Symposium “STRANGER LOOKS: THE BODY AND THE GAZE“

On April 14, 2018 Carmen Gray lead a symposium titled “Stranger Looks: The Body and the Gaze”, organized with artist and filmmaker Antoinette Zwirchmayr as part of her exhibition “SECOND NATURE” which took place from April 11 – May 5,2018 in das weisse haus.

The symposium “STRANGER LOOKS: THE BODY AND THE GAZE“ explored how power and desire has conventionally operated through the gaze in cinema. Strategies to look and think differently – to disrupt gendered assumptions and a dominant patriarchal viewpoint, opening up space for new meanings and infinite variations of desire – were sought. Antoinette’s work was a fruitful starting point for such a project, in its insistence that there is strange mystery in the machine that in never being able to be explained away has a latent power to transform received certainties; to offer a wild spectre of escape from the tales that simultaneously define and entrap us. Beguiling stories about the perils of female curiosity are no match for the heady command of the camera-eye, extending the body through a dream-science of control. The speakers offered various ways into the topic in brief talks, some with accompanying short films or clips.

The symposium also included presentations and talks by Claudia Slanar (Curator Blickle Kino & Video Archiv),Beate Hofstadler (Psychoanalyst and film scholar), Wilbirg Brainin-Donnenberg (Curator and director Drehbuchforum) and Rosa John (Cultural scientist and artist).