Where Your Gaze Meets Mine
Where Your Gaze Meets Mine is a collaborative project where femme subjects are empowered to become authors in the image-making process, creating portraits that address the problematic (male) gaze of the past by sharing experiences and authentically representing their bodies and identities.The application of white paint, using a combination of brush strokes, a roller brush, and carefully applied corrective fluid, is both an addition and a removal — simultaneously obscuring parts of the body while adding a painterly sensibility. The technique connects to the tradition of painted portraiture — particularly Renaissance nudes, where problematic representations of femmes as sexualized objects flourished and solidified (with cultural and artistic reverberations we are still feeling today).
The portraits are printed onto transparent fabric and stacked in threes, transforming into one sensuously moving, shifting image. As subtle movements in the air shift the portraits, they come to life for a moment, then flatten again, constantly in flux.
There still much work to do. This is merely the beginning of an ongoing project, and it’s glaringly incomplete without the inclusion of a femmes of all ages, ethnicities, abilities, orientations, and genders (particularly trans femmes). Because if it ain’t inclusive and intersectional, it ain’t shit.
The project has multiple outcomes: a fabric installation and audio piece, a publication, and a short moving image piece.
Indre Hilara Bylaite