What do we actually see and how has it conditioned our way of thinking? This is the question and starting-point for an investigation that will span the vast panorama of imagemanagement that bombards our visual culture.The Art of Voyeurism is an examination, exploring our visual senses that have been instigated through art and all its glorious side-effects since the beginning of manâ€™s time on this evolving planet.This exploration is based on visual management and the methods in which the artist, throughout history, has been manipulating history to forward his own desire and career. It explores how, through predetermined acts of voyeuristic ideas, artists have incorporated their concepts within their surrounding environments and personal mandates in advancing their reputations. The Art of Voyeurism examines and questions our acceptance of the many facets of art. It examines how the artists' own desires have been morphed into contemporary society through their many varied representations and executions, and how they have found ways of manipulating our sense of seeing into history textbooks.
Jay Sidpara’s ‘The Art of Voyeurism’ could not have been timelier in its publication. We could reasonably argue that we are at a period in history where the relationship between the sexes has been more closely scrutinized than it has for many decades. The Art of Voyeurism is a collection of essays examining the agendas set within our visual culture. This book asks us to look more closely at how we are manipulated by the visual landscape that surrounds us and how this, in turn, influences our perception or art and culture, and in turn our entire attitudes to gender within society. In a time when we are exposed to more images in our daily lives than ever before, this feels like a very important book to be reading in the current political and social climate.
The Art of Voyeurism is set out as a collection of essays. It is both expansive and ambitious in its subject matter. Initially, it takes us through the physiological mechanism of seeing, how we perceive and process images. Then it goes on to explore the psychological process of gaining pleasure from looking at and creating art. The book in acknowledging this drive emphasizes how important and influential art has been within our society and continues to be so.
The crux of this book examines our narrow view of what it is to be female in our current society. It discusses the subject in the context of the damaging effects this has had on our wellbeing and the limitations it puts on our social development. It offers a fascinating insight into the subliminal influences at play into shaping how we think about gender and sexuality. Sidpara’s writing, approaches this in the broad sense, using analysis of the historical, cultural and psychological aspects that resulted in the objectification of women. But he does not leave it there, he goes on to show us the many specific and fascinating examples of art forms to support his argument.
This thoughtful book offers us the tools to question and debate further the hidden agendas behind the art and design we see every day. Sidpara’s examination of the subject offers us rather unnerving insights at times. He certainly raises questions and concerns as to why we are so accepting of the views presented to us, and moreover, in accepting and acknowledging that we are complicit in reflecting back these attitudes.
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