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Lesson Plans

A&E.O lesson plan--womens bodies in feminist art

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Aimee LaLonde (lalonde.11)
Thu, 20 Nov 1997 14:02:27 -0500

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I know you are probably sick of seeing lesson plans by now, but if you
could give me any suggestions or comments, I would appreciate it.

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.


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