Gender modes and roles are established through complex mechanisms both on a societal and an individual level.
Images are central in the process of creating a perceived standard in the understanding, expression and performance of gender. In the context of a patriarchal and phallogocentric culture, images are used to perpetrate a specific mainstream understanding of gender based on concepts such as compulsive heterosexuality, obsessive genderisation and the dogma of the binary.
If, through repetition, a certain ideal is elevated to rule or standard in such a manner, it implies a wrong and right in relations to that standard: to maintain the status quo, certain genders or gender expressions are limited, negated or ostracised.
“A Grammar Of Gender” looks at the relationship of mutual influence between representation and perception of gender, masculinity and femininity.
It explores the function of the iconography of gender in our visual culture as a means to generate and perpetrate patriarchal ideals and the promotion of specific gender roles and behaviours at the expanses of others.
At the same time, the project engages with the image as a potential place for the deconstruction of the regulative character of our visual heritage and the exploration of new forms of representation.
How is the representation of gender shaped by the way we understand it as a society? And how does its visual representation influence the way in which it is performed on an individual level?
The way we are portrayed as gendered beings, influence how we live as such and how we perceive one another. By unveiling and problematising the influence of representation on our perception of what gender should be, look and act like, we can achieve a freer and truer experience of gender.