Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki 2006

Vikuroivia vilkaisuja

Ruumis, sukupuoli, seksuaalisuus ja visuaalisen kulttuurin tutkimus

Annamari Vänskä

Väitöskirja, syyskuu 2006.
Helsingin yliopisto, humanistinen tiedekunta, taiteiden tutkimuksen laitos, taidehistoria.

The PhD dissertation "Bucking Glances: On Body, Gender, Sexuality and Visual Culture Research" consists of theoretical introduction and five articles published between 2002-2005. The articles analyze the position of visual representations in the processes of knowledge production on acceptable genders, bodies, and sexualities in contemporary Wes¬tern societies. The research material is heterogeneous, consisting of representations of contemporary art, advertisements, and fashion images.

The ideological starting point of the PhD dissertation is the politics of the gaze and the methods used to expose this are the concepts of oppositional gaze, close reading, and resisting reading. The study situates visual representations in dialogue with the concepts of the grotesque and androgyny, as well as with queer-theory and theories of the gaze. The research challenges normative meanings of visual representations and opens up space for more non-conventional readings attached to femininity and masculinity. The visual material is read as troubling the prevailing heteronormative gender system. The dissertation also indicates how visual culture research utilizing the approach of queer theory can be fruitful in opposing and re-visioning changes in the repressive gender system.

The article "A Heroic Male and A Beautiful Woman. Teemu Mäki, Orlan and the Ambivalence of the Grotesque Body" problematizes the concept of heroic masculinity through the analysis of the Finnish artist Teemu Mäki's masochistic performance The Good Friday (1989). It also analyzes cosmetic surgery, undertaken by the French artist Orlan, as a cultural tool in constructing and visualizing the contemporary, com¬mercial ideals of female beauty.

The article "Boys Will Be Girls Will Be Boys Will Be Girls. The Ambivalence of Androgyny in Calvin Klein' Advertisements" is a close reading of the Calvin Klein perfume advertisement One (1998) in reference to the concept of androgyny. The critical point of the article is that androgynous male bodies allow the extension of the categorical boundaries of masculinity and homosexuality, whereas representations of androgynous women feed into the prevailing stereotypes of femininity, namely the fear of fat.

The article "See-through Closet: Female Androgyny in the 1990s Fashion Images, New Woman and Lesbian Chic" analyzes the late 1990s fashion advertisements through the concept of female androgyny. The article argues that the figures of the masculine female androgynes in the late 1990s fashion magazines do not problematize the dichotomous gender binary. The women do not pass as men but produce a variation of heterosexual desirability. At the same time, the representations open up space for lesbian gazing and desiring.

The article "Why are there no lesbian advertisements?" addresses the issue of femme gaze and desire in relation to heterosexual fashion advertisements from the British edition of the mainstream fashion magazine Vogue. The article considers possibilities for resistant femme visibility, identification, and desire.

The article "Woman, Food, Home. Pirjetta Brander's and Heidi Romo's Works as Bucking Representations of Femininity" analyses the production and queering of heteronormative femininity and family through the analysis of art works. The article discusses how the term queer has been translated into Finnish. The article also introduces a new translation for the term queer: the noun vikuuri, i.e. faulty form and the verb vikuroida, i.e. to buck. In Finnish, the term vikuuri is the vernacular or broken form of the term figure, i.e. figuuri. Vikuuri represents all forms situated outside the norm and the normative.

The title page of the publication

Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.

© Helsingin yliopisto 2006

Viimeksi päivitetty 01.08.2006

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