Sexuation, Spectatorship, Subversion
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Feminine Look shows how the Lacanian concept of sexuation makes possible a new account of the relationship among feminism, psychoanalysis, and spectatorship. Whereas previous studies have tended to ask how spectatorship may be influenced by sexual difference, Jennifer Friedlander asks how particular spectatorial encounters may engender different "sexuated" responses. In so doing, she traces a fresh path through Freud's account of the relationship between visual perception and sexual difference and rereads Freud's fable of castration anxiety, suggesting that sexual identity arises as a response to the symbolic order's indifference to the subject's need for a solid identity. She examines provocative and controversial artistic images by Jamie Wagg, Marcus Harvey, and Sally Mann to demonstrate how images not only create and embody social practices but also precipitate viewer anxieties and pleasures.
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