Jana Papenbroock


Sirens – Video

Five women follow the camera through the hallways of a building into a parking lot, through a backdoor and into a dead end. There the camera stops to follow the women outside.
A play about the power of the gaze unfolds that draws on feminist film theory according to which ‘the male gaze’ can be instrumentalized to objectify and control the on-screen ‘feminized subject’. These young women are rather ‘phallic’ than fetishized women and offer contradictory images of femininity that surpass the reifying gaze. They reverse the roles of the traditional visual axis, thereby confusing, subverting and deflecting the underlying structures of dominance and submission. Their gaze is not essentially male, but owns and activates itself from a position of sovereignty, ‘othering’ the voyeuristic gaze of the viewer instead of subjecting themselves to the viewer’s desire to ‘other’ them.

single channel video installation
7 min, DV
© Jana Papenbroock, 2010

Music: Scott Cazan
Cello: Ashley Walters

Dancers: Mai Ishiwata, Judith Nüßler, Bettina Nampé, Louise Belmas, Blanca Noguerol-Ramirez, Fang-Yu Shen

Screened at
C5 Gallery, Brussels, 2018

Unlike Gallery, Berlin, 2011
Human Resources, Los Angeles, 2011
Ballroom @ Art Cologne, 2010
Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, 2010
CalArts, Los Angeles, 2009