I am interested in the act of veiling something in obscurity. The idea of entombment within the body, frequently described symbolically by the heroine in the ‘Female’ Gothic being entrapped in womb-like dungeons or other cavernous spaces, has direct correlations with my own work. My interest lies in exploring both tropes, the Female and Male intentions behind revealing and concealing the body, in an attempt to mimic my own complex experience of it.
The Gothic genre has also had me revisit the work of two female artists I explored in the first semester, namely Louise Bourgeois and Marlene Dumas. In Bourgeois’ “Femme Maison” (1945 – 47) series, there is the suggestion of women simultaneously protected and entrapped in their dwellings. For “Torso, Self portrait” (1963 – 64) Bourgeois uses lumps, bumps and shapes reminiscent of breasts, buttocks, clitoris and labia, confronting the viewer with the duality of the subject’s solid, formidable form, versus its exposure and therefore vulnerability (Storr 2004). Dumas, on the other hand, juxtaposes images where all is vulgarly shown, with veiling their perception by utilizing multi-layered references, nuances and red herrings (Van den Boogerd 2001). Presently, I am studying the work of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller to better understand their language of layering image, object, sound and fiction and will be discussing their work, through the lens of the Gothic, in my next essay.