HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 20 no. 1 (2019)

OBJECTIFYING NUDE ART THROUGH SARTRE’S THE IMAGINARY

Ninotchka Mumtaj Albano

 

Abstract:

In an effort to address the image of the nude as a concern of both feminist aesthetics and existentialism, this paper shall provide a critique on the male gaze in visual art by means of Jean-Paul Sartre’s analysis of the image and the imagining consciousness. This paper aims to reassess not only the aspects surrounding the male gaze but the nature of its image. In this sense, while objectification is part of the nature of the nude, both the representation and the imagining consciousness of its spectator play a part in the objectification of the nude as image. This paper argues that through Sartre’s account of the nature of images, the male gaze misconstrues the represented nude through her image in most works of art. I will show that (1) as an act of the imagination, the male gaze elicits the sexually objectified representations of the nude and that (2) the reality of the nude is conflated with its image (analogon) thereby producing irreal, objectified and prejudiced representations of women.