Elwes' essay in this edited volume was a theoretical development of a body of video work which investigated masculinity as it crystallises and dissolves within the praxis of the military and the emblematic image of the war hero.
Beginning with a video entitled The Liaison Officer, 1997 (funded by Southern Arts and re-screened in February 2006 at the Imperial War Museum), Elwes discussed the ethos of my early feminist work and examined the military through the microcosm of a familial relationship. In the Southern Arts funded The Boy Scout Soldier (2000-02, Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster; Mead Gallery, Warwick and Gallery 44 in Toronto) and Scars: Paul’s Story (2004) (shown in ‘Out of Conflict’, ArtSway, New Forest and Lethaby Gallery, UAL) Elwes proposed personal testaments as a counter-narrative to the official histories, what Benjamin called the ‘narratives of the victorious’. The balancing of histories and the exploration of family myths from both sides of the Axis/Allies confrontation was at the root of Scars: The Six Lives of Erich Ackermann 2005, (these works formed part of ACE touring exhibition, ‘Out of Conflict’ with Cornford & Cross: ArtSway, New Forest; Lethaby Gallery, UAL; Hat Factory, Luton)
Elwes' practice led to the theoretical paper analysing the nature of conflict in relation to masculinity drawing on the work of Mansfield, Betterton and Cixous in order to investigate her own investment in the work as a gendered videomaker. She developed early writings by Rozsika Parker on images of men made by women to suggest ways in which the image of the warrior can in fact, harbour aspects of femininity that make the totalising association of masculinity with institutional militarism less secure. She found echoes of Parker’s observations of women’s investment in ‘invalid’ or war-damaged males as a means of equalising traditional power relations between men and women.
|Type of Research:||Book Section|
|Publisher/Broadcaster/Company:||John Libbey Publishing|
|Your affiliations with UAL:||Colleges > Camberwell College of Arts|
|Date:||01 May 2006|
|Deposited By:||INVALID USER|
|Deposited On:||07 Dec 2009 12:03|
|Last Modified:||14 Sep 2010 16:57|