FKW : Zeitschrift für Geschlechterforschung und visuelle Kultur
Year of publication
Starting with the Fly, Yoko Ono’s video from the early 1970s, this article compares a feminist reading of the 1970s/80s with a performative, new materialist reading as developed since the 1990s. Whereas feminist art and media theories center on psychoanalytical concepts such as the gaze and the disavowal of the female/maternal body, new feminist materialism takes the body – the one represented in the image and in the viewer’s body – as concrete, material co-processors provoking and stimulating a desire in motion. Whereas the 1970s understood the image as a chain of signification (and real women not fitting the concept of the WOMAN), the new reading goes beyond any semantic-linguistic interpretation. Today, a “philosophy of feeling” (Susanne Langer) focussing on movement, materiality, touch and sensation, meets the old anxieties of the 1970s where woman, body, feelings came along with nature – and nature was the pure opposite of the male logos ruling the world, producing knowledge, and governing policy.
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