In my work, I am exploring ways in which patriarchal Western culture has systematically alienated women from their own bodies, robbed them of autonomy, and rendered them voiceless, and the ways in which women have internalized–or alternatively, combated–this marginalization. Seen through the male gaze, women have historically been represented as either passive vessels, inert and receptive, or profane monsters and temptresses, but never human beings. I’ve married these oppositions in my work, thereby equating them with each-other as equally destructive and thereby creating catharsis.
I am more interested in the tension between diametrically opposed images of women in myth, folklore, and early 20th century art movements, such as Surrealism and Existentialism, than in the resolution of these depictions; more interested in the problems of images of women than in solutions to them, but every time a woman creates, this is a step in the right direction: the direction of finding our own voices, singing our own songs, and maintaining ownership of our bodies.
Samantha Mancini is currently studying Literature and Visual Art at The Evergreen State College. She lives in Seattle.