Girls On Film
By Clementine Barnes
About the author:
Clementine Barnes. Artist, beach-lover, cinephile, cyclist. My artistic practice investigates relationships between gender, space, high and low forms of art. I use various methods and materials to draw attention to gender-specific roles and rituals. Not surprisingly, this has influenced my Art Set!
The glance, the gaze.
The point of departure for this Art Set is one of Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Stills, taken between 1977 and 1982. Sherman's various personas take their cues from the celluloid image, particularly B-grade movies and Film Noir. To what extent do you think the mediated image shapes and informs our perception of the female identity? Other works selected for my Art Set follow a similar theme, with some pre-dating the moving image such as the paintings by Gordon and Bijlert. Before movies, painting would have played a similar role in the definition of the feminine.
"What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?"*
A 1963 film directed by Martin Scorsese. You can watch it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWs1SM0xYiI.
Many Dutch 17th century paintings are allegorical. To set the scene, artists would use clothing and props to communicate a moral message. In the above painting by Van Bijlert, the woman is partially exposed, her song book lies open on her lap and she is clasping a flute in her right hand. The rose on the wallpaper behind her is in full bloom and her cheeks are flushed. This series of markers may allude to the woman's position, or standing. Can you think of an art form today that uses a similar visual strategy?