Thursday, 31 October 2013

RESEARCH: CONSUMERISM - WONDERBRA ADVERT

Whilst researching for the consumerism study task, I came across this article whilst looking for information on the Eva Herzigova advert (1994). It was also featured in Helen's lecture on The Gaze and The Media. 



The entre article can be found here.


"The ad sparked a sensation when it was unveiled in 1994 and was blamed for stopping traffic and causing accidents as commuters stared at the huge roadside posters.

The Herzigova 'Hello Boys' ads propelled her to stardom around the world, making her a household name.

Now the advert has won a public vote as the favourite 'iconic' advertising image in a poll by the Outdoor Media Centre, the trade body for outdoor advertising."

LECTURE 4: THE GAZE AND THE MEDIA

"According to usage and conventions which are at last being questioned but have by no means been overcome - men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themsleves being looked at" - Berger, 1972, Ways of Seeing

Women were said to bring around the gaze.

Hans Memling
'Vanity' 1484

The painting reflects the pleasure of the man painting a woman, but gives her a mirror to look at herself, concluding that it's okay to look at her. In 1485 there was a statue placed by the church reflecting women as witches, and showing that women could be killed for being so. This shows the position of women in society at the time.


Mirrors have been used in fashion photography too, showing the gaze. This gives us a position as a viewer to view the photo in which ever manner is deemed correct at the time, without any interruptions or uses.

Alexandre Cabanel 
'Bring on Venus' 
1863


The subject here has no interference with her gaze. The position she is lying in shows the openness of her sexuality.



Sophie Dahl for YSL. The body positions here show reference to the two pantings above with sexuality, the gaze and the position of the hands. The way she is positioned leaves the audience gazing back at her. The image has been flipped to show different angles enhancing and reducing sexual appeal.

Manet 
'Olympia'
1863

The subject was a prostitute opposed to a figure of feminity such as Venus. Manet is celebratng the powerful, female figure showing jewelrry on her hands and the position of her hands, which shows sexuality as well as modesty. The male figure shown is refleting her gaze.

Ingres
'Le Grand Odalisque' 
1814

The image below shows a body position reflected in an advert below. This shows a more modest view of the female body, which is replicated below, asking "do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum'?



Jeff Wall
'Picture for Women'
1979

The male gaze is shown here whilst the women remains in a stationary position  By her looking at the mirror/camera it directs the gaze of the image whilst the male cuts into the image of the scene.



Coward, R.
1984
Essay

The camera in contemporary media has been put to use an an extension of the male gaze at women on the street.

"The profusion of images which characterises contemporary society could be seen as an obsessive distancing of women"

- Objectification


In 1991, Eva Herzigova shows no gaze which means the viewer can look at her body. The first advert like this at the time, was placed on billboards and stopped traffic as a result.


Objectification can also be seen with male models and imagery. Often males are shown as asleep or with their eyes shut allowing us to gaze over him as a viewer. This is not as common as female objectification however has become popular with time.


There are examples where the male body is objectified in a similar way.
The issue of male objectification is often raised in gender classes that I have taught. I have heard many men and women suggest that men are now equally objectified in popular culture. Many a people have focused on the Lucky Vanos ads of years past as a sign of advertisers recognizing the desire of women to objectify men in our society. But what is really happening in advertising? Can men be objectified as women? If so, in what frequency is objectification present in ads? The Ads: Consider the number of ads presented in this male trope as compared to other examples of female objectification. It is interesting that when I first began the Web site many years ago, the number of ads in this exhibit were small. Today, there are nearly 60 such ads.
Dr Scott A Lucas (genderads.com)


Where did the gaze come from?


Laura Mulvey did not undertake empirical studies of actual filmgoers, but declared her intention to make ‘political use’ of Freudian psychoanalytic theory (in a version influenced by Jacques Lacan) in a study of cinematic spectatorship in narrative Hollywood cinema.

She found that when being filmed, certain parts of the female body were shot closer than others, reflecting the narrative and act as reactive and passive parts of the film.

Mulvey notes that Freud had referred to (infantile) scopophilia - the pleasure involved in looking at other people’s bodies as (particularly, erotic) objects. 
In the darkness of the cinema auditorium it is notable that one may look without being seen either by those on screen by other members of the audience. 
Mulvey argues that various features of cinema viewing conditions facilitate for the viewer both the voyeuristic process of objectification of female characters and also the narcissistic process of identification with an ‘ideal ego’ seen on the screen. She declares that in patriarchal society ‘pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female’ (Mulvey 1992, 27). 

Artemisia Gentileschi, 
"Judith Beheading Holofernes"
1620
Featured in Griselda Pollocks 'Old Mistresses'
Much of her work is about making women recognised by repositioning the body.men not o

Two women are trying to cut off a man's head on a bed. Artemisia Gentileschi's Judith Beheading Holofernes shows a famous Biblical assassination. The sword-woman is Judith, a Jewish lady. The other woman is her maid, Abra. Their victim is Holofernes, the Assyrian general.

Judith has got into his tent and got him deeply drunk. To judge from his naked body in the sheets and from her slipped dress, she's got him into bed too, before he passed out and they could get to work. Gentileschi pays attention to her story.

And now the drunk man has woken in the middle of their attack. Candlelight reveals the tight, desperate wrestling of limbs. Judith, she with the blade, is keeping herself at arm's length, partly, as her pursed, slightly averted face suggests, out of a revulsion from the disgusting though necessary job (how many heads has she cut off before?); partly to stay out of the fight, so far as this is possible, because both her hands are needed for leverage, grasping his head by the hair, pushing the blade through his neck.

Abra meanwhile tries to hold him down. Her calm and beautiful face is directly above him, looking straight down on to him. Her efficient hospital gestures restrain his thrashing body. They indicate her perfect managing indifference to this creature's battle for life. But both women are ruthless. Judith is disposing of a rat. Abra is drowning kittens.

There is plenty of sensation to enjoy, the blood-stained sheets, the flesh. But Gentileschi's emphasis is on how hard it is, how long it can take, to kill someone. She stresses the hows and difficulties. The strain and strength in Judith's parallel arms, driving the sword through spine and gristle, is evident. The visual confusion of plunging arms and gripping hands – whose is whose? – mimics Abra's trouble keeping control of the man, holding one arm down while another breaks free.

This violence, in other words, is violent. This outcome is clear, probably imminent, the cut is almost through, the head will come free. But that's not how the picture makes you feel. There is no sense of a clean gesture, a chop. They're in the thick of it, the carving blade still in the neck, their bodies tangled with his like lovers. The killers are intimately implicated in their murder.

This killing isn't pictured as a heroic deed, a sword raised to strike, a head raised as a trophy. It's an ongoing business, which never seems to end. Muori, dannato! Muori!, as Tosca cries in the opera: Die, damned one! And in this painting, the struggle continues.

Cindy Sherman, 1977-79

The photograph is taken more portrait than with the model laying down, creating a softer gaze with the body position, facial expression and with her hand raised up to the side of her face. No reflective gaze.
Barbra Kruger
1981
Women artists whose work challenges the male gaze.



Reference to voilence, it's not violent but challenges the idea of looking at the female body with the word 'hit' being used.

Sarah Lucas
Eating a Banana
1990


Reflecting the male gaze with sexuality and aggression.

Sarah Lucas
Self Portrait with Fried Eggs
1996

Reflects the idea of the male gaze and being 'flat chested' opposed to looking overtly feminine.



Caroline Lucas was asked to stick to the dress code if she wished to continue the debate.



Green MP Caroline Lucas has been told to cover up a T-shirt displaying the slogan "No More Page Three" in large lettering during a Commons debate.
She wore the white T-shirt at the start of a debate on media sexism.
Chairman of the session, Labour's Jimmy Hood, interrupted her and told her to "put her jacket back on" and comply with Westminster's dress code.
Ms Lucas picked up a copy of The Sun and waved Page Three, but said she would comply with the ruling.
She added: "It does strike me as a certain irony that this T-shirt is regarded as an inappropriate thing to be wearing in this House, whereas apparently it is appropriate for this kind of newspaper to be available to buy in eight different outlets on the Palace of Westminster estate."
During the debate, the MP for Brighton Pavilion argued The Sun newspaper's Page Three, which features topless models, should be consigned to the "rubbish bin where it belongs". 


Lucy-Ann Holmes, who founded a campaign to end the publication of topless "Page 3 Girls" in The Sun newspaper last year, told the BBC that while she had also received death threats, she had not been subject to the level of "sustained attack" experienced by Ms Criado-Perez.

"I'd say it's a constant undercurrent, when women write about feminist issues or are exposed in a lot of media for speaking out about sexism they tend to get a barrage of abuse and threats," she said. (www.bbc.co.uk)



Campaign to represent women on British Currency opposed to using Winston Churchill.


Elizabeth (Betsy) Fry (21 May 1780 – 12 October 1845), née Gurney, was an English prison reformer, social reformer and, as a Quaker, a Christian philanthropist. She has sometimes been referred to as the "angel of prisons".
Fry was a major driving force behind new legislation to make the treatment of prisoners more humane, and she was supported in her efforts by the reigning monarch. Since 2001, she has been depicted on the Bank of England £5 note.

Criado-Perez argued that as the Equality Act 2010 commits public institutions to end discrimination.

She received up to 50 threats a day via Twitter including threats to rape and murder.
Although she reported the abuse police lost evidence and she was forced to delete her account.

Caroline Criado-Perez (born 1984) is a British journalist and feminist activist. She has been involved in high profile campaigns for women to gain better representation in the British media.

Mary Beard- eminent classicist, The Guardian's Hadley Freeman, the Independent's Grace Dent and Time magazine's Catherine Mayer all said they had received identical bomb threats on Wednesday.

As a result they now use the 'report abuse button'


With the removal of Liz Fry from the British currency, it also appears women are trying to be pushed out of history. For example, above shows the British win which everyone was waiting for, whilst a female won several years ago (seen below).


Social Networking is used to perpetuate the male gaze/ the gaze of the media. 


The body is broken into fragments-could be any female.

Plays on teenagers body consciousness, potentially carrying those  perceptions into adult life.

Socia Networking allows the male gaze to form opinion and force on the women of today's society.







Facebook normalises voyeurism.
Male or female posting doesn’t matter.
One hundred and 93 thousand young people ‘like’ or relate to this image.
Media and male gaze are one , as Rosalind Coward says in ‘The Look’



Paparazzi images steal shots for personal financial gain.
The publication of these shots creates a market for their passive consumption (mags and newspapers).
We contribute to the perpetuation of this cycle buy buying the mags, we create the market for our own voyeuristic pleasure.
Our desire is to see the mask of celebrity lifted, and ordinary life exposed.. This is thought to be what ultimately what killed Princess Diana.





Everything which happens to the character of Truman, proves to be a scam, and a set-up, staged to show his life as he grows up. 

Big Brother and other reality-style shows, reflect the gaze in the wort way possible, showing ourselves as the peeping tom. Encapsulates the way men and women want to be looked at due to the gaze.



Male females to gaze upon.
Chair is designed for maximum exposure
Voyeurism becomes everyday
Original idea was that all would be exposed but ten years on we accept that the programme is edited.
Fantasy that they cannot see us but they are constantly picturing themselves, in mirrors etc and speculating about how the public wil percieve them (they are professionally aware of this)
They know the premise of the show and the viewing figures.
They effuse to be looked at ness.
Ultimate passive viewing experience.  




From Thinking Photography.
As the next generation of image makers, the power of representation lies with you. Alternatives /challenges to the Gaze.


Monday, 28 October 2013

IDENTITY SEMINAR

Identity:


You can't escape your own identity. This is essentialism or an essentialist way of thinking; for example personalities and characteristics are pre determined when born through their genetic make-up.

An anti-essentialist thinking is one which is adapted more often today in modern society. So for example, your characteristics are shown through modern day upbringing and society around us.

Identity and digital identity has changed through the past decades. Through this you can become someone entirely different with a new personality and identity. This is sometimes referred to as Escapism. Digital medias have made it easier and more appealing to promote the idea of identity, that people place more thought and attention into their 'alter egos', This is used through programmes such as 'second life'.  This has been commodified by consumerism and capitalism. 

Identity has become more fluid, and becomes more unstable with time goes on. We can constantly and endlessly reinvent ourselves. 

Identity and 'the Other' in visual representation:

Concept of Otherness. What makes us think we are what we are? And how we do this in the relation to the rest of society?

- Creation of Identities
- Concept of 'Otherness'
- Analysis of Visual Example.

Who we are, and how others perceive who we are.

Identity Creation; What Makes You, You?
Physical and Social Dialectic elements make up the topic of Identity. 

Clothes
Hair Cut/Colour
Moaning Level
Personality
Job
Marital Status & Conventions
Family
Friends
Education - State vs Private, Higher Education, etc. Depends on class/social status/location/skill set.
Wealth
Likes and Dislikes
Experiences
Bedroom & Interiors
Pets
Origin & Heritage
Religion
Political Views
Nicknames
Parents/Socialisation (Institutions and framework)
Environment/Era - People view differently due to the context or era to which they're born in. Societies and environments change with time periods and eras, for example 1920s - Present.
Diet - Alters Body Image and Health - "You are what you eat". People's bodies are being commodified to the people which buy them. Eating and diet also affects diet.
Physical and Social Effects

In our day-to-day life, how do we show who we are?:

Hair
Make-Up, Jewellery, Tattoos, Piercings
Clothes, Brands, Fashion - Fashion is an expression and a barrier at the same time. 
Verbal Language
Body Language
Etiquette and Manners
Talking and Listening
Transport
Materialistic Items/Possessions
Knowledge
Personality
Communication
Money and Brands - Relative to clothing and fashion.
Mannerisms - Easily gets hidden in consumer society
Accent - Adapting identity to fit in with codes etc
Hobbies and Interests
Who you are associated with on a day to day basis; friends, colleagues etc.
Laws and legality.

What we are sometimes trying to put across, is not necessarily what is received through subcultures and pre-dertermined stereotypes. 

All of the above examples fall into 'Subjectivity' - our sense of ourselves which is complex and un easy to pin down. It is a complex, multi determined ideology, which has been given to use by society.

Culture is the framework within which our identities are formed, expressed and regulated. The diagram below shows the limitations and factors of society which give us our representation as an individual identity. Identity is a complex idea which is relfected through the diagram, it isn't enough to just say our identity is about our jobs, possessions etc. It is a multi-determined, interlinked idea which needs to be understood throughly before making judgements. 

The Circuit of Culture - Stuart Hall



Identity Formation:
Psychoanalyst - Jaques Lacan

- Sense of self (subjectivity) built on receiving views from others
- But this subjectivity is based on an illusion of wholeness and independence.
- The 'Hommelette' (French for Man, mixed up parts of identity) and The 'Mirror Stage' were founded by Lacan.
You have no perception of yourself as a separate being. 

'The Mirror Stage' is primarily known between 6-18 months old. It is the first stage in realising identity. We gain a sense of who we are by the outsiders reaction of to who we are. This makes us individuals and independent. 

Sense of self subjectivity is built on:

- an illusion of wholeness 
- receiving views from others

Result = Own subjectivity is fragile.

We are always searching for security and subjectivity causing a non-stable identity which can change day to day.

Constructing the 'Other':
Problems: relies on the assumption of opposition and radical otherness.

We measure ourselves against others as what we are not, or what we are. 

In the same way that we create our own identities, in opposition to what we are not, so does a society.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

LECTURE 3: IDENTITY

In today's lecture we will be introduced to the following theories and concepts:


• To introduce historical conceptions of identity
• To introduce Foucault’s ‘discourse’ methodology
• To place and critique contemporary practice within these frameworks, and to consider their validity
• To consider ‘postmodern’ theories of identity as ‘fluid’ and ‘constructed’ (in particular Zygmunt Bauman)
• To consider identity today, especially in the digital domain

There are different theories of identity:

• ESSENTIALISM (traditional approach)
• Our biological make up makes us who we are.
• We all have an inner essence that makes us who we are.
• POST MODERN THEORISTS DISAGREE
• Post-Modern theorists are ANTI-ESSENTIALIST

Phrenology:

Helps read identity and who are you, by looking at parts of the brain. 

Cesare Lombroso (1835 – 1909) – Founder of Positivist Criminology – the notion that criminal tendencies are inherited

Physiognomy: 
These were often to made up to show a perfect person within society at the time. A scientific reading for criminology also, shown below:

The more diagonal the line, the less intelligent you are said to be.

The Nazi's around this time was given an ideal of blonde hair and blue eyes.This was around the time when they were seen as superior by their followers.

Below this shows evolution as such with superiority, showing how the African traits changed more to Irish-British over time.

Shows animalistic mentality.

 
Hieronymous Bosch (1450 - 1516)
Christ carrying the Cross, Oil on panel, c. 1515

This painting gives the idea that Jews were responsible for the death of Christ.


This image gives the idea, that the Virgin Mary wasn't blue eyes and blonde hair such as the european stereotype portrayed usually. Caused uncertainty and uproar.

Historical Phrases of Identity:

Douglas Kellner – Media Culture: Cultural Studies, Identity and
Politics between the Modern and the Postmodern, 1992

• Pre Modern identity – personal identity is stable – defined by long standing roles
• Modern identity – modern societies begin to offer a wider range of social roles. Possibility to start ‘choosing’ your identity, rather than simply being born into it. People start to ‘worry’ about who they are
• Post-modern identity – accepts a ‘fragmented ‘self’. Identity is constructed

Pre-Modern Identity:

Institustions determined identity.
For example, Marriage, The Church, Monachy.. 

‘Secure’ identities:


 This shows the related institutional agency with vested interest.

Farm-worker ……….  landed gentry
The Soldier  …….  The state 
The Factory Worker…  Industrial capitalism
The Housewife……  patriarchy
The Gentleman….  patriarchy
Husband-Wife (family)…..  Marriage/church


Involves hierarchies and class systems which allows little room for variation.

Modern Identity: 19th and early 20th C.

Charles Baudelaire – The Painter of Modern Life (1863)
Thorstein Veblen – Theory of the Leisure Class (1899)
Georg SimmelThe Metropolis and Mental Life (1903)

Gustave Caillebotte (1848 - 94),
Le Pont de l’Europe, 1876

Baudelaire – introduces concept of the ‘flaneur’ (gentleman-stroller).
Veblen – ‘Conspicuous consumption of valuable goods is a means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure’

No equality shown between men and women, this came later on through protests in the 1970s.

It is said that by what you're wearing, within specific classes, that this is relative for not being a worker/being well off etc.

Gustave Caillebotte (1848 - 94),
Paris Street, Rainy Day, 1877


Simmel Theory:
• Trickle down theory
• Emulation
• Distinction
• The ‘Mask’ of Fashion

This image shows that the high classes, and fashion conscious would be allowed into the city centre, where the upper classes and status' were, showing wealth. The lower classes wanted to be the upper classes, and kept them separate with the trickle down theory - fakes, knock off, looking like the upper classes, then they want something new. The process then repeats itself, so those in the know with money always have something new. 

   ‘The feeling of isolation is rarely as decisive and intense when one actually finds oneself physically alone, as when one is a stranger without relations, among many physically close persons, at a party, on the train, or in the traffic of a large city’ - "Geroge Simmel"
Simmel suggests that: because of the speed and mutability of modernity, individuals withdraw into themselves to find peace
He describes this as ‘the separation of the subjective from the objective life’

Post-Modern Identity:
'Discourse Analysis' - identity is constructed out of the discourses culturally available to us. This led to the notion of stereotypes and drawing stereotypes of other people.

What is discourse:
‘… a set of recurring statements that define a particular cultural ‘object’ (e.g., madness, criminality, sexuality) and
provide concepts and terms through which such an object can be studied and discussed.’ Cavallaro, (2001) 

Possible Discourses:
Age
Class
Gender
Nationality
Race/ethnicity
Sexual orientation
Education
Income
Etc.

Discourses to be considered:

Class
Nationality
Race/ethnicity
Gender  and sexuality  

Class:

To place yourself within a certain class, it is important to understand the other classes' around you and how and where
you would suitably fit.

Stereotypical Northern Pub; Men's fashion, flat caps, etc and drinking bitter.


Humphrey Spender/Mass Observation, Worktown project, 1937

The Worktown Project was carried out in Bolton as a mass obersvtion looking at different ways of live, different classes and different ideals of stereotype.




Martin Parr, New Brighton, Merseyside, from The Last Resort, 1983 - 86

Martin Parr photographs typical British lives, and how citizens carry out their day-to-day lives. He photographs them in such a way that it's slightly condescending to the audience. It also mocks the classes above them.

Martin Parr, Ascot, 2003

‘ “Society” …reminds one of a particularly shrewd, cunning and pokerfaced player in the game of life, cheating if given a chance, flouting rules whenever possible’
Bauman (2004), Identity, page 52

Nationality:


Martin Parr, Sedlescombe, from
Think of England, 2000-2003 






Martin Parr, Think of Germany,
Berlin, 2002 

Shows stereotypes of England and Germany, with slight playfulness and innuendo.


‘Much of the press coverage centred around accusations of misogyny because of the imagery of semi-naked, staggering and brutalised women, in conjunction with the word “rape” in the title. 
But McQueen claismed that the rape was of Scotland, not the individual models, as the theme of the show was the Jacobite rebellion’.
Evans, C. ‘Desire and Dread: Alexander McQueen and the Contemporary Femme Fatale’ in Entwistle, J. and Wilson, M., (2001), Body Dressing, Oxford, Berg, page 202




‘I didn’t like Europe as much as I liked Disney World.  At Disney World all the countries are much closer together, and
they just show you the best of each country.  Europe is more boring.  People talk strange languages and things are dirty.
Sometimes you don’t see anything interesting in Europe for days, but at Disney World something different happens all the time, and people are happy.  It’s much more fun.  It’s well designed!’


Race/Ethnicity:

Chris Ofili No Woman, No Cry 1998 


References to African culture, Bob Marley lyrics and Rastafarian colours. The painting is created with cow dung as a stereotypical statement. How often is black culture mentioned?


Chris Ofili, Captain Shit and the
Legend of the Black Stars , 1994

This painting shows his interest with superheros and the lack of black ones. Hence the superhero created above, also painted in cow dung.

Gillian Wearing, from Signs that say what you want them to say
and not signs that say what someone else wants you to say, 1992 - 3

Is this dumbed down or is it taken to the lowest value, comparing the idea that black men are well endowed. The way they think doesn't come across with how they look aesthetically.



Alexander McQueen, It’s A Jungle Out There
collection, Autumn/Winter 1997 - 8

McQueen was in trouble for the animal aesthetics placed within the imagery above. Shows identity between black supremacy and ethnicity.

Titian, Saint Mary Magdalene, c.1532

Red hair, is this a comment on prostitution. Empowered by having red hair, opposed to being mocked. 



‘Hair has been a big issue throughout my life… It often felt that I was nothing more than my hair in other peoples’ eyes
Emily Bates, Textile Designer/Artist. Above is a dress made out of the designers hair.

This was designed by Emily Bates as a come back to identity and hair colour issues.

Gender & Sexuality:

It was stated that Fashion is predominantly female, opposed to a male industry/culture. 
‘Edmund Bergler, an American psychoanalyst writing in the 1950s, went much further, both in condemning the ugliness of fashion and in relating it to sex.  He recognised that the fashion industry is the work not of women, but of men.  Its monstrosities, he argued, were a “gigantic unconscious hoax” perpetrated on women by the arch villains of the Cold War –male homosexuals (for he made the vulgar assumption that all dress designers are “queers”).  Having first, in the 1920s, tried to turn women into boys, they had latterly expressed their secret hatred of women by forcing them into exaggerated, ridiculous, hideous clothes
Wilson, E. (1985), Adorned in Dreams: Fashion and Modernity, London, I.B. Tauris, page 94


Cover of La Garconne, by Victor Marguerite, 1922,
and ‘Garconne’ in dress by Welly Soeurs, c. 1926

It would of been shocking in 1922, with the model revealing her legs for the camera/audience.

Below is Cindy Sherman showing the mask of femininity. 

Women are still seen as a minority within most industries such as design.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Stills, 1977 - 80

Gillian Wearing, Lynne, 1993 - 6
T-shirt states "I might not be great but I have great breasts" ironic with the 'wet t-shirt' style photograph.
Sexualising adverts with femininity or the female figure. 





Wonderbra Ad, 1990s

Sam Taylor-Wood, Portrait
(Fuck, Suck, Spank, Wank), 1993.  

Photographer here address issues between men and women, by placing herself in the photography, rather than hiring a female and objectifying them compared to men. 

The Post-Modern Condition: Liquid Modernity and Liquid Love

• Identity is constructed through our social experience.
• Erving Goffman The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959)
• Goffman saw life as ‘theatre’, made up of ‘encounters’ and ‘performances’
• For Goffman the self is a series of facades 

We take on different personalities, identities and perform in different ways in different situations, social situations and classes etc..

Zygmunt Bauman - Writer and Lecturer at Leeds Met Uni.

‘Yes, indeed, “identity” is revealed to us only as something to be invented rather than discovered; as a target of an effort, “an objective”’ 

Books written: 

Identity (2004)
Liquid Modernity  (2000)
Liquid Love (2003)


‘In airports and other public spaces, people with mobile-phone headset attachments walk around, talking aloud and alone, like paranoid schizophrenics, oblivious to their immediate surroundings.
Introspection is a disappearing act. Faced with moments alone in their cars, on the street or at supermarket checkouts, more and more people do not collect their thoughts, but scan their mobile phone messages for shreds of evidence that someone, somewhere may need or want them.’
Andy Hargreaves (2003), Teaching in the Knowledge Society: Education in the Age of Insecurity, Open University Press, page 25





Rene Descartes
(1596 – 1650),
Enlightenment
Philosopher:
‘I think therefore I am’ (Discourse on Method, 1637)

Barbara Kruger, I shop therefore I am, 1987


This was adapted by Barbra Kruger through her juxtaposed work. She took Descartes philosophies and updated it by referring it to modern day issues such as shopping. 

Superficial identities created by the things we own and buy:

Barbra Kruger, Selfridges Shopping Centre, 2006.
In store advertising for a sale.
Consumerism.

“The typical cultural spectator of postmodernity is viewed as a largely home centred and increasingly solitary player who, via various forms of ‘telemediation’ (stereos, game consoles, videos and televisions), revels in a domesticated (i.e. private and tamed) ‘world at a distance’”
Darley (2000), Visual Digital Culture, p.187



“The notion ‘you are who you pretend to be’ has a mythic resonance.  The Pygmalion story endures because it
speaks to a powerful fantasy: that we are not limited by our histories, that we can be recreated or can recreate
ourselves... Virtual worlds provide environments for experiences that may be hard to come by in the real”

Sherry Turkle (1994), Constructions and Reconstructions of the Self in Virtual Reality
‘In the brave new world of fleeting chances and frail securities, the old-style stiff and non-negotiable identities
simply won’t do’
Bauman (2004), Identity, page 27


‘ “Identity” is a hopelessly ambiguous idea and a double-edged sword.  It may be a war-cry of individuals, or of the communities that wish to be imagined by them.  At one time the edge of identity is turned against “collective pressures” by individuals who resent conformity and hold dear their own ways of living (which “the group” would decry as prejudices) and their own ways of living (which “the group” would condemn as cases of “deviation” or “silliness”, but at any rate of abnormality, needing to be cured or punished’
Bauman (2004), Identity, page 76