64. Gender: Performativity and Masquerade
Essay question : With reference to two or three visual examples, consider how artists or designers have subverted, challenged or questioned gendered stereotypes. Discuss this in relation to a relevant theory, which may include ‘performativity’, camp, the dandy or masquerade.
Recommended reading list : Butler, J (2003) Bodies That Matter, (2009) Gender Trouble. Efrat, T (2005) The Masque of Femininity. Garber, M (2002) Vested Interests. Kirkham, P (2006) The Gendered Object. Wright, L (2017) ‘Objectifying Gender: The Stiletto Heel’.
The essay is ought to unravel Judith Butler’s theory of ‘performativity’ and the idea of gender as a cultural ‘performance’ by looking at a range of visual examples like Barbie and gendered objects such as the stiletto and the suit. Also, the two or three visual examples might include artists such as Oreet Ashery, Claude Cahun and Grayson Perry and how they use dress and dressing up to challenge rigid gender binaries creating more fluid ambiguous trans-gendered identities.
A lot of research is needed with the bibliography that indicates the sources.
The essay should keep to the word limit of 1500 and should include images and an image list with sources and dates stated clearly. The essay should then discuss those images used in the main body of the text