Lesson title: Women's bodies in feminist art
Idea: Feminist artists have reacted to the male gaze by productin
images defining women's bodies on their own terms
Grade Level: High School
Artists I could focus on include Martha Rosler's 1977 video "Vital
Statistics of a Citizen" in which she was naked with measurements being
taken of her body. Another artist, Eleanor Antin, addressed similar
concerns in her "Carving: A Traditional Sculpture" in which she
photographed herself (front, back, left side, and right side) each
morning of her diet which resulted in a loss of 11 and 1/2 pounds. Both
of these artworks are statements of the impact of societal ideals
imposed on women as result of the male gaze.
Other artists I have thought about teaching are Barbara Kruger, Alice
Neel, Carolee Scheemann, and Hannah Wilke.
One issue that I have really struggled with is how can I show art works
depicting vaginal forms or photos of the female body naked. Or should I
just avoid these images? But, of course, if I do, the statements made
would not be as strong. Any suggestions?
By teaching this lesson, I hope to draw attention to societal ideals
placed on the female body. I want to show alternative views of the
female body in order to improve students self-concepts. Views of the
body is an important issue to deal with in high school because students
are going through puberty and many are expressing themselves sexually
for the first time.
PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE. GIVE ME COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS.