Kimber Shaw

Kimber Shaw


   Indiananpolis, IN, 46202

To see through someone else’s eyes is transformative. The experience imposes an empathetic bond, even on the unwitting (or unwilling) observer. The shared experience forges an immutable bond between subject and object that subverts the notion of difference between observer and observed. When you see through someone else’s eyes, the distinction between self and other melts away. You become her, she becomes he, and they become we. The only object left is the absurdity of making such an artificial distinction.

My personal art is meant to impose a subversion of difference. I aim to challenge others with not just my individual view, but with their inability to avoid sharing it, regardless of bent or wont.

I am fascinated by all the different ways people observe one another. Sometimes we glance, or look, or analyze, or criticize. We catch eyes. It seems we’re prone as people to gaze on others, yet we seldom see the people upon which we cast our eyes.

So what’s the difference between seeing and gazing? To me, seeing is an act of empathy, an effort to understand. A gaze imposes value on the observed.

A man’s gaze in relation to feminist theory is unbalanced. A man’s unwanted gaze upon a woman pretends at quantifying a woman’s aesthetic value. But what is communicated and what each perceives is different. Each is misunderstood.

Our culture has trained woman to conflate her aesthetic value (itself arbitrary and subject to the whims of culture) with her humanity. Through this polite deception, even a woman who personifies contemporary western notions of female beauty, and who at first blush seems to enjoy being gazed upon by men, is inescapably subjugated by it. Her gaze is incapable of the same impact. It responds. She is defined by he, while he is impervious.

As for me, I focus my gaze not on men, or women, or subjects and objects. I focus my gaze on the way they interact with one another. While I can’t help but gaze, if we share a perspective, I believe we can teach one another to see.