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Two Works

Laura Mulvey / Rachel Rose, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema

This title brings together Laura Mulvey’s 1975 essay and a newly commissioned work by Rachel Rose.


Since it first appeared in Screen in 1975, Laura Mulvey’s essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ has been an enduring point of reference for artists, film-makers, writers and theorists. Mulvey’s compelling, structured and polemical analysis of visual pleasure has provoked and encouraged others to take positions, challenge pre-conceived ideas and produce new works that owe their possibility to the generative qualities of this key essay.

In this book, the artist Rachel Rose has produced an innovative work that extends and adds to the essay’s frame of reference. Drawing on eighteenth and nineteenth-century fairy tales, and observing that their flat narratives matched the flatness of their depictions, Rose has drawn a connection between what happened in these illustrations before cinema, and what Mulvey describes in her essay – cinema flattening sexuality into visuality. Rose’s intricately layered work, with its mixing of genres and histories, is a complex and playful reformation.


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