I Love Dick: A Pop-Cultural Investigation of Desire and the Female Gaze

Ana Fazekaš

Abstract


This paper intends to outline an analysis of the Amazon series I Love Dick, based on the pseudo-autobiographical theoretical fiction by experimental (self-described ‘failed’) filmmaker Chris Kraus. The series completed its first season in 2017, and it appears it will not be coming back for a second, as its non-cushioned feminist agenda and sophisticated intertextual elements seem to have not resonated with the mass audience. However, the series brings into popular/mass culture not only an erratic contemplation (mind the oxymoron) on intersectional feminism, but a provocative uncensored performance of female desire. Jill Soloway, creator of the series, insists on its being a celebration of the female gaze, which begs the question what is the aesthetic and political significance of what we could call the female gaze. The series is not solely an adaptation, it is an artistic reaction to the text, adding characters and changing some of the premises of the text, while remaining true to the general project. This article aims to map out some of the intertextual elements in the series and provide an interpretation based mostly on revisiting Laura Mulvey’s critique of narrative cinema in the framework of psychoanalytic theory, as the fictional Chris passes through the fantasy, slides through the chain of signifiers, challenging Dick/the phallic element, and finds her creative power in the very subversive act of – accepting failure.

 

Article received: March 31, 2018; Article accepted: May 10, 2018; Published online: October 15, 2018; Original scholarly paper

How to cite this article: Fazekaš, Ana. "I Love Dick: A Pop-Cultural Investigation of Desire and the Female Gaze." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 17 (2018): 89−102. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i17.273


Keywords


feminism; popular culture; psychoanalysis; abjection; love

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i17.273

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