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UAL Research Online

False Eyes Lashes: With a Flutter Our Gaze is Dispersed

Willson, Jacki (2013) False Eyes Lashes: With a Flutter Our Gaze is Dispersed. In: Dressed Bodies, 17 July 2013, Sheffield University.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Willson, Jacki

The opening scene of Tournee (‘On Tour’) (2010) presents us with a burlesque troupe unfastening their corsets, applying cream to sore nipples, and undressing loudly in close proximity to the camera. It is a flurry of flesh, tassels, tattoos, basques, boas and false eye lashes. Throughout the film the female characters collectively and individually build up a powerful sexual shield. This is built up to such an extent that when, in an argument, the manager of the troupe rips off one of Mimi Le Meaux’s eye-lashes, it feels violent and exposing. Elizabeth Wilson argues that: ‘the daring of fashion speaks dread as well as desire, the shell of chic, the aura of glamour, always hides a wound.’ (Wilson, 1985: 246) The lashes are seen to mediate a relationship with the gaze, which both seduces and shields. This is visual pleasure but visual pleasure where thick kohl and excessively long false eye lashes veil, obscure, filter, hide and reinvent. These lashes get in the way of the gaze and extend the barrier between the individual and the Other. We cannot see the subject fully. With a flutter, our gaze is dispersed.

This paper will explore false eye lashes as a performative object which is edged with violence and whose extravagance seems to create meanings and visual pleasures which are new, yet threatening and dangerous. Ripping off this shield is a reaction to an object – to a sensual subject – who yields everything to the desiring gaze…yet gives away nothing.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 17 July 2013
Related Websites: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/iftheshoefits/symposium
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Event Location: Sheffield University
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2014 13:57
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2014 13:57
Item ID: 6778
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/6778

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