At night I dream of medical instruments
I am transforming pieces of my dissertation written last year into a visual representation of my research into the role of gynecology, female sexuality and motherhood in cinema, and its relation to the male gaze. Walter Benjamin describes the director as a surgeon in his book the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction. The intimate relationship between the surgeon and their patient lies at the core of Benjamin’s comparison, as the surgeon while operating is: ‘Penetrating into the patient’s body.” Through my mother’s experiences gynecology was a part of my life when growing up. My memories of my mother’s body, my body, and female bodies in general decide how I see myself and how I will shape myself. The impact of gynecology has passed through generations, the ideas of motherhood, the connections between the gynecologist, the inner workings of my body and my mothers body, and my own sexuality and gynecological issues, lie at the core of my degree show film.
In my research I looked into the use of drape sheets and curtains within cinema. Terri Kapsalis describes a visit to the gynecologist in her book Public Privates, Performing Gynaecology from Both Ends of the Speculum:
'The drape-sheet curtain rises at the hands of t'he physician, dividing front stage from backstage, while the exam spotlight shines on the spectacle. The physician or spectator inserts a speculum and props open a little makeshift stage within a stage. In this space, a parallel drama occurs.’
In the sets I am Using digital prints on fabric, sheer and satin, of inner body like images, taking from ultra sound images that show ovaries with unreachable eggs and little fluid filled sacks that block the way for the fertile eggs to reach the womb, (much like the eggs and sacks of fluid I have inside my body, causing me a lot of trips to the gynecologist), in combination with scanned images of knitted pieces I made, strings knitted together like veins and flesh.
As my consciousness fades the surgeon begins.
As the slate board closes the camera starts rolling.
In Collaboration with:
Director of Photography
1st Assistant Director