Tayla Jay


“Powerplay” (2018) examines the complex notion of the feminine in the semi-rural suburban town of Camden. Underpinning this work is a systematic representation of eight women in a series of still but moving video portraits that question gender roles and the parameters that define the performance of gender norms. The durational video portraits focus on the potentiality of ‘the male gaze’ as conceptualised by John Berger and Laura Mulvey.

The male gaze implicates the depiction of women in both cinema and traditional artworks to be displayed for male consumption. By subverting the patriarchal politics of the male gaze, this work employs a power shift in its adaption for the suburban woman in her home environment. Durational moving image portraits challenge the traditional concepts of the male gaze that pervades traditional portraiture and cinema, to become destabilised.
As the subjects address their audience, their agency of pose mirrors and contends against the concepts of the male gaze as noted by Mulvey and Berger in order to dismantle the patriarchal politics its theories support.