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Returning the Gaze

Who owns the gaze? Over time, women in painting often functioned as a moral compass and/or object of desire. Their position as a bearer of meaning overshadowed their true identity. At the same time, female painters did not come into the picture sufficiently. This research aims to visualize female authors and put the female gaze first.

The research consists of the examination of the impact of the changement of the gaze on the meaning of the image. Next to that, the 'image of women' from the past (traditional role models, social determinism) is looked at from the practice of the studio in relation to feminist developments in contemporary society and 17th century genre painting. Additionaly, the CWAB gender database is professionalized and expanded.

Belgian gender databases (authors, networks) are insufficiently developed and gender studies from practice are often lacking in art schools. The goal of CWAB is to create an interaction between the studio, the work field, the historical aspect and activism. These research results are bundled in a center around Gender & Art.

Returning the gaze wants to offer a visual answer in addition to the existing theoretical discourse on gender and identity. It wants to analyze and adjust the perception of painters (authors) and models by bundling, making an inventory and visualizing data.