Elaine Kaufmann
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Douglas Fairbanks in "Wild and Woolly" directed by John Emerson, 2010, collage, 12 x 9 inches

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Donna Haraway describes as the “god-trick” the pretending that one can “[see] everything from nowhere.” Though Haraway’s focus is on seeing aided by technology, her argument is relevant to claims that the images produced by artists and filmmakers are universal, unbiased, and timeless.

Central to each collage in the series The View from Below is an image of a white man looking. Whether he looks at a desert lake, a New York City street, or a painting in a studio, the image locates him in time and space. His viewpoint is subjective, limited, and transitory. He is framed by the outline of a U.S. lake, an opening that references both the female body and an aerial, god’s-eye view—the view from above.