Faith Holland, Net Art, & Feminism
Incredibly flattered that anyone is looking and thinking about my work so closely. <3 <3 <3
I started this post a while back and then put it on hold while moving, etc. I never “finished” it but didn’t want it to just rot away in my drafts since I really like Faith Holland’s work and if one person sees this blog and is exposed to her work then I’ll be happy. Also, since this is a blog and not an academic essay I’ve decided it’s okay to post unfinished pieces, so here goes. Seriously though, check out her website; I didn’t post any images because I didn’t want to do so without permission and I think her work is best experienced in its complete form so go look at it. Now.
Faith Holland received her BA in Media Studies from Vassar in 2007 producing, for her thesis, a series of black and white photographs that re-interpreted Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse (a favorite of mine) from a feminist perspective. Barthes’ book relies on the relationship of an active (masculine) lover to the passive (feminine) lovee. In the essay accompanying Lovers’ Discourse: A Visual, Feminist Re-Interpretation of Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, Holland cites parallel arguments to this including John Berger’s Ways of Seeing (”men act and women appear”) and bell hooks’ All About Love (“even in non-heterosexual relationships, the paradigms of leader and follower often prevail, with one person assuming the role deemed feminine and another the designated masculine role.”) In representing the lovers (note that Holland pluralizes the title) visually, Holland attempts to show them as equal but different: “The intention is that the viewer is free to identify with either party—active or passive, if the lovers are both or either of those ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼things—whereas Barthes’ language only leaves room to identify with the active, masculinized lover.”