[-empyre-] FW: response to question of feminine identity [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Forwarded from Jill Magid


From: Jill Magid [mailto:jill@jillmagid.net] 
Sent: Monday, 18 June 2007 11:58 PM
To: empyre@gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au
Cc: Meziane, Tracey
Subject: response to question of feminine identity

Hi all,

sorry again for the long pause. I want to go back to Stacia and 
Tracey's question about feminine identity and whether on not this
position is considered within the work, or how it is considered.

On a basic level of my work, the systems I generally tend to enter
such as those of state authority (police, surveillance) are generally
imagined as male. This is partly because there often seem
to be men in charge of them, but also of course because the
gaze has been historically defined as male, and modernist. The feminist
perspective has been one of finding other ways of looking, pulling
views into the light, exposing territories that have been obscured.
Using new technologies to enable various or unexplored methods of
looking is  
what brought me to surveillance technology. So this is inherently a
On another level, with performance, I like to use the iconic position of
female protagonist as a kind of cover or disguise. A prescribed identity
that is transformed
in the act of performing. For instance in Evidence Locker
and http://jillmagid.net/EvidenceLocker.php the female protagonist uses
the position of
being the object of the gaze as a platform to confront the system. I do
want this to be a flip of roles but rather a transgression between them,
an equalization. There is an intimacy involved in a gaze moving from
subject to object to a between-subjects. This is the space I am looking


With all this said, I don't set out to construct or
perform a "feminine" identity. These are natural
outshoots of who I am. I just wanted to bring this up
for discussion and ask Jill and Barbara to talk about
how they respond to that part of this month's topic.
Do y'all think of your performance work as "feminine"
in any way? How do notions of the "feminine" drive
your work or bring it to a screeching halt?

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