The Path She Walks

ten Bhomer, Marloes [Designer] (2018) The Path She Walks. (design film).


The Path She walks is a design film by Marloes ten Bhömer, the result of a residency at Kyoto Design Lab, Kyoto Institute of Technology (2018). It explores how shoes and kinematics of the gait and mobility play a role in the construction of women’s identity in cinema. Ten Bhömer was interested in how a woman’s gait is used as a cinematic tool for character development and to direct audience perception about the woman in question. Of concern was how films shape ideas about gender representations through bodily movement, which is often tied up with the selection of footwear and clothing. Ten Bhömer adopted the method of cross-disciplinary viewing; she looked towards the overlaps between cinema and kinematic training in identity construction as a way to expand critical design into fashion and to include feminist issues of mobility and gender presentation through movement. Ten Bhömer researched women-centred films to produce a taxonomy of moments in which a focus on a female protagonists’ gait is used as a cinematic metaphor denoting a change in direction in the protagonists’ life. The researcher then devised an embodied research method, a new muscle training technique, in order to re-enact a selection of gait moments and analyse the captured motion via kinematic performance software. In simultaneously becoming object and subject of embodied research Ten Bhömer expanded on feminist approaches to include her own gaze in cinematic and scientific observation, in an attempt to challenge the gazer and object of gaze power relation, while at the same time foregrounding a multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary understanding of the constructed identity and the gaze.   The film was included in the exhibition Walking Women + The Reanimated Archive, KYOTO Design Lab Tokyo Gallery (2018), and has been screened at international film festivals, where it has won a number of awards.

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