1st Year Photography student Oliver Matich focused his project on the subject of the male gaze.
This project deals with found imagery shot by members of an undisclosed photography club in North England that is centred around paying women to be photographed for no apparent commercial or artistic reason in a somewhat lurid, sexualised fashion. It is their ‘hobby’ it would seem. My sister, a PhD researcher in feminism and consumer culture based in Liverpool, happened upon the group a while ago on Facebook and we both agreed that it was perhaps the purest and least self aware expression of the male gaze we had seen. We discussed the nature of the images, and the situation that created them, to see how we could connect the two through appropriation of them, or even perhaps in future through a performance piece. Of note is the volume of imagery produced in a single ‘club night’, over 200-400 images is about the usual for some members, the shots being shared around like trading cards. It seems to completely and thoroughly objectify the women, in a shockingly conclusive manner, so I considered how I could manipulate the images to convey this process. I set about trying to reverse the anti-aesthetic sexuality of the images and transcribe them into something more beautiful; to reclaim the womens’ personal aesthetic agency, inspired by how they claim financial agency over their bodies by partaking in these meetings. The sheer volume of imagery lent itself to mathematical conglomeration, so that is what I found, the numerical ‘net result’ of the male gaze.
Find More of Olivers Work on –