Month: February 2014

The Beach

The Beach

This picture best shows what it means to gaze. The term gaze means to show the relationship of looking in which the subject is caught up in dynamics of desire. This picture shows a man looking out onto the beach and ocean. This is a power image. It shows him by himself gazing into the water. His back is to us because the photographer wants to show exactly what his is gazing at. Why he is gazing could be a number of reasons. He could just like the peacefulness of being at the beach. He could also be asking himself the same question most people ask while at the beach; what’s there in all that water? This photo also shows the respect the ocean should be given. It could easily sweep us away. As the way he is gazing and the way the photographer took the picture is very powerful. He took the picture so we are eye level, almost standing behind him. This view allows us to feel how he feels. It also shows the view of the ocean going on for miles and miles, as far as the eye can see. This photo is perfect for anyone who loves the beach. It captures the beauty and mystique of the ocean and what truly is out there in all of that water. For the viewer gazing on the subject (the man in the photo), the viewer gets a sense of tranquility and peacefulness. The viewer can almost feel the ocean breeze and smell the salty air. In conclusion, this is a very powerful image. It captures multiple senses like sight, smell, and feel. It truly shows the respect the ocean deserves and shows the beauty of the beach.


James Dean



This is a photo of James Dean in 1955 taken for LIFE magazine in a spread called “Torn Sweaters.”  James’ gaze is directed right at the viewer.  The object he is looking into is obviously a camera, in which it likewise captures and holds the look of James.  His gaze can definitely be linked to traditional psychoanalytic theory in the sense that his gaze is intimate and can create fantasy.  His head seems to be tilted slightly down given the position of his chin and that can demonstrate desire for control over the object he sees.  Even though James is the object of the look, I still feel he holds more power given his status as a good looking actor.  But the person that is viewing this photo has power in the sense that one can choose to gaze at any section of this photo. 

 James is caught in between the dynamics of desire through trajectories of looking and being looked at among objects and other people.  The spectator (me) looked at James simply because I am fan of him and find him very attractive which created the source of my gaze.  However, James can be seen as a spectator as well in the sense that he is the one looking.




           This ad was released in the beginning of the 2013 golf season to promote Nike products.  It was very controversial as Tiger Woods’ personal affairs had recently been aired all over the media.  I remember when the ad was released, as Tiger had just won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and regained the World #1 ranking for the first time since his personal hiatus. 

                Tiger is known for an intense “poker face.”  Whether he is in the lead or trying to get there, many people say you can see the look in his eyes when he is going to win.  Many ads were created showing this gaze before his big controversy.  For the most part, these ads showed Tiger looking straight at the camera or viewer.  It is very interesting in this ad that Tiger is looking away from the viewer.  His gaze does not look as intense, rather he looks somewhat confused.  His eyes do not have that determination, instead they almost look worried.  This kind of shows how Tiger is not the same as he once was.

                The caption “Winning takes care of everything,” is really what got everyone up in arms.  Many people were saying how if Tiger wins, he will still be viewed as a great player, person, etc.  Spectators are a huge part of professional golf, and these players, especially Tiger are always being viewed in some light.  Tiger’s gaze does not look merely as strong instead, it gives power to the spectator.  He is looking down while the viewer’s eyes go to his face.  This gives more power to the viewer, as a spectator, as it seems Tiger is the one avoiding eye contact.  

Lady Gaga Album Cover

Lady Gaga Album Cover

I have seen this album cover a number of times, but have never truly took the time to truly analyze it until now. The term gaze means in plain and simple terms is to look, but it has more depth than that. Humans are constantly being the subject and the object of gazes.

The book also discusses the term modernity, which basically means being present or keeping up with current times, culture, and trends. Lady Gaga has always held a place under the spotlight with her constantly changing music style and interesting choices in attire. In this photo and in general she has become a human subject in which people all over the world gaze upon.

This image shows Lady Gaga, who is a modern day pop star, with a fixed gaze upon the viewer. This photo in particular plays interesting off of the term gaze. In a way the viewer is the one that studies and gazes at this digital album cover of Lady Gaga. If you look at her face you will see that she is holding a powerful gaze back at the viewer, making her in control of this situation even though she is merely an image in this instance. Her gaze is powerful because of the confident way in which she presents herself in this photo. She is nude yet still modest. She has a stoic expression with her eyes fixed open something. So in a way she too is gazing back at the viewer.

Masculine/Feminine Advertisement

gaze picture

I’m not very familiar with the company that put this advertisement out, but it caught my eye in a major way when I was scrolling through Google Images.  It caught my eye because of the gender roles in the picture and the focus specifically on the power of both genders.  I think that gaze is the best term to use to describe this photo.  Gaze talks about power and focuses specifically on opposites like male/female, black/white, ect. as stated in the book.  There is a defined line of power in this picture.  First of all the way the two people are positioned says a lot.  The woman is higher up on a platform and standing straight up, with her hand on her hip which gives here somewhat of a “cocky” look to her, while the man is down on his knees and almost looks like he’s begging.  The next symbol of power is suggested by the sign the woman is holding up that says “sold” on it.  This in a way, could almost reverse the power role because that sign implies that she can be “bought” which signifies that she doesn’t have much control or power over who or what “buys” or wins her over.  In another way, it can be viewed as the guy was not good enough to win her over and that symbolizes a loss of power.  The spectatorship in this picture I think is directed at women and how maybe dressing nice like the woman in the picture will give them power over men because of how nice they would look with that companies clothes or whatever they sell.

The spectatorship of global issues

I found this image of the recent riots and deaths int he Ukraine …

It shows women holding pictures of protesters killed in the Ukraine in a riot with police officers. The point of view in this image is from slightly below the women’s eyesight, with the silhouette of one woman in the close foreground on the right side of the image (you know she is close because you can only see part of her). All of the other women are looking in the same direction, away from you as the viewer. This gives the viewer the feeling that he or she is standing in the crowd of women honoring the death of these protesters. It puts the viewer right in the middle of the ceremony, making the loses of these protesters seem personal. The viewer can see the pain and grief on the faces of these women because we are physically close to them.

In regards to spectatorship, this image quite literally gives the viewer the sense of their place in a world that is full of such violence and injustice because the point of view of this picture is right in the crowd with those most directly effected by the violence. The gaze of the viewer onto these women shows the power dynamic between the viewer and protesters; the viewer holds the power in relationship to the object in the picture, or these women. But the viewer is also likely to be someone in the Western world that is economically stable and far from the uprisings occurring in the Ukraine. In comparison to these women, the viewer has more agency to protest and do something about these injustices, just as the viewer has more power by being the subject, and not the object. Therefore, the image interpellates the viewer to do something about the violence and uprising; it makes the issue seem more personal and pressing. Therefore, the gaze of the viewer establishes a power dynamic that encourages the viewer to act on these injustices and help the mourning women that are photographed.