, my heart soars across
Dark skies. Gliding past
Pinpoints of light that dance
And flutter. Sparkling chips of gold
Pasted upon liquid silence. Void
Of fear; of anger. Molten dreams
Glitter toward eternity.
Ever flowing.
Ever changing.
Random memories of youth abound.
Belief in magic. The ability to
Manipulate time and space
With a single thought. Purity
As only a child can comprehend;
Lost as knowledge grows and
Instinct wanes. Sparkling colour
Of hope and innocence contained.
Just out of reach, yet so close
And ever present. Star dust musings.
Dance of a fire never quenched.
For it burns with the fuel
Of curiosity. Kindled with joy.
Aflame, my heart soars.

Now, to get past all of those tricky smoke screens and mirrors… What are you waiting for?

Maze Gaze by © Tammera

And hopefully along the journey, the love of self continues to unfold, always leading the way to those greener pastures.

A path unfolding by © Sukwinder Flora
I saw you in me
I saw in you a path unfolding
I saw in you the same fire the burns the heart of the sun
A mental sight embedded with rhythm and a vision
A warrior of light
A pilgrim of the soul
I saw in you something
Unspoken and understood
An ageless mind
Flowing alongside
The all knowing River
Unbound by time
Holding a presence
Of many and one
Of all and none
Reflected shadows
In fragments of your infinity
Unlike the collective
Unafraid of truths,
To forge and find
Your being, becoming
Ten thousand times resurrected
No words to analyse
No words to compare
No words to compromise
Forever undefined
Is the beautifulness of you.
And I dare not speak in fractured tongue
To spill the spell or part from this
Swallowing the bliss of a kiss
Kissing lips, skimming stones
And love, I already knew
That you are everyone and unknown
Housing a sea of souls
Your river of light,
Unwavering and eternal

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