Amelia Jones: Lecture Review #1

Janeesa Jeffery

4/27/12

Lecture Review #1

Amelia Jones

Queer Feminist Durationality: The Trace of the Subject in Contemporary Art

I went to one of the visiting scholar series in Hale and went to listen to Amelia Jones talk about Queer feminist durability. Amelia is professor and Grierson Chair in Visual Culture at McGill University, Montreal. She has written on contemporary art and on feminist, queer and anti-racist approaches to visual culture. Jones believes that the performance power of art to play out gender is a very useful tool as a framework to offer new ways to consider images as enactments with embodied subjects rather than inanimate objects with the use just for men’s viewing pleasure.

When Amelia came to visit and giver her lecture I found a lot of things interesting about this subject considering that I am a female. She stated, “Queer Feminist Durationality focuses on the recent art practices that imply a new theory of identification in relation to visuality. It draws on feminist strategies significant of gender/sexual formations, maintaining a politics relating to specific coalitional concerns, but keeps in play a range of potential meanings.”

Amelia talked a lot about how in art the female body is objectified in relation to the body being naked. There was a photo of a woman holding a gun with her legs opened, in which it showed a sense of exposure and vulnerability. The obsession with artists showing women in this way is used with the term fetishism. Feminist cunt art can play around with this fetishism in which it likes to objectify the entire female body the most. “We have seen the empirical extreme of time in the world is human desire” (Alexondre Kojeve). Some key terms that she listed for this subject were durational, intersectionality, and latency. Queer feminist have potential for doing something through interpretation where art means the expression of the individual. She also talked about post World War I and how art switched to the identities of the individual and intersectionality.  Sex and gender is articulated in relative to numerous identifications and of all identifications of self, other, bodies and images.

Overall, I enjoyed the lecture by Amelia especially because It was female based. Females are overlooked most of the time in differentaspects today in society. So, I found it interesting that she talked about the subjectivity of women as well. Most of the images involved women in a position where they were objectified and made pleasurable to the man’s eye. There were also images that were linked towards more queerness and anamorphosis. An example of queer feminist durationality is Opie’s self-portrait nursing in 2004. She looks like a male but is nursing a baby like a woman would as a mother. In the early 1990’s she took photographs for lesbian magazines. Some other artists Jones highlighted were, Tee Corinne, Holdein, Barbara Smith, Valie Export, Judith Barry, Sandy Fitterman, Mira Schor, Donald, and Paul Donald. Most of this art just shows a different way of self-expression, I think performance art, photographs, paintings, drawings all of it are just different forms of displaying ones artistic notions.

One Response

  1. I like how you talked about the objectification of the female body in cunt art. I would have liked to hear a little more how the image of the exposed vagina and spread legs implies vulnerability even when the female is in leather and is holding a weapon. Also I think you should have tried to decode that long statement you quoted in the second paragraph. To me, it seemed that all the cunt art was simply a certain obsession with female vulnerability. I feel this statement was pretentious and ridiculous. I would have liked to hear how you took this statement. Overall a pleasing lecture review.

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