Tag Archives: Women

These Breasts are Getting Some Attention

So, my piece about Femen, the Ukranian ‘topless’ protest group, has been up for a couple of months now. And you know what, hits on my blog have shot up. This strikes me as an interesting parallel to Femen’s own method of presentation and protest: using their bodies to draw attention to injustice and gender inequality. When I wrote my piece, and put Herbaut’s portrait of activist, Alexandra Shevchenko, at the top of the page, I was trying to make a useful analysis of the image, reflecting on whether the exposure of the female body can help or hinder a cause. Strangely enough, I wasn’t thinking about internet search hits – but that’s what I got. Loads of them over the last Quarter – along the lines of:

  • naked amazons (38)
  • naked women protesters (7)
  • naked woman breasts (4)
  • playing breasts (4) [Not sure what playing breasts would look like? I’m imagining one breast throwing a ball to the other… no?]
  • femen girls (3) [Something about the term ‘girls’ makes this search particularly creepy and makes me think the searcher(s) missed out on what Femen stand for – womanhood, strength.]
  • real women undressing game (3)
  • super hot naked women showing exposed tits (3) [I quite like the tautology of this one.]
  • female breasts are bigger than ever (2) [Are they indeed?]
  • woman stripped naked and bound (2) 
  • photo of nude breasts on body of young female (2) [Particularly strange – ‘young female’? – almost as if women are a different species. Also like that the breasts are specifically ‘on the body’, you know, just in case you get pics of ones that have fallen off…?]
  • man grabbing woman’s breast (4)
  • beach voyeur woman naked (2)
  • arab woman covered naked (2)
  • egypt girls naked breast (2)
  • half exposed breast clothes (2)
  • female dominant breasts (2)
  • exquisite breasts (2)
  • erotic women body (2)
  • naked tribal women (2)
  • tattooed female bodies naked (2)
  • breasts photography (2)

Well, you get the idea, they go on for ages… many many more, all orientated around the words ‘naked’ and ‘breasts’ and some of them mentioning race or the term ‘tribal’. Although each of these terms aren’t representing that many visits, it’s the sheer number of variations – each one constituting about a couple of hits – that surprised me. Obviously, I have been naive about the power of breasts on the internet.

So, to all those people (and here I’m gonna go with mostly heterosexaul men – shoot me down if you seriously think I’m wrong) – to all those guys who just typed in ‘breast’ and ‘exposed’ and whatever racial / physical profile you fancied taking an ogle at today I want to say a big: HELLO THERE! And to let you know, there are some thoughts about breasts, bodies and women on this blog so please have a read. Unfortunately for you, I have to also tell you, that this is not a porn site.

I’m not someone who believes pornography should be censored – I don’t think it’s intrinsically ‘wrong’. I think there’s some pretty bad imbalances of power within the dominant industry and I find it altogether unappealing and some of it thoroughly disturbing. Culturally; I have big problems, morally; no. But that is for another time, I just want to point out that I find it kind of sad and amusing that these are the hits landing up on the shores of my blog.

All those guys who just rocked up here with a couple of breasts in mind, I would like to ask you, do you read anything on here? Do you just get to the picture of Schevchenko and stop scrolling? I ask because I think it might be an interesting test. As Femen hope to make people aware of injustice and the discrimination women face by exposing their torsos – and indeed they have received a lot of coverage for it – I want to know if their picture on my site communicated any greater message than ‘breasts!’ (or as one searcher quaintly put it, ‘naked boobies’) ? It strikes me as a parallel and related case to Femen’s own position. It also strikes me that images are so much beyond any given person’s control that it seems unlikely that Herbaut’s portrait has reliably conveyed Femen’s message to the world. I’m sure it exists, well detached from context, in many corners of the internet. Even with the context I have provided, it seems that plenty of people are discovering the image without the desire to discover what it might be about.

I don’t claim to have answers to this problem. I would just like to say, that the exposure of the female body is a knife-edge that cuts between power and submission. I don’t know if anyone, at this cultural moment, can fully reverse the symbolism that surrounds the female body and names its exposure as vulnerable, weak and obscene. I expect that very few of the people looking for breasts on my blog scrolled down the page and read anything about Femen and what they stand for and why I think they are subversive. I still think it’s important to try to reverse this limiting symbolism though. I still think that maybe one odd person might have read a little bit about something they weren’t looking for after they hit ‘boobs’ into the search bar. Call me a dreamer, but I don’t see that we’ll get a chance at reshaping images around sex, femaleness and power if we give up on trying to start a conversation with the average male, heterosexual porn consumer.

So, I look forward to welcoming more of them onto my site now that I’ve got all the key search terms up on the front page.

Image Search Hit for ‘non-topless woman’.

Naked Courage: WPP and The New Amazons [Cross-post]


This photo is bound to grab attention, as breasts often do, and FEMEN protesters are clearly playing to that dynamic. However, this photo provides more of a complex presentation of the exposed female torso and one that proves interesting when considering the wider politics of the relentless sexualisation of female bodies whether they be veiled, exposed or neither.

When female breasts are so commonly fetishised in public imagery in ways that seek out the titillation of exposure – in Britain for example, tabloid paper, The Sun, prints a topless woman on page 3 every day- can any one act of protest actually hope to subvert the misogyny and objectification inherent in such an ‘exposure’?

Here’s how Shevchenko and by proxy, Herbaut, attempt to do so:

  • The Stance:  Shevchenko’s pose, with the raised fist, speaks of her mission to teach women to be more assertive.  Shevchenko’s pose, with the raised fist, speaks of her mission to teach women to be more assertive. The figure of the ‘Amazonian’ is a central reference FEMEN utilizes. If the identification is to the “other,” suggesting the marginalization these women feel, it also points to ‘Amazonians,’ in the cultural imagination, as a matriarchal tribe made up of fearsome and fearless women. On the other hand, is it a case of gender politics being careless with racial stereotypes and identification?
  • The Tattoo:  The garland of roses tattooed onto Shevchenko’s side, which depict the headdress she is wearing, act as the perfect sign for the paradox that this act of nudity as protest embodies. The tattoo is both a sign of bodily harm – being an inked in scar – and of strength, or resistance to pain. It shows the way in which her cause is so essential to her it is mapped onto her body and also the way in which her body is her cause. It’s an act done by someone with a clear idea that the visual presentation of her own body is key to her message.
  • The Headdress: Of course the headdress is a reference to the tribal and Amazonian identification. It also hints at the theatrical nature of protest, the way in which the protester takes on a special public identity and performs choreographed acts. This garland of roses, and the brightly coloured ribbons, also suggest femininity, something which the group are keen to use and display rather than deny as some feminist groups in the past have done. It’s the turning around of signs – femininity is seen to equal weakness and vulnerability, but here Shevchenko and FEMEN demand that it equal strength. What could be the crown of a beauty queen is willed to equal the headdress of a tribal warrior.
  • The Location: Herbaut’s choice of location does much to illustrate the group’s context. Shevchenko is depicted in open grassland on the edge of what seems to be a cluster of Soviet style apartment blocks. This speaks of marginalisation as well as the groups Ukrainian and urban environment. The grassy field upon which Shevchenko stands is another clever double symbol representing as it does both marginalisation and the open space of pastoral freedom which is also indicated by the flowered headdress. It reveals a dream of an Eden, a renewed innocence directed at and by the female body, which at the same time is drawn out of a full awareness of what that body means to mainstream culture and how it is exploited.

What this portrait tells us is that much of the time image makers and image consumers view the female body as either exposed or hidden and this is a hot topic (I mean, see all the worry over the fact that the woman in the Winning photo is wearing a burkha). Whether veiled or on display, it becomes clear that these two opposites in fact put the female body within the same continuum as something inescapably defined by sexuality in a way that male bodies are not. (It is worth remembering that if a man walked down the street topless he would not get arrested, and neither would he attract much extra attention at a protest). With this doubly innocent and knowing revelation of the female torso, I think Shevchenko is asking us to realise that the female body is also at times neither exposed nor hidden – it is the human form and as such represents identity, physicality and power.

Whether every audience can be sophisticated enough to understand the turning around of signs; the ways in which ‘weak’ is made ‘powerful’, ‘victim’ is made ‘fighter’, is a difficult matter. FEMEN certainly consider it a risk worth taking in order to finally draw attention to the problems women face in their society. This photograph as a photographic object must undergo the same difficult process of interpretation – is it a kind of pornography or a protest item that has raised the awareness of FEMEN’s cause? It is highly reliant on context. But in a world where the female body is so often used by others, especially through visual media, it is a statement that the members of FEMEN demand to be able to use their own bodies as tools of visual representation to further the cause of women’s equality and welfare. A body to protect a body is a courageous act.

This article originally published on BagNews where it was edited and adapted for the site > Here.

Also, regarding this topic it is well worth checking out Karrin  Anderson’s piece for BagNews : Photo of Woman Stripped by Egyptian Military: Not Shamed, Not a Victim 

In Defence of This Year’s World Press Photo: An Image that is Complex and Conflicting.

Already the World Press Photo of the Year 2012 is causing controversy. Critics are upset with the use of the Pietà. Not only are they saying, “Not again”, they are also noting that Christian imagery is being forced upon Arabic & Isalmic content. And so they should.

But I think there’s more to it than that. Of course, the Pietà is there, of course it causes problems, but what about the other narratives and styles the photograph contains? There is something more unusual about the image. It has a different sensibility to the Renaissance style that people are claiming it to have.
                                                                                                                                                                       First of all, the Christian imagery may be a clash with the content, but it doesn’t drag with it the rest of the baggage you would associate with religified images of suffering. The bare style, the off-centred framing of the pair: they stop this suffering becoming glorious or romantic. There’s something loose about it. This makes it stand out against other pieta-based images like this .
                                                                                                                                                                      To add to this contrast, the aesthetic does not strike me as Renaissance. It seems modernist. It has a dreamlike, surreal quality that speaks of an inner psychology rupturing through to the surface. The faces, swallowed by darkness, the strangeness of the white-gloved hands, the muscular shapes of the jaw and arms: all add to an aesthetic that is more current and more interesting. The angles and shadows are almost cubist. It reminds me of a Francis Bacon portrait in it’s twisting expressiveness.
                                                                                                                                                                  So what does the image tell us about the news story to which it pertains – which, at its widest, is the Arab Spring? First of all, this is clearly a personal image for a wider political context. The personal can often be reductive. Critics are anxious about the stereotypical presentation of the ‘Arab Woman’ – burkha clad, offering comfort to the man. The tension of this stereotype is there. This is indeed not a shot of the ways in which women engaged in and drove the revolution on the ground. On the other hand, the woman looks strong, her grip is fierce. She defines the man’s body. He is an exposed body, she is a force. This is an unusual dynamic and one which makes powerful the woman. Her grip conveys much about the bonds that tie people together and must be essential in retaining an identity in the middle of turmoil, trauma and revolution.
                                                                                                                                                                             So is this slice of the personal reductive? I don’t think so. It’s an insight, a gripping and gripped moment. The body is political ground, and I do not think it is distressing or inaccurate to see these bodies as symbols of a wider national struggle. They have not become dislocated in ways that are glorifying or mystifying. These bodies mean something both about a presented moment and a wider movement and they do so in a conflicting and complex way. Not all is resolved about the identities of the figures but much is communicated. For me, this is an image that conjures up the struggles of gender and of the revolution. The caring role appears not as weak or passive: it is vital and powerful, but all is a sinuous strain on a bodily level and a societal level.
                                                                                                                                                                       When we can recognise that the caring role does not have to be the secondary position, we can see that this image says more than the typical.
                                                                                                                                                                       Of course I am not talking here of the politics of Photography Competitions, or what qualifies an images as ‘better’ than all the other images. I would merely like to say that this image has relevance and power, and that although on the first level it could be said to fall into stereotypes and willed Western prejudices, I think there are more subtle levels upon which to view this image.  To see the other side of the argument, you can read this excellent piece . It’s worth considering all sides, and I am still intrigued to learn and think more.
                                                                                                                                                              Update: You can see some of my ideas and some other interesting points in this conversational piece on BagNews.

Essay: ‘I feel that the photograph either creates my body or mortifies it.’ (Barthes, Camera Lucida.) Muybridge’s Images of Women : the creation of feminine fantasy and the mortification of female reality in the origins of photography.


Barthes’ tropes, ‘create’ and ‘mortify’, offer much to the understanding of how the photograph impacts upon the individual body which is its subject, and the bodies which are implied by the subject. Barthes relates these terms to the argument that ‘the photograph is the advent of myself as other,’(Barthes,1980, 12). Barthes’ words are potent because they recognise the damage, in both symbolic and actual terms, that can be inflicted upon this ‘other’ subject through the repeated creation of an ideal or a monstrous figure. The awkward recreation of the self by the photograph was acutely felt by its early subjects. Walter Benjamin describes the early photographer’s studio as ‘a place between execution and representation, between torture chamber and throne room.’ (Benjamin, 1985, 247). Barthes adds to the picture by describing the pseudo-surgical apparatus of the studio photographer which ‘supported and maintained the body in its passage to immobility.’ (1980, 14). Thus in both theory and practice the early days of photography contained an element of dislocating and disturbing bodily recreation that could either elevate or humiliate the subject. In this way, starting with Barthe’s terms, a series of binaries emerge which speak of thought surrounding early photography and which have sustained and developed throughout the 19th and 20th centuries: create/mortify, representation/execution, throne/torture chamber. In short, pleasure/pain, or, more generally life/death. Much work has been done to examine the role of children as early subjects who well fit these antithetic structures, representing both youth and the unstoppable passing of time and so death.1 The photograph for these early consumers hovers achingly between youth captured and youth lost, especially in the case of the popular memento mori photograph. I would like to explore the antitheses which surround 19th century photography not through the figure of the child subject, but through the female subject. The Christian framework in which these 19th century photographers (mostly male) functioned, prepared them to see the female body along the same binaries that had begun to grow out of photographic practice: the female body was desire that led to sin and death. Thus the female body provides an interesting and appropriate metaphor for which to explore the social functions of 19th century photography, as one that occupies the same creative / mortifying space as the studio and the photograph itself. In particular, I will focus upon Muybridge’s representation of women in his work Animal Location, a project which promised to examine even more closely reality through photography and so presents a case to examine the powerful ideologies posed by that, apparently, innocent reality. I will explore the way the photograph can be said to create the subject of woman in the context of the science-spectacle of his photographic endeavour, and the ways in which this recreation can constitute a damage upon the subject. 

In his work, Animal Locomotion, Edweard Muybridge proposes a seemingly scientific study of the female type, amongst many other types. This dealing in types is common to Victorian patterns of thinking, but his particular treatment of the women in these studies, and the aesthetics that he applies to their images, erode at the proposed objectivity and scientific stance of the work.2 Indeed, this speaks much of the interesting cross-over of science and spectacle which fostered the early decades of photographic technology.3 As Keller writes, the cultural climate surrounding Muybridge’s work ‘demanded the real as spectacle’ (2010, 217). This paradox presents some interesting questions but it must also be understood that neither term is discreet. In fact, I would argue, that the ‘real’ of the female body had long been subject to spectacle because of its physically hidden and yet, artistically visible status. Female bodies in the cultural discourse were the stuff of fantasy and myth. Irigary summarises this territory that the female body occupied and the new objectivity that was to be applied to an already non-reality:

 ‘Woman having been misinterpreted, forgotten, variously frozen in show cases, rolled up in metaphors, buried beneath carefully stylized figures, raised up in different idealities, would now become the ‘object’ to be investigated.’ (Irigary, 1985, 144).

 It becomes clear that any proposed study of the female form begins in a troubled and blurred state, probably not recognised by the photographer-scientist who sees as natural the images of women around him and further naturalises those images by presenting the truth through scientific examination of physical movement. These real women, apparently, really support all the fantasy women who have preceded them. There is a wonderful self-defeating contradiction in many of the images which suggest as much. For example, plate 143, entitled, ‘Descending stairs, a cup and saucer in right hand.’, features a model wearing a semi-transparent gown (Brookman, 2010, 298). This gauze defeats the stated scientific purpose of the photograph and makes the measuring board in the background redundant because it blurs the outline of the female form and therefore prevents any proposed measurement. On the other hand, it does not actually cover the woman or hide her naked body from the viewer, in a way that might have suggested the sacrificing of completely accurate scientific discovery to the modesty of the woman pictured. It can only be there as part of an erotic fantasy of the feminine. It supports neither science nor modesty, and exists to tantalise the viewer and to provide him with half-glimpses of both a spectacular science and sex. In fact, it compounds the two as the woman’s body appears as the elusive object of scientific discovery, always threatening to escape the delicate technology and seducing the photographer and the viewer into further queries, discoveries and explorations. The territory of the female body becomes metonymic for scientific discovery and in this way, such discoveries are charged with longing and a desire to see more in ways that are not objective in any sense.

Furthermore, this compounding of the female body and scientific discovery can be seen in the very origins of Muybridge’s project, which suggests that science did not lead to feminine fantasy but that in fact the two concepts occur and develop symbiotically. Whilst Williams, who analyses these images and the fantasies they suppose in her book Hardcore, is comfortable with the idea that scientific discovery turned into a desire to discover the erotic; ‘What began as a scientific impulse to record the “truth” of the body quickly became a powerful fantasy.’ (1999, 41), I would argue that the origins of the project are more complex and intertwined than she supposes. At no point is it clear that scientific discovery is the certain intention of Muybridge’s project, especially when we consider his history as a showman and entertainer. I would argue instead that he provides an increasingly popular scientific aesthetic to a spectacular project which works hard to seduce and titillate the viewer, rather than to add to a body of scientific works. In this way, Muybridge dangerously, and knowingly, purports to tell the truth of women whilst only adding to a long discourse of image fantasies, because this is what his audiences, both male and female, expect and hope to see. His figuring of objective identity is never intended to be such but to appear as such. As Keller says of this scientific gloss, ‘[The photographs] were regularly reordered and otherwise manipulated, resulting in merely the appearance of scientific objectivity.’(Keller, 2010, 224). Such a manoeuvre towards the scientific aesthetic seems likely of a man conscious enough of his public image to alter his name into more unusual forms throughout his life.4 Muybridge’s project managed to create a theatrical show that did not give away its status as fantasy and yet retained the allure of the fantastical, as a reporter for the Photographic News in 1882 makes clear: ‘A new world of sights and wonder was, indeed, opened by photography, which was not less astounding because it was truth itself.’(quoted in Braun, 2010, 226). This claim to truth obscures the theatrical and makes the images rendered by Muybridge particularly powerful and more exciting in the audiences’ minds. William’s link between Muybridge’s work and the 20th century pornographic film holds true under such a dynamic, which, as she argues, offer a similar model of the viewing of sexual pleasure: the pornographic film seeks to show performed sexual pleasure in a way that makes it appear to be authentic and therefore heightens the pleasure of the viewer. Muybridge’s clever application of the scientific status can be seen in the changing titles of plate 73 (Brookman, 2010, 296). In Muybridge’s notebook the images of a naked woman running with her arm covering her face and her hand covering her genitals, is entitled ‘Ashamed’. However, when presented in Animal Locomotion it takes on the title ‘Turning around in surprise and running away.’5 Thus, Muybridge foregrounds the kinetic content and disguises the emotional content of the photograph, but still that emotional content remains. The new title doesn’t seem to describe what is happening in the series – the model’s face is obscured and so we cannot even see a look of surprise, and why the model would need to cover her face and her genitals in order to run, turn and be surprised is unclear. Although we are told that this is merely a chain of actions, we feel that the model is ashamed or something similar, and this is a powerful erotic image which pushes against the surface of scientific objectivity until it ruptures it altogether. This allows the viewer to posit their desire to see as explicitly intellectual and only covertly sexual. Thus the comfort of the viewer is repeatedly privileged and the identity of the woman is repeatedly sacrificed to a fantasy of the feminine. The more truth about the woman these photographs claim to tell, the more they submit her to a fantasy that is nothing of her own making.  

In this way, this fantasy of the feminine prioritises a heterosexual male scientist-voyeur. Indeed, some of Muybridge’s images of women play out the power dynamics of seeing, being seen and exposure in order to further seduce the viewer into a narrative of sexual difference. It has been argued by Williams that these photos construct the notion that Berger describes as, ‘men act and women appear’ (Berger, 1997, 47). Indeed, in some of the photos the women appear to be moving very little. Plate 428 (Brookman, 2010, 281), entitled ‘Inspecting a Slave; White’, presents the case of the exhibition of exhibition in the name of objective inspection or assessment. The series shows one naked woman undressing another woman. This image illustrates a fantasy based around the power games of seeing and being seen which has been further developed by the new motion capturing technology. The woman who is already undressed, seems to be in the powerful position in the drama as she disrobes the other woman, who is presumably the white slave. The act of disrobing another suggests her power over her subject whilst also revealing her powerlessness in relation to the photographer and viewer, who remain clothed in both a literal sense and by the safe divide of lens, camera and projection screen. Muybridge’s audiences no longer have to look at the female figure with the ‘naked eye’, instead the new technology has enhanced the viewer’s position in two ways: one, he is now, as he was when looking at photographs before, free from examination or confrontation when looking, and secondly, it is promised that he will see even more than is available to the naked eye. In this way his sight has become more pervasive and less accountable and therefore more powerful, especially in relation to the subject who has only naked eyes and a naked body and is unable to counter his glance. Thus with this plate, Muybridge exhibits the fantasy of undressing and inspecting those in a less powerful position in a way that makes reference to the viewer’s own position and desire as scientist-voyeur. He has presented us with the spectacle of spectacle as scientific investigation of the body all under the auspices of scientific pursuit of the objective truth. The two female bodies are offered up to the hidden viewer in the same way that the ‘slave’s’ body is offered to the free woman of the drama. Each is examined and seen without chance for objection. The slave has no grounds upon which to resist her master’s inspection and similarly the female form has no grounds to resist inspection and re-viewing by any given viewer once the image is captured in the photograph. Although this is also partly true of any one of Muybridge’s subjects who have agreed to be photographed, male or female, I would argue that the social context of unequal gender structures and the genderised positions of viewer (male) and view (female), alongside the exhibition of the act of inspection, provides a powerful commentary upon the roles defined by the photograph. This imagery and the dynamic that surrounds it, poses the voyeur as powerful, and the exposed, both bodily and photographically, as weak. As can be seen by the break down of scientific purpose in many of his images of women, these roles are most clearly defined and polarised when they are gendered.

In conclusion, Barthes’ terms ‘create’ and ‘mortify’ are useful tropes with which to approach an understanding of the female subject in Muybridge’s work and may also prove useful in regards to other 19th century photographic projects. They can be used to illuminate the political, social and artistic position of the female subject but this understanding must be located within a complex artistic-scientific context. Such a careful location reveals much about the developing status of photography in the 19th century. It can be seen that in some cases, the status of the new medium of photography makes a claim towards the scientific, as opposed to the artful. This claim to reality is key in understanding the particular power of the photograph to create and/or mortify the subject. Whilst Muybridge’s work has the persuasive power of art, it also appears to have the highly-esteemed status of empirical evidence – as Smith says: “The camera will always lie, and the magical status of its deception is different from that of previous mediums.” (Smith, 1998, 4.) This lie should be understood to mean the ‘truth’ of sexual difference in this case, and as such renders the subject far more vulnerable to the ideological discourse surrounding her body. It is also important to understand that this scientific status is not absolute but rather a manipulative piece of theatrical play which excites the viewer and promises to deliver to him or her a sight previously unseen. The scientific desire and the sexual desire to see have been compounded around the body of the female subject in a theatre of science that blurs and combines terms and aesthetics. As such, the photographed science of the woman, is both a symptom and engine for the image discourses which propagated the double-sword of idealisation and enfeeblement. Women were in very real terms stifled and abandoned by this discourse surrounding their bodies which perpetuated their status as property of the patriarch, restricted them to the private sphere and afforded them a narrower range of rights than men. Thus the woman is maintained as subject of but never actor within the public sphere and it is telling that in Muybridge’s photos where we should see the action of his female subjects, instead we see pose. Muybridge’s project stages the unequal dynamic between man and woman, which is epitomised in the unequal dynamic between male photographer and female subject. This staging of inequality may also be true, in varying ways, for other ‘others’ that are exhibited in his work, as Phelan says, ‘…historical inequality makes the contemporary encounter between self and other a meeting of profound romance and deep violence.’ (Phelan, 1993, 4). It is this ‘profound romance’ and ‘deep violence’ which is oddly coupled in these photos of women. Whilst the life of the subject appears to have been captured by the photographer, in fact she has been submitted to a limiting image discourse that pertains to a very real damage upon her body as it is positioned within society.

All writing and research by Madeleine Corcoran, 2011.


1 I am thinking especially of Mavor’s work regarding Lewis Caroll’s photographs of children in her book Pleasures Taken.

2 Muybridge’s project also deals wit’h the types of ‘working class man’, ‘young athlete’, ‘black man’, ‘child’, those with illness or disability and co. In each case, the apparently universal subject is handled in a variety of ways and ideologies are put forward about each. Thus, although I wish to examine his depiction of the female type, because it provides a case with which to examine the position of photography and the photographer in Muybridg’e context, I do not wish to suggest that women above all others were subject to the restrictive ideology of type. Indeed, a similar study could be made about many of these ‘others’ – those with dark skin, or those from the working classes, for example – which play a key role in the developing understanding of the social function of a photograph at the time.

3 As discussed by J Pollard in her lecture ‘The Photographer as the Recorder’ at London College of Communication, 19/1/2011

4 See Braun, 2010, 272.

5 As noted by Ibid. 275.


Primary Texts
Brookman, P. (2010) Eadward Muybridge, London: Tate Publishing.
(1984) The Male and Female Figure in Motion: 60 Classic Photographic Sequences, New York: Dover Publications.
Secondary Texts
Azoulay, A. (2008) The Civil Contract Of Photography, New York: Zone Books.
Barthes, R. (1980) Camera Lucida, London: Vintage.
Benjamin, W. (1931) “A Small History of Photography”, in One Way Street and Other Writings, trans. Jephcot,E. & Shorter,K.  (1985), London: Verso, pp.240-57.
Braun, M. “Animal Locomotion”, pp.272 – 283 in Brookman, P. (2010) Eadward Muybridge, London: Tate Publishin
Irigary, L. (trans.1985) Speculum of the Other Woman, New York: Cornell University Press, available from <http://books.google.co.uk/booksid=cZX3HfxO9XkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Ir
snum=2&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false>  [Accessed 13h April 2011]
Keller, C. (2010) “Magnificent Entertainment: The Spectacular Edweard Muybridge”, pp. 217–228 in Brookman, P. (2010) Eadward Muybridge, London: Tate Publishing.
Mavor, C. (1996) Pleasure Taken: Performances of Sexuality and Loss in Victorian Photographs, London: I.B.Tauris
Phelan, P. (1993) Unmarked: The Politics of Performance,London: Routledge.
Smith, L. (1998) The Politics of Focus: Women, children and nineteenth-century photography, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Wells, L. (ed.) (2003) The Photography Reader, London: Routledge.
         – Lutz & Collins, 1993, “The Photograph as an Intersection of Gazes: The            Example of National Geographic.” pp.354-374.
       – Sontag, S. 2003, “Photography within the humanities.” pp.59 – 66
Williams, L. (1999) Hardcore: Power, Pleasure and the Frenzy of the Visible, Berkley CAL: California University Press.