[-empyre-] Response to Artwork #10: Jemima Stehli - She Looks Back — Jemima Stehli naked, films If Lucy fell, Ze Dos Bois, Lisbon 27/11/09

Helena Haimes hhaimes at gmail.com
Thu Jul 26 12:30:28 AEST 2018

- Initially (as in, for the first few minutes of the film) I wonder why the
camera is on the floor. Has it been discarded or forgotten? Are we secretly
surveilling this band as they rehearse?

- This feels like a meditation/twist on the way gigs are usually
professionally filmed – i.e: from several vantage points in the audience
rather than this intensely and intimately.

- But where is this gaze situated? It mainly feels as if it's at the front
of the audience, in a spot where it's able to ponder on the guitarist's
strumming fingers, the singer's arms and head as he leans into the
microphone. But you'd surely never be able to film a 'real' gig this
calmly, especially one as stonkingly heavy as this.

– For quite some time, it's unclear as to whether the group is alone or
playing to an audience. How set up/directed is this?

- I like the title. "She Looks Back" makes me think of the female gaze, a
woman looking at performing men – their bodies, their actions, their
performances of masculinity.

- I know Stelhi's work is often concerned with female control of male
images, so I'm really viewing this piece with that in mind.

- The title also makes me think of biblical and Greek myth: Orpheus and
Eurydice; Lot's wife. It could also refer to the reenactment of a memory.

Journalist and Critical Writer
*www.helenahaimes.co.uk <http://www.helenahaimes.co.uk>*
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