We've all heard of how the "male gaze" has skewed perspective on portrayals of women over the years. Now Meta is backing a new art project that uses technology to change a famous portrait according to the "female gaze."
Of nearly 2,500 monuments, statues and memorials in Denmark, 28 represent women. Of those 28, only seven portray women rather than mythical goddesses or fairy tale legends like the Little Mermaid. So the new project, from interactive production studio makemepulse, aims to honor the "missing" Danish women by way of a famous painting, Young Girl Preparing Chanterelles (1892) by Danish artist Peter Ilsted. An interactive experience allows people to change the lighting, angle, backdrop, body language and facial expressions of the girl in the picture, to make her seem more empowered.
Meta Denmark is partnering with the Golden Days Culture Festival and the Kunsthal Charlottenborg museum on the experience, which will be available via web browser, mobile and Meta Quest 2. In addition to accessing the experience on desktop and mobile, The Female Gaze is also a VR installation at the museum, and three female Danish photographers, Kia Hartelius, Sigrid Nygaard and Lina Hashim, who specialise in commercial photography, press photography and art, respectively, will create their own versions of the painting to be exhibited there. These will be sold as NFTs to support the Danish Women’s Society.
“Throughout history, women have been significantly under-represented," said Pia Tandrup, country director for Meta Denmark, in a statement. "As we build for the metaverse, we have the opportunity to change that by using emerging technologies to achieve things not possible now and here in the physical world and create immersive learning experiences that can help us broaden our perspectives. We are proud of this project, and hope it will help inspire the conversation around female presentation."