THE BORROWED GAZE
Cover of the Dutch essay The Borrowed Gaze – In dialogue with time
A Room of Her Own, 2013
The Slippers, 1662 by Samuel Van Hoogstraten
THE BORROWED GAZE – In dialogue with time
In 2016 Karin Hanssen received her PhD in the arts at the University of Antwerp with ‘The Borrowed Gaze – In dialogue with time’, on the subject of the gaze and the use of past time (flashback) within appropriation of (photographic images) in painting. As a result of this research project emerged two series of (feminist) paintings ‘The Borrowed Gaze/Variations GTB’ and ‘A Room of One’s Own’ next to the film ‘In dialogue with Luc Tuymans’ and the book ‘The Borrowed Gaze - in dialogue with time’. The book she wrote is a journey through three time periods: the 17th century, the 50s-70s of the last century and the present with the female Rückenfigur as guide and as motif.
‘THE BORROWED GAZE - in dialogue with time’ is an account of the search for the flashback within appropriation of (photographic) images in painting in which dialogue and the gaze is central. The book consists of two parts:
Part 1 includes seven chapters and is constructed around the painting “The Slippers” (1662) by Samuel Van Hoogstraten. It is a time travel through the 17th century, the 50s-70s of the last century and the present, focussing on how each time period deals with images, appropriation of images and morals. We look at the relationship between the camera obscura and philosophy, the woman as moral compass and her position in the interior in genre painting. The Borrowed Gaze is a feminist essay with the female Rückenfigur as guide and motive. While we look at appropriation of images over time and its consequences, the Rückenfigur moves from the background to the foreground, becoming the main character. Movement and countermovement is what the essay is all about. Projection and reflection is the strategy. In the first chapters ‘Penetration’, the movement is male voyeuristic, from the foreground with the gaze focused on the passive Rückenfigur in the background. In the last part ‘Emancipation’, that movement is female, from background to foreground. Penetration turns into emancipation, the passive woman as bearer of meaning becomes active and maker of meaning. She breaks loose from oppressive and restrictive frameworks and creates a space for himself with ”A Room of Her Own” as the final image.
Part 2 contains dialogues: conversations with Charlotte Mullins on the different versions of “Uncle Rudi” (Gerhard Richter) and an interview with Luc Tuymans. From that last conversation Karin Hanssen made a film "In dialogue with Luc Tuymans” (editing Bertrand Lafontaine): ‘In dialoog met Luc Tuymans: Over de Geleende Blik, de Terugblik, Tijd, ‘the gaze’ en de daad van het maskeren’ (2013).