Experimental Film no.2.1 & no.2.2
22 and 13 minutes
Cinema Style Setting at Cambridge School of Art, Cambridge, UK
These projects were informed by the findings of Experimental Film no.1, and are a continuation of the same survey. In this phase of project, viewers had to view the pieces publicly, from the beginning until end. They were once again asked to answer a series of questions, and provide any other comments anonymously.
In Experimental Film no.2.1, Lawford films a woman masturbating in an intimate bathroom setting. Rather than leaving the room after positioning the camera, Lawford operated and was present throughout. In Experimental Film no.2.2 she asks the woman to imagine performing for male viewers, in an effort to capture a performance that transcends mere voyeurism while also challenging the aspect of the male gaze.
Whereas the first piece was presented to individual viewers in a private setting, Experimental Film no.2.1 and no.2.2 were shown in a cinema space, in order to investigate how various presentation modes and locations can affect viewer expectation, experience and interpretation.
The audience responses, and the feedback they provided throughout all the three phases, supported Lawford's assumptions. Viewers seemed unaware of the media's influence and patriarchal influences on the objectification of women, as well as the subject of fascination and the pleasure in looking.
Lawford aimed to raise awareness of this issue, and to highlight just how present it is by producing a bold confrontation, both in nature and presentation, challenging the audience to question the content they normally consume.