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Visual pleasure and pornographic cinema

by Critical Commons Manager

In her 1999 short film Removed, Naomi Uman brilliantly intervenes in the scopophilic pleasure of visually consuming women's bodies on screen by literally erasing only the women's naked bodies from the frame. This film bears serious consideration on numerous levels beginning with the painstaking process by which the artist obliterated the women's bodies by hand, frame-by-frame (through the use of female-coded domestic products of nail polish remover and bleach) through a process that may be thought of as an ironic inversion of the media industries' practices of "retouching" to achieve apparent perfection in the bodies of (especially) women models and actresses. Removed also invites analysis in terms of the relative capacities for eroticism in sound and image. What is lost from the intended function of these scenes when pornography's conventional form of visual gratification is withheld?

The unmaking of pornography: Removed

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How do we view pornography differently if the women's bodies have been removed from each frame, by hand, with bleach?

from Removed (1999)
Creator: Naomi Uman
Posted by Critical Commons Manager
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