Behind the Scenes: Pregnancy Portrait
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CitationMuch, Rachel. 2022. Behind the Scenes: Pregnancy Portrait. Master's thesis, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
AbstractThe pregnancy portrait underlines the position of female reproductive bodies within a cultural moment, creating identity, agency, and capital. Social and cinematic mediums animate the pregnancy portrait, showing the pregnant body as both a dynamic state and a moment frozen in time.
Public figures—from celebrities to local influencers—receive payment from advertisers by monetizing their pregnant bodies. These branded posts reinforce the concept of motherhood as defined by consumption and spending. Celebrities, influencers, and mommy bloggers provide a model of how ordinary people should live and spend. The sponsored pregnancy portrait blends the format of ad and personal announcement, creating a new model of pregnancy that is both private and public, seemingly organic yet also highly choreographed, and most importantly, highly profitable.
The social media pregnancy requires new flexible spaces that allow for the broadcasting of the pregnant body, a broadcasting that is inhibited by the inward-facing nature of existing clinics. Filmic space organizes and reorganizes itself around the camera’s view and can contract and expand to frame or exclude subjects from the scene. The public pregnancy requires new spaces to accommodate new subjects and new forms of viewership. By combining the programs of sound stage and clinic, I want to arrive at a new typology that allows for the broadcasting and publicization of the production of family and home, inverting the assumed privacy of motherhood. The resulting clinic becomes an anatomical theater and a space for the production of media.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37373974