The “I” and the “Eye”
- Sight as knowledge.
o Unitary knowing self.
o Vision was thought of as having precedence over other senses, but posed as potic
metaphors – insight, not merely a factual recording of the external world, but also
the ability to perceive and interpret it.
o Traditionally there is a space between the seer and the seen; the seer accompanied
by the quality of objectivity, seeing with neutrality.
o Sight is also a meaning maker, perception and sight constitute the knowing, or a
o The eye has also been elevated in painting, claiming authority as the creater, view
and purveyor of the cosmos, the reality of the painter.
o Medicine: looking at the body of the patient, pronouncing on it, but also the visual
granted importance as the camera became a tool, and were able to make permanent
records of ill bodies. – presented as the height of neutral vision.
Clear picture of what the 19 century viewed as the degenerate.
o In feminism, the eye is seen as that of authority, interpreted through the concept of
the male gaze.
- The Eye in Hinduism and Kahlo
o The third eye primarily a designation of wisdom and that which is interior. The third
eye of Shiva can also be turned outwardly to burn and scorch.
Kahlo links the third eye and Diego often.
- Kahlo and the Eye, Gaze and Seeing.
- Self Portrain with Necklace of Thorns, My nurse and I and Frida on White Bench (Nickolas
o Bold frontal gaze, largely unflinching, commanding gaze, looking out at the viewer,
seemingly asking something of the viewer – not passive at all.
o Guarded expression, giving little away so far as what she may be experiencing, only
expressing self-possession, consistently throughout her paintings.
o Vision and Selfhood: slef composition of Kahlo as martyr, mother, infant, theatrical
and deeply visual and colourful representation of the body in pain. The engendering
of the self that is deeply reflexive, within the image and knowingly as an image –
calling attention to the self, always the same, the surrounding are always different
and asking to view Kahlo as the creator and as the image.
Her attempt to overcome the fragility of her body through the creation of
her persona. The strategy is always about the creation of the self, the making
of the image and self simultaneously. For Kahlo, as a woman suffering
accidents and sickness necessitating surgery, corsets, hangings, the maimed
or disabled body can take for granted the body.
An assertion of self in the moment of possible negation.
o By making herself the subject of her own paintings, she becomes the seer and seen,
object and subject and occupying a world of multiple gazes and views. - The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Myself, Diego, and Senior Xolotl.
o Multiplicities of the self – the visibility of the dark and light juxtaposition. Also the
way all figures interact, as stacked, holding each other.
o A construction of the universe at a particular moment in time; in which a chain of
o The rendering of the internal and external as like, not identical, but similar.
o Sight as multiply rendered, that what one sees is ultimately also coming out of the
experiential, not simply the all knowing eye. Sight is also in part mediated.