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Addressing the other womanTextual correspondences in feminist art and writing$
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Kimberly Lamm

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526121264

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526121264.001.0001

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Feminist desires and collective reading in the work of Laura Mulvey

Feminist desires and collective reading in the work of Laura Mulvey

(p.232) 6 Feminist desires and collective reading in the work of Laura Mulvey
Addressing the other woman

Kimberly Lamm

Manchester University Press

Chapter 6 focuses on Laura Mulvey’s theoretical writings on film and her essay film Riddles of the Sphinx (1977), which it reads in relation to the feminist collaboration between Kelly and Mulvey that took place at the height of Women’s Liberation in Britain. Like Post-Partum Document, Riddles of the Sphinx creates a hieroglyphic aesthetic that mines the feminist possibilities of repressed maternal desires and draws out their connections to British colonial history. Replete with images of writing, the consistent attention to text in Riddles is the means by which Mulvey represents the pleasures of the maternal bond and transfers them into a form of fetishisation that opens onto collaborations between women that move across the lines of race and class. By placing the hieroglyph and the colonial extractions for which it figures in the context of women’s atomised struggles with reproductive labour in late capitalism, Riddles writes collective feminist reading practices that might allow women to correspond across the divisions created by colonial, racial, and class hierarchies and therefore create what Mulvey identifies in ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ (1975), as a ‘new language of desire.’

Keywords:   Feminist Collaboration, Hieroglyphic Aesthetic, Reproductive Labour, New Language of Desire, Fetishisation, Cinematic Writing, Race and Colonialism

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