The World Of Real Women
SHEGAZES is a print zine that aims a paradigmatic shift of the way women are portrayed in art and in photography. It is founded and curated by the talented French photographer Caroline Ruffault. Today we sit down with her and talk about the zine.
– Hi Caroline tell us about yourself and about SHE GAZES print zine?
Two years ago, as I was shooting some girls for a Texas clothes brand, I started wondering about the way models present themselves in front of the camera, doing funny faces, supposedly more desirable and also how artists and photographers reproduce unconscious cliches about women, Instagram emphasising this a lot as of course a naked girl gets a lot of likes.
Then I remembered an essay I studied on psychoanalysis & cinema by Laura Mulvey called « the male gaze » on how women are always displayed for male visual pleasure, especially in Hollywood movies. I realised the same could be applied for photography.
– What motivated you to dedicate time and efforts creating such zine?
First I thought it was important in my photography to think about the way I was portraying women, somehow every photo is a political statement and especially when you are shooting a girl. I try to ask myself: how should I place her if there is a man in the picture? is she sexualised? Is she in control? What does this position means?
I wanted to go further and creating a zine where I could gather work of others artists and photographers seemed like the right idea.
© Caroline Ruffault
– To what extend your personal, artistic and commercial work are SHE GAZES type of work?
I always think about how I am representing women and I would never shoot a woman cooking or ironing in underwear even if a client asked me:-)
– Do you differentiate work created by women from work about the true essence of women (irrespective of the creator’s gender)?
I wish that both men and women realise that how a society portrays women has a lot to do with how it treats women in general.
© Tania Franco Klein
© Megan Doherty
– How do you curate the issues? How can photographers submit their work?
I think of a theme and then call out for submissions. I also contact photographers when I think their work fits the current issue I am working on.
I am always happy to receive work and everyone is welcome to send me their art at firstname.lastname@example.org, photos, drawings, poetry…
– When did the first issue appear and how often you plan to publish it?
The first issue came out last April. I plan to publish 2 every year.