CHAPTER TWO identity B eginning art students often fervently believe that they want to f nd our who they i ore as unique rndividuals and convey this 1n their art. In our own teaching.



B eginning art students often fervently believe that they want to f nd our who they i ore as unique rndividuals and convey this 1n their art. In our own teaching. we {rnd

that many students admire the stance (1f not alw•ys the art) of the “heroJC” genem,on of abstraa exprcsston1st painters. actl\·c after World War II, who strove to e,press their personal feelings and their sense of their own radical ind1v1dual11y. The posrw,r gen­ eration asked questions that philosophers hove been asking since ancient tunes: What is the true nature of the self? Whot does n mean to be human? l’ornsomc of these ar t ­ ists, including Jockson Pollock and Mark Rothko. the true self was a sdf-dir«tcd, free 1nd1v1dual. lnnuen«d by Jungian psychology and exmennalist philosophy, they held up the ideal of an integrated, stable, unique self who acrs independnently wnh mcarung­ ful intentions and a coherent inner psychology. According to Claire Papczkowska , rhe belief in a true inner self is ‘1libl!ral humanism,” where “answers to the quest on of i what it is 10 be human (are) phrased in terms of philosophical concepts such os ‘self. knowledge,’ ‘ronsc,ousness,’ and ‘thought.’ which emphasize the sign1f1cann, of self rather than rhe s ·1ignificance of d1vas1on.

In contrast, artists who wont to express who they are someumes identify chem• selves in rcrins of a communol os well as an individual sense of self. James Luno’s per ­ formance The Artifact Piece (1987) [2·1] provides an example. Luna, born in California ,n 1950, strongly identifies w11h being Luiseno and has lived on the La Jolla Indian Reservation since 1975. In Tl,e Arll/act Pttu, Luna turned himself JRto a humon arti­ fact JR an anthropology museum by laying clod only in o breechdoth on o d,splay ease in the San Diego Museum of Man, in a secuon devoted to the Kumeyony Indians, who once inhabited San Diego County. Labels beside h,s body explained his physical sc,rs (caused by drunkenness and fights) and hiddnen emononal sc,rs (coused by !tfe experiences); personal objects. such as favonte books. mus,c a»ettes, and family pho ­ tographs, were d,splayed nearby According to writer Lindo WeJRtroub, “The gallery was otherwise given over 10 relic, and diornmos honoring the revered aspects of Native Amer,con life. No part of its permanent display addressed 1he real problems ,hat beset the hving represen1a11ves of these people. Ra1hor. the museu1n placed Indian life JR the same cotegory as dJRosaur skoletons and plant fossils. Luna shauered rhe impression that Indians arc extinct by presenting himself as o breathing anifac1.”‘Throughout his




s ing car r, L h tin d to k a the ma e rt at n ea e auto o n

n u ee una as con ue i terw v s bi graphy, i d

s a t at e ig­

an u e o radit oenous u tura istor s d L is ii t n nd h xpo s Westerniz d ster e ­c l l h e , s

e e


i otyp ees bout Native a

i Am rican .

is when identity, dL tured i h mid-19S0 , e ne n ter s

as an art t n t e suna ma fi d i m of

o u ar t e e n r c arcom nuna i o s as i g a p p l h m i Criti Lucy R. Lipp!,., a t. d comm l affil ati n , w

rote an innuentiol 1990 book, Mixed Blessings: New Al’I i,i a Multicultural A merica, w

in c s e rou t s p­whi h h b gh a t i n to the vitality of contempora art t ret ent o ry i s who were

resenting themselves of in com un rom al terms. Lipp:,rd argued st ngly in support the

artists’ desire co ronnect with their culmre-s, stating that “an individual ‘identity’ h rel ti yon or anything else hardly det out a on ro an e ser rvfo ged wi es the name “‘ Sh. e

maintained that identity is relation l and d fin d by our sirnibrities and diffea e e rences wi h e se e r s rou nam na ectt others Lipp.1rd advocated embradng coll iv lf, xp es ed th gh i g . oneself as a meml,.,r of various cultural groups and representing oncsdf verbally and visually in ms f shar d d itie . Th a ists Lippard championed cnme of ater o e i ent s e rt ge dur ­ ing the feminist and ci\•il rights movements of the 1960s and l970s. They were proud f h i oot> d fEili ti n and adily r a eo t e r r an a a o s re named themselves members of idcnti y-b s d

groups rwomen artists,” “black artists/’ “‘Chicano artists,” “Askm Amc-r c;in an sts …. ). They created arrworks rhat represe e t e u e t e a

i i nt d h r comm nal id n iti , nd often at the

S3m(‘ t me i

i advanced social :.lgcndas.

In this chapter, we provide so 1 o

n e . an

. en o t e

h o nce

isronca l ts a

context ou

about identity as a theme in an d ,h l k a n

v . er

I vmg co p b t1 ‘d ent s t t o n n

ny· overdh =s hirty y ‘ rs ‘ di cussingSh·f 1 n· tg e

t t t

m ea s

h a n e

g i a d ou 1 0f fa v I tor . .

or . A tho u . enn. r i ,h c areat· a

n t a1on i ter eta n gh 1d ty is lw ys a implici f c-

an d n pr no of ar, 1 e use o an

. . en t ar m

” h . art JS

f • d ennty as a high Iy heor zed d oft pol t

i ,-II ‘” · y c h g ed t h e . c m recent ‘ d evisrs are selr.conse:iou. 8 e

i I opme ntd. Contemporary art·

eor es

> bo . . d

a ut , ennty to O The th e r a

. e . i id e eas tern

s ‘

num � 1

rous , s

‘ d g ec , t h at was r r 1n pr viou pen ·ods .

e a

an d . . ave e

d e fi nnmns surroun d’ mg t h e I arge topic of id ntity nd a rc

e a

h ue e

be n eorp_ h· mg co,h v l of mpha � nstantly in the period that t

s n en as ene uc

his book covizi g ers, and

t t11y h g rated m h debate .

La 2-2 Pep6n Osorio I B,c,cleta, t98S um appro.JJmatety 42 x 60 x 24 inches Miked med s , i

CREOU’ Co9,-n11ht f’u,on OSouo , COl#tes, Ronad Fddman At�. New Yor\ 1 l

a w ld f id tity re Th is s wh ks b di cussed under the heading o e n acou e se rt t ose or e v Ev ry kind of rt n-1edium is involved, every scalee a , every rype num rous and di erse.

of forum and venue, and many purposes and ideas. The anworks we shO\V in this chap ­ e a oe o a rt s e ro ter r var e ut on hint ar rhe rang f wh t a i ts hav p duc d. M ny f tha c i d b ly e

images show the human f gure (and thus relare to the theme of chaprer 3, “The Body”).

Cer ta i

inly the body carries many signs of identity (hair, skin color, gestures, posture,

c o n o on by l thi g, and s ) , b iden i ea s ut t ty is expressed by other m n as well, including

words, symbol s, o n with bj , and tings. These may be used alone or in conjunctioects set figurarive imagery . Fo un ir example, Pep6n Osor o’s La Bicicleta [2-2J is a fo d b cycle i

a c s o s u ure e t st st ea et ar t e r e ellish d wi h pla ic r m rs nd knickkna k . Osori ‘ sc lprh h a tist mb i b h a t ib t r e o narto the vernacular c ultu e a e uer o ics ot r u e of his n tiv P t R o , wher rdi y

h d g of Os ibj c c oft x b rantly d o d (al ho gh r rely to t e e ree or o irate t u ao e ts ar en e u e ec ‘s b cy­

cle), and an exploration of his heigh,ened awareness of cultural identity after he moved

to New York City as an adult .

Identity in Art History genres and W thin th W stern tradition, two with endu ing hiscories, the portrait the i re e

><!IE-po trait, di ectly li k d to he a tistic exploration of the t e e ent t in are r n e t rr h m of id i y n t o e esa a a o rc aart a e ran o casso, nd Frid K hl a mo g h s who inv t

ed tod y . R mb d� Pabl Pi




A plethora of exhibitions in th s c nd h lf f the 1980s and the first half of the e e o a o !990s turned• spotlight on idenury ddinod collectively, especia lI ‘ idcnrity de) fined m ter�s 0£ race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality; thl! exhibitions simulwneously set off a firestorm of debate on the value, ethics, a nd meaning of art and exhibitions thar_engage issues of identity. Two high-profile exhibitions were par ticular ly con ­ tennous: Magiciens de la Terre (1989) at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the 1993 Whiiney Biennial (sometimes nicknamed “1hc Identity Biennidal”).’ The former showed contemporary artists from previously colonized culture s in Africa, Oceania , and_cls�whdere nc�t -to artists from the Wes t. trying to rreat all artists as equals. The cxhibano� was criticized for romanticizing

N art

e e ists from cultures outside the West and turning_th m 1nio e e ma a , , xouc “‘Oth rs in comparison to suppos dl ” instre m

Wesrern amsrs and for not reco ·, y

· · . e

gmzmg d· lversny · among artists · from 1he same loca- tlOn. Th . 1993 Whitne en a


y Bi en

ni l was l’I k . s rie a

cw1· e c r· . o

tt1c1z· · e d f or creating overl simp1·1- f, d ‘ .d nty catego y s nd f r c u r• ..ton·a I se I ecuons · o[ artworks that wer e see

i n as

d. ,dame, . h. ghly political in t e

o ne a s a e

, an d Iacki ng m · . aest henc . appeal. Both exhibito ions

I h d r e

h u d fen o

ders o a , r 1• . o amp wen. n ‘ wh s \ , ,h, cir . mu I ncu · I tu a l worldv1ew· as val d t1ng · nd g for ar11sts fro m et h me, · ra

t C’la· , I n d gene I r groups wh were und rr pre-sen c d m t h e mam.

a e o e e stream art world.s




significant energy in recording their own likenesses. Indeed, populiar myth.s that r�man­ ticizc artists as a special category of p eople are fed by such representations; ,h�nk ofthe dramatic self-portraits of Vin<:ent van Gogh. Closer i n �imie to ourselves, arusit_s of note after World War 11, inclu ding ,he British painter Francis Bacon and theAmerican pop artistAndy Warhol, produeed influential bodies of work that feamrcd •. range of portraits an d sell-portraitis. Each artist o f talent who took up these genres d,d in a� way that revirnlized the traditio ns. Bacon, for instance, revealed a sronhng capac,ry for _rernining an identifiiable likeness of a specific person while forcing the painted rcpresen• cation to under o eg xpressive <01\tortions. Warhol thriough a pristine, almc>st niechani.. cal, application of color, created mass media icons of reco gnizably famous persons.

ln the contemporary period, a number of artists have continued to creat<‘ in,ages and objects that are anchore d in the familiar tra ditions of portraiture and s elf­ pomaiture. Americans Chuck Close and A lex Katz; British artist Lucian Freud; lrnJ,ian artist Froncisco Clemente; and Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang , for instance, have each demo nstrated how representations of human likenes s are manifcs1ied throug h ,he prism of art istic style.Americans Elizabeth Peyton and Richard Phillips have updated Wa,hol with painti ngs of pop celebr ties from the 1990s ai nd 2000s.A deep, implicit connec1iion between art and human idcnuty has existed through­ out art history. How 1he world views you, how ou view yoursey l(. how you view oth­ ers -these fundamental dimensions of human identity have inAuenced amsts’ ,deas, emotions, and creative expressions in classical Cl’�e, in eighteenth-century sub­ SaharanAfrica, ond during the Tang Dynasty in China. An artwork’s subject miat­ ter, irs formal properties, and the very materials it is crea ted from reflect the identity characteristics, on the individual and broader cultural level, of both the artist and the intended audience.

While aconnecnon between an and iden tity has existed throughout histiory, the ways in which humans understand themselves, or conceive of their identity, fire con­ St antly changing. Iin some periods and in some societ ies (such as the dynastic period of Egypt’s Old Kingdom), these changes seem almost g acial in their slowness and sub­ltlety. In other periods, changes have occurred at a cataclysmk pa«!. Fo r example , the Enlightienmel\t in Europe and North America was marked by profound social, politi­ co!, and scientific changes that altered how humans understood themsel ves . Startiing with the American Revolution in 1776, a series of conflicts over 1he righ, of sel f ­ determmataon produced a new democratic order, in whjch the individual came to be seen as the agent of his own free will, rather than part of a rig d i social structure.ln our own contemporary periiod , many interweaving forC(>S and events have reshaped co ncepts of id nrity on a worldw de b sis.Among ,h h be rapid tc h­� i a em ave en cnolog1cal change, rhe d1smantling or 1hc Soviet Union, increme ntal vict0ries for fl!mi• nist and civil rights c auses, the rising world influence of societies beyond Europe and.the Unned Staies, the ever-mcreasmg speed of information tr an sfer, the globalizing of e onom1c systems, and th� e mAuence of feminist,. postmodern, and postcolonial theo­ries on a range of intellecrua] and culrural arenas . Such changes have nm rake n place everywhere or equally, of course, but they have occurred in a wide r an ge of societies ov r. the p� ast three decades. Think of the expanding economies of the Pac ific Rim, the u,uf,cauon of much of Europe within one monetary syste m , •”nd th, c d · 1Smant 1· mg o f a a o t

.p rt h c, · d m · S u h Africa. Such changes in the fabric of who le societies, even when

nsfo m ti n has b en. fol.low d by a period f retr chme t r r vct al, inevitably�ra r a o e e o en n o e s1nfluenc-e art:Jsts. A new 11ucrnational awareness,. a new vision of possibility, produces new u de s of what it eans r b human; th se unders andings, in urn, ari� ‘ � m o e e t t e embodied m artistic portrayals of human identity ,hat look the art of the past.

The currem interest in diversie identities is a rediscovery and reinterpretation of .their �elevance. Through trade and coloniznuon, Europeans m thie nineteenth and early rwent1erh centunes, for example, were well aware that cultural Others existed elise.. where in the world. Recem and ongoing changes in concepts of idenritv mirror rhe dra1�1a1ic and decisive inte racrions in other per ods (e .g .. 1hc deep inOuen�e of colonialiSpa111 on the an and identity of 1he Native peoples of Mexico during the sixteenth. century) Nevertheless, cont(·mpornry arrisrs offer a new spin on the �1ucstion What docs it mean to be hu man?

Identity Is Communal or Relational Identity was a key rh me in artistic product on; i in 1he Unittd States and Euriope rightft r Worl� Wa [I. for the unmediate p s war g nerati{)n oi nrtists, identity meant� � � o t e.ind1v1dual 1denl1ty. Later in th� e twenricrh century, thiis belief in o consistent , unique • ne s lf and the indiividua l’s nbility miacr independently of soc e y wa severely q cs-� r e i t s u11oned. The challenges rame from philo::iophers, social ac11vis1s, artists, psychologists,. and o,hers who doubte d all claims 10 ulumoto truth Roland Barthies’s iormulation of the “death of the author” is a famous example of the challenge m individual self­.deter�1inarion and self� Jn Barthes ‘s vie\� there is no single, unchanging meamng for any text (“text” would encompass both written and verbal communica­ tion , indudin� those we make as individuals in our efforts co express g our personality.i and 1dcnt1ty). The or gii nator of the text is not rhc ultimate authority for its meanin g .Eac� readeri (receiver) of rhe text formulates his or her own interprernrion, based on_the 11np1·css10n that the lan ua s a cs g ge make on him or her. For many re sons, Barrh and other critical thinkers grew skeptical of the en-,phasis on singular idientity and unique• ne ss and instead focused on how people are powierfully influenced by forC1’s outside .themselves (in addition to whatever unconsdous mot vations pri opel behavior)I n contrast to the existentiial focus on independen t md,vidual di entity, coday when Western artists and writers on arr use the tenn identity, they are usually referring .i 10social and cultural identit .A co ntemporary artis t y who 1s inrcrc-stcd in the theme of ident y is asking not only, Who am [ as an individual? but Wh ore we 1-lS rn<’11,beit , o rs of groups? An example or an artist working with multifaceted communal 1denrmes is provided by Carrie Mae Weems in her Kitchen Table Series, a seriies of twenty unti· tied photographs, one of which is presented here J2·3J. Thie same woman protagonist (Weems using herself as the model) appears in all ,he photogr aphs, sometimes alone and sometimes with various other people, and she is always at the same kitchen table but with different priops around her .Any of the photographs viewed singly migh1 be in1staken for a simple portrait. But viewl.11g the entire seriies, we realize thnt the wom· an’s ident ity is shaped by many variables, including her gender, her status a, a workmg­ dass black Americian, her relatiionships with other people, and her soci al history. This last varia ble is represented by the photograph of the civil r ghts lead lcolm i er Ma X on the back wall Jl Figi ure 2-3.




2•3 Gela11n Carrie Mae Weems CR(OfT_

si Cou

lver rtesy

pnn1, o the

28 1rt

1/4 $ ,nol 1 I

• 28 1/4 tnches I “Untitled,· from the Kitchen Table Series ‘ 1990 atk Shl,nflWI Gallery J

Although collective id nt n s co ce v bly . . cussione. s in the West in the e19SOsi e and n could b b d on m1 990i a e asef a i ,

ny traits,. m .-irt d·1s- JI n . h . s, gend tto r e categories of c . he tran were most

a s that of rcn mph ized

ries of group ‘I d enrrty . me . e as

I udcons e r. ·

. . cla er �i:: �:m r e pro. nounc ss

race, e

ec hnu:ity, an d sexual or Oth s ess o

‘ entation. r lig ca1ego· i , nat1ona · 1ity, · ian d ag . In EtLrope ar where class are p an t d: t’ “‘ on orks that refl ct class e


val e

p e

a e

n t th tn h e

e Uen d sR · ,re e

ch l Whir . tares · Fo r r ues

ad ass

, ga xamp ,ned entit ,

gr ar n nrron by y

n gative ca ting e J e, ,n . •s one

• , or cl id

a e s e

1993 a Bnnsh .. s

sculpror, pace of i

a buildin h n e

d o

l e d f or d emolt’.10. ‘” . mono ‘ thfilling the 1.nh,c sculpture e

nified s as n a e

c n trh ee entire nt rior London’v:i::: E t E d. M d by working-class idenr � h o w rh co re , ir y or”t�;·� c �hlt rcad’ House nh �� r � s i g -• •tanrs of th,s ryp,cally conscricts ed space.

Whitc e a s a s an e e s nt e o a afrom an >’e e

d’s House n

i n

l o exampl of how th me of ide ity, m m ry, nd pl ce intrhe rsect. I additioon, by a filling i th n gativ p ce Wh ter ad switched th focuarchite<tural o a so

c t i r (the n materie e l fabric e s of a i e e sthe psychol gic l, cial, and nep litical zont-s a thar th r e u nea,·1work becam n impe etr ble o

h b ckling) to in r spaces n a monolith, metaphorically e e a e

­ e a

occupants se

onc inh bit d. Thaling in the patterns ofeliving that once occurred wit·hin. e

Most of en

th an tha w illu tra e i hi chapt r mbedd d i conc pt of thnicity, g d e r, a d t x e ality, sr flectt n ng t the s prominee is e ce of the n e s a e”id ntity rr” ef the n1980s se uand e co c r i1990 . In i chapter 3, w con i diese cu nio e of ns e a o s n

r c e


ity a d gend r within ur xplorattos of rh rhcme e of thnt nue bod a and s in ss rh

chn dis<‘uss n religious e xu l­pt r e9, awe identities. o c n e e , a ey

Identity Politics When artists began


to m them elves a par f a gro p, th y at firs used g n r l s

terms s

uch as women, African na e Amerknr,s, s s and t Asian o Americnus. u e Thi t mnd politicale e aen e: however simplistic e

with u

respect ro th framework of mtellecrnal s id as c (peoplin e

practice o

really n

b long e

to m ltip e

le cohort e

s), ,h e eth arr w rld ns i the r st of th world, people have e srraretgy n was funee s cr onally s vvy. In t e e

of e b n t rei typed and d ­crimina ed t

against 01, th basis or their perc ived gender or ethnic e

identity o a


or cl is .Di crimina ion includes unequal occ-e-ss to opponunities for making money in assharts and little- or no represenra,ion . in art 1txhibitions, gal1ery shows and sales, art his· t erory texts and teaching, art cri icism, or any other kind of ar discussion and anal i .Economic and institutional discrimination t used to be rampant t and still occurs. It ys is sone reason y e

wh s

feminists, a

among others. e t

got so angry about th “white l’nal patriar­chy.” Peopl ob erved n e

th t s

a high perc t

n e e of exhibi ions age of ch g in Western arr world i t rm nd l e arti t� who wer succeediw rs whit and e mal . They n t cto que tio why, nce h y could S<.>e for ath samselves e e rh r ,he r rc many e excs a 1h

s n si r e e es a e e a e

rred llent women artists and artists of color.7

46 47

Arti n

t re po d d to the xclusio ary poliric of rh art world i many way ,includi g s s picks i ng. ed mon tr eti g, spnaking ou s i public e forums, and n working f sequaJ et n e s a ns t e

opportunitie o a

for all s

artis s ro participate e in t art n institutions and the public inter· or


pr tation fThe Gue rr . Some r als o made arr w i h a politic l g nda, som tim s call d a

rrilla Gi e

l , for inst nc , a tf mi is group a a e wo ki g ea onymously e e nctivist a e e n t r n n ( ince1985), prim rily in N w York City, battl d th p tr rch l power structur of rh s rtworld on b half of wom n d th r underre pre sa iae e an o e e e ented arrisa rs. a


Srill ctiv e s provoca­e ateurs for soc:ial change, none of e awi ho t doubt ch i lso doi ua utof tth ucoll ctivea pp s rs a i p n the


Guerri11a i o

Girls n

is ever nam a

d as an en

individ e

l, b e

g f m nist w rk i other renas. Wh any m mber cosrume bLlc as a Gu rrill Girl, h w rs gorilla m sk and


thae coe ca als eap rt n of the u tor o . O e eof rha group’s s e ea a t n e a s n e favorite strategies i s a to eadverti e so

ing a

forms, i s


ch as bumper stickers, po ters, and ads in magazines, to rommuni­usca, un

ci s

lly s

act vi u sk , “Docs t vibl tly a a womsual mn esshave agroees. An be e t e ta naxampk e 10 eis heir 1989 postt r with an a lCXt se h e u e

k d en

g t s

into s

rhc u

Me ropolit Mu um atof e of Arr?” Th implication, s

co rs , is that wom arti t are nderrepresented, whil rhsexualized e s

female a

form, a

ignified s

as e

models in male artists’ wor� remainin th s ubiq i ous e

di pl y of the rt hi torical r cord. u t



Identity politics s a te s e

e c s sm

i an

rm u ed to r fer o h bclids a d a ivities of th who targ n m

t c

ra a

i m, sex , d other forms e e i

em a n r

of pr judice t t e

a d w rk n

for ct

soda l ng ose

ln o i p rity. Th p h sis on a d ecognition o f


cultu o


d c o ­ n l diff renc i also

s n e

e es s

a called

ad 11111/ticulturnl

t cultural ism. (The

diff r e term has


l cy es as d

ess sa en

voca e

li e e

of multiculniralis sirable

today.) Propo t a d good, r th r


tha s

as s me hi m

fe ed a d p ed. A u tic lt ralist n

y admira a

h e

Europ n

n cul o

ural t

ar n re ress m

s n e e ate at

tradition ng to �

l but doe ot l v th tradition

u u

above all ma

others. e t e ea t



Identity e

polia e e

ics in h art wodd was a Gercc ar a i ,h L980s a d 1990s. Activi t

t ner

on th an

th e

m n

of e

ida t

nti e

y co tinua s to have som en

powerful n e

co n

e ntemporary s

io s d d fe d e t n e practi­

Joseph Mar i z, W


rs a

, indudingaAdria llia

nPip<?r, Barbara Kruge m e c v r

r, David I l,1nrn10ns, Dan s e m


e e e i

m e

Pop .I., and Ha n

hi e

i Edga Heap a e

of Bird n

. Al ,h same ti e,


oth r p ma

opl , both fro ,h arr o

world t

a d th f an a As

world n e

at l er

rg , e

remai o

s1c,1dfo,tl y crincal

se a

dC’ w a

ith an oven o e

p li ical ou

agend c r

. i arli e

p ri ess

d$. th san tioned pur ­ po s of


n ot y 1t


n e


re hotl c nt sted in r s

u nm1 n a

age. Ncv o n

nhd s s

, ca n cs

b d l!d that fro


1h recent s

era e

of social activi m o w rd, w me aru r , LGBT (l b e

�m, cni


, bisexunl.


nd tran r

gcnd r) nrusts., a d nrtisr o( col c.’O ti lly uI fo a v i 1

rh ay

m tter in the a t wor d. n s or n nua s cl’ s o ces ac

l 48

The focus on issues of ide society nt arge. S ch


conc rn n in m r enc o (‘ o c t e

l gmv up i the People’s


Republi e s

tity art i

i rors 1hc ore no1 lim ted ro 1hc

influa e

e f th �(‘ t pi s in h

n c n n

W t

st, of cour�c. A h X . \vh

e nt n nanmen re n 1989,

of Chi a o d immigra e eas

ed to Austr inese

;,lia en

f ve s i Tia

o ll ian

owing ,h o


ow rnl t!ral d1Spla n

?f whi n

h t

,s p es ted c e

Squa e

i has explor d id of Ch id my a d his

c r en

m e

nt . Hi Cl1i110 nc,; of porcd m b d •·ca t b t , one


h re an

[2-41, s

comb Cluna

ines a Wes, se

rn sculptural a

p<> o

t an 1radi1io s us s)

e r r n dat­ ing


b a d dec

k to �naent Rom busts with ,radmonal Chi ceramic lcth ,. gl zl.’S,


orauve surf�re e

desig s . �any o( Ah Xi ‘ motif nese m ues aq

! d landscape� d n’:’e fro n

de ,g s u ed m he an

Mi s s n u owers ra onsg

Chm s n ss, th intricata m

d s

signs n s

over t

, i cl ding tl , d ,

houlda ng and Qing dynastie

r s mbl s . Sig ifying

and h d d n

tattoos, as ,f o


say e e

h t o e

‘ c u l rura e

I ‘d e

enuty · c

·as per s

t t a ne s I ma n o

n nt ers

e no ea

wh an

ot e

her e

pl e

nd influences . o e ad pts .11

at aces a

Essential ism

ln the 1970saand e arlyl9S0s, art·i sts w ho Idcn ‘ m ns m n r

n f ‘ pl d. 1 ed with a group tt;’nd ed to d,st’ . cuo. a own y

n a o g g


oup m i h f b Id · on. A rusts · w h o, ‘d nufy .

em ers n interest o ui in t emse

b t e g h l as � g,.

a large , cohe sive coali•

art rh a, ‘” oes node

�r m· on . ves I on ng a


to s

grou p h ave sometimes

h r · Th us an o Id e e e



Sch a e

n , and M r

genl”ra i

11.ze n

d traits ‘ or expcn ce tI lat m m b ers o f th group

neeman generat- .. o of fo 1 · n ,· i art15t· , me” I d i g Judy Chicago, Carolee

ut omest c

onica 5jOO m d e m

•aon s

• bo t pregnancy, s n

b’ 1rt h , n d n’lcnstru tioand abo d i t a a u a a n

ing . Rachel R mh a s 101 1 a en a s e c e n

o mythi al h os,,

roin a

k s a

tl ‘ are e

I arge e

y e n

rned n

ou e

t b Y wom , sue t

h s hou l a • l, M r y B th “Ed l s� , a d oth rs looked back o histo y fo eal s ,h ou Id ‘d nfy w11h d i c

r r r

Af r c

i A ican e e

rtists� e c

r can mer a rpo 1ed h m subj cts .

n e an e e s

h as R ay en

� d Saund an

rs n o

nd Jacob ra

Lawr t e as

fou d m n e a ch , lik wis


ro(,s d rol m;d tb Y resea hmg h; tory d S tat es, as well rc s an

a n eg t an e curren eve t


· r e

I w Un1teo e

· , e

s gazi. n ov r h c occanatA f n. caI d x

. r e ge . aminm

. g t

spect n s in

Some o f m d an th � c p h a. siz s a s h red ‘ a s

o f prescnt·d h or f s I av ry d cons t herr . A f. nc

i usne an


racism. a e at m e a is t y O e an c o ss ay

2-4 Ah Xian I China China – Bust 63, 2002 Poree lam. tar stained w th rebef an<l$Cape de$1£n i l h40:w.w39.5 :cd29.5cm

Co�1 111’lOAh�ni t Conec .on ot ttwOueemiand Art GaU!fY!’Ci,a i@lyOII M00t:1n Aft , 8n1t1ane, Q1 d .Auwatll l l


Kerry a

Jnm<>s M r h ll i A ica p in who ha mad the p es -d y cul u nd a a

ctivities of African a s a

Americans s an mer

hi pri n a

ry ter

ubject s

att r . e r ent a t re

n rr tiv a d ymb lic p imings [6-3] s

e n s o a

H retH c plic:a,cd

s n o t re et o t s one

in whi ma s m e e c es om

ki . Thr ugh he p ition f hi int ch vir

t tually all n , Marshall

the figures h v dark, i eem to


d e ky

n ify th n

i t blackna

ess (as a color and as a conce s e

pt s e

) i fund ense

m o

mal e

o what it s

me s

ns o e

b t

Africa a

Arnerica.1,. MarshaJ)’ t lized xagg ratio s

of a

skin e

to t

fu cti a

mbiguousl t e n

min : nt

imum, ce

rhc r pres ntati y

n of blackl’l(.’SS n

imult’aneousl n e n ons a a y

“darkfo e e o s y r

re res nta o e on

egisters e

as a echo f 1h


” t

p an

e a

tions e

of n

p p n

cultur , a cclcbn1ti n e

of th o

color blo n

k’ di o

i e

fonnal ba u y, d for grou di g of 1he c s st nct

“black”Am rica. M rsh ll’s rt app ars to c t

mpl yi g th e

t rm a a

to a


to e

sig ificanc

e a y Afric re an

of ,he s ciological oncep o f

e o n e black n

ify an

( d th by critiqu ) the practice f Am

ere e o

erican of any skin coloration. e


Although e e

such e

genaral statements can e e en

be p<>w h ds,


t can

rful e

d u ifying, in awkward


g t

n raliz d int a

rpr tations of n

group id e

t i o

y a

b ch an n

for a ar ist claiming communal ide tit ar : H w l rge a group alleng d ea ily. Two is u

do e

you s

ide tify s

ith es

n wy ?




b l cl im n b h l f y gr up? By th lan d Wh o · ma ki g i u l and v a s o e . a f o u r \ o . o . e er a are s aIS n vsi d d ims th o 1ded tOO sweeping. I ttn ‘b u tmg certam qua sre a at s ure 1 N

1· JtJes . 1 980 s, peop J c · . . . term 1·or pomts o f view · t “‘women Of or “‘blacks seeme o d s1mp . 11stu:. Tl ,e esserJ11a ism .b g n to b e app I ,., eo to st t a e o er ene e o sa emen s a aO es e a t nd im • th t oonv ycd v I y g r a 1 · • rz d . r ter ­ co n typed notions of id n e ent particular; a accus.auon of esscntrn · ity. In 1· 1sm 1s · o f te n�a. wh cl im b t gronp’s id ntity c based on _,he not on thar h’., e s

d h’. aar uae s en a s a ou a

. red q l,ue e r er o m s s u e o u t a e o a atural, or based n biology. If h o d f th g 1 nat ral, th n y h vre n an

insurmountable obstacle ro overcome if you are on a lower rung of the existing order. Th t a use ve o e re a a ma ae erm essentialist is usu lly d negati ly, ft n to sist d i!” de bout you by someone cl raiming to s e tspeak 011 your behalf. Fo cxample, _ ‘O t f minis s t. ‘.’. �ay would resist as essentialist any claim that women are naturnlly suited ro nurturing ol and th s h ld b ar o r en n e r es u s ou ear the major rcspons,biliry for child re ing t di g th sick

in society.


Lyle Ashton Harris is an American n,·tist who, over th past rwenry years, hself-p e as o used

rtrait phot0g rnphy to e i a e ot ns f e t e a

inv st g t n

n e

io o id nti y co plic d by i su s of race, sexua1 eori m s


nt atet e e ons

tion, a

and ge d s

r . e na

Harris uses cos umt d c truct nd eue a mak

e e s

, p, gesture, and pose ma e omosexua

e e ua

mock a v

impl bi u

ry e

cod s: m l l ; h l e

v se

rsu fe v us h t rosex l; ersbl ck tra e

�rs s u

whit . In i

som e a a

lf-por u

it phot0s, h fe i· mne ,dcnnn s, incl a en nd ong e as

ball rin nd s p 1e h t k n

e e r o t e e ea a a

rmod l, a

whil e or

cont adicting th ininity f h poses e fem 2

by r v ling of a

his n er e o

tomically m l e

t s e u

s o . llarri ‘(2002) 1 s Memoirs of Hatl in11 #26 e ur


·_5] is one s r

i s f tw lv a

uniq e rwemy-by-tw nty-fo -incl, P r

laroids. Th 11tle is oo e e

bor o a

owc<i ett r

from e

1951 n t

v e

l by Ma g it Yth form f l er w itt r uer e n by ourcenar, whose t ext takes

cc osso_r Hadri m ean followi a s u s s sn h

g the dr aging R

owH rns po ni o man E p ror M rcu 1\ureli to hi uc­

a ses a a re e

ng f his lov r, A tino . In ight f th ph to-ch s, s . ba w’ “” e n e o e opnz· f · u s•g h t r w armg · Ev I t b ing glov nd Du ke l’.”k strap . ‘ e . H m

e’ e ocativ eself-im er as ox es a a

a s s v 1g h e af gesee o a s

s of s

nn va

iso ented tcr m t suggest both ated, H rr’I ‘ o ie ru sepn· rm 1 ” ‘f c ted p blic id e e l bl od d,

mo d, b i torm

tt· n I ntity. oTh a se fa e s

u a e u e e ser I nd hi n d t d f en d h’1ies m s ee o ay also reference the historical role of boxing

51 50 Diversity

By th 1990s, writers, such as bell hooks, Edward Said, Homi 13habha , ae nd GayatriChakrnvor ty Spivak, were discussing identity in increas,ngly complex terms They were theorizing ,hat identities a not fo rmc<i around and dominated o e

. re by n central

v:trinble such as race. lnscead, identity is formed wi1hin a complex matrix of manyvariables, including gender, sexuality cthn c-ity, class, religion, community, and nation. MorC’Ove

, ir, the members of a group arc not alike in every way; they have diversity within their own commona lity. Among the new conception s today is that those who are interested in diversity recognize internal differencc>s within the comcxr of rheir own communiry.

Awar eness of diversity contrasts strongly with essen tialism. Instead o f look ing for sa

· meness, one looks for multiple aff liati ons and character s s u t

exist, but they a i i tic . Cro ps s ill rc smaller , and an individual may identify with different groups in differ ent situations . As Walter Tru ett Anderson wr ote , “The postmodern per· son is a

a u

mul1i-conrrnm1;ty person, to

::ind his or her life as o social being is based on dJ sring shif11ng contexts and being true to divergent- and occasionally ronflicung-commitrnents.'”‘

Unique 2.s Lyle Ashton Harris I Memolfs of Hadrian lf26.

Po 2002

la,old, 20,: 24 ,r.ehes CREOIT· COUft!Syol Ue a,Ust �nd CRG � fl’r)’1 l




-� c (l)


in the construction of African America iden i y . Although an indi idu l spo , boxi g provides a culturally constructed imag


o f African t t

A ri an m v

hood, a

a di rt

e me c an splay n

of athletic prowess, fighting at the r isk of injury before a voyeuristic croud.

The cultural theorist bell hooks embraces the concept of diversity lib r a d p

as e ating

Sp n litically

ki o desirable for people who have been stereotyped by essentialist thinking .

ea ng o f African Americans, sh us to ffi mulripl bl k d i es,

e observed, “Such a critiqu fof s nti l i m] ll ied bl ck expe i ce. I

e es e a s a ows

imp ri a

lis rm

parad g e

of ac

bl i ent

k d ti

ntity var

hi h a r e n t also cha llenges colonial

i e

y a

rhar t

for i ms

and ac

u t i e

whi w

p c represen t blackness one-dimensiona lJy

and n wa

is against s rein y.” Al hough hooks alu di si y

simplistic ce

generalizing, s s ain

she te su

argues remac

that it still t

makes sense v

ro talk es

nbout ver t

a communal black identity rhat is culrural and formed by sharing a majo r m of hi ­ to

r st ea ry with other African Americans . She advocates 1har people should pay attentio to


“rhe specific history and experienc of Africa -A h u ique nsibiliti n

and cuhure 1har arise Crom rhot experience.” e n mer ns a t e n se es


ica nd


One concept about identity that gained currency in rh d-1990s i which i

e mi s l,ybridity,

cretism s

i relat us d

ed ro the notions of multiculrur mo or l s y o y ly ith

alism a d di si y . (Th m sy11- s e re e hyb


s s n n mous w ridi ver

ty.)” A t

w rking e ter

d fi i io pro id d by R hi

o e n t n

rr. v

v d e

a hrough o ni Malik and Gavin Jantj es defines l ybridity as “a state of be, ing,

a i e h in ov v ixi g d b i g of id m d s f


prac t

.”” t

Th e n

tudy ati

f e

hybridi m n

y an

fo orrow

o n d

o h bl nding eas, la nguages an

f d,ff e o tice e s o d y th i

o erenr cultures that come into co c t

with cuses

on n t

oth e

. e

Thi u l a n s

l n

bl es

d­ s

ing , o y cr i m, ca be olu t i• d nta

s t

ml s o c e an

b th e r s c tura e n

cul u r s

f n

h, et s

h _ n

h forc v n

d i ar

po an

i io e a

of es

cul r an e

o e outcome of a painful

colo111zat,011, t re c s suc as t e e m s to o h a h pp i

when inhabitants from one country n one

move ture

int n

o and an t

d er

inate s a

anoth ens n

people’s territory. Forced colonization h pp n d i n rh Ame i s, Afri o m

, A s lia, er

and other pans of the world when Europ a

n e

di e

pl c d e

r c r ca ca u tra

Of ou ,_ ea s s a e o onquered native peoples.

tu res c

con rse af r

unues even te th e colonial regi me i s dismantled, the mixt ure of diverse cul­

. . In �ddirion to colo iza io , a gre t d l of hyb idity all h w ld i rh ul

of imm,gration. Indeed, n t

nearly n

all h a

p ea

pl l vi g r

h U it· d t

Star e or

· i over

· s h s e res

tors t

w ho were voluntary or involunta ry t e

1rnm1grants · eo

· e i n

or n

ar t

1mm1grams e n e

themselves. e ave ances

Over t h c c n. s, peopl h v mo ed to rh U 1· d S at


. ‘” h entu

world. e

Hybridi e

y, a

• e

bl v

di g r fu e

i n te

of c t f ro l ru

es m v t e

· inually y t

oth en

r pl ce n o s on u ral in[luences � i

ever e

s endemic ro bei a

ng an American.

Hybr ‘ h o gomg.

idity is found in all cultu res wor Id w1 ·d e; no cu I ex ha ge a d ad p a ions


contact e n

h other c n

c l s n

· E a

en “‘ t t

ture h

cie· t at su

ev�r been immune to h re lt fr migration ‘ di pl c m ‘ a d

· . wit a d . I r d


p opl s su h s s

th a

A e

a ent

z.i li n

mg m cave d we u tures v an nt n

. a eISO e e

. c a

e re . s a

II n

ings in . remo re a as o f

enomenon w h t

o r ow N

t w M’ xico , d, d or


I’ , n sa

. m to v

al , ol uo ph

t e . Th

s f

ea h b idi. Y h


b ee n

. m eIS

. ,6cd e

roday, how n ve t

of h rapid pr d of m f . as n tens r, b cause

mexcial forces. The nor· ormation _Y an d ideas ·

eve n er a na e ia

o o . through . , r n no· I m d . an d


coin• f h y b n duy, r y r n m, qu lifid i y, sugg sti g h�r :h r no no


nor s nc

ha e s

h a i

, . b es t

ent t e n t e e t w he concept of gro p

ence bet se IS

. s . t ere e ve ee an a s te ween n. e n b o I u

‘ Out d ·

n , ff e


– n

lf a ntam

d oth nat

rs e

As S h Afncan artist u Gavi co J ti· s i ys, “Th r r

o ed p riph ·

erie::. · ·

full o f aur h enncot . h ers.”u an e sa e e are n

Numerous artists have expresse d concepts of hyb idi y in h ir works. O example is Hung Liu, who etnigrarcd to the Un ited S a s


f om t

Chi t

a e

i l9S4, a t th ne

ag e o f 1hirry-six. H ng Liu builr rh composition f t

h te

r painti r

g Jud n

me11t n

of Paris e

12-6) und h u

aro er own painted c pi e

of hi o ic l o

im e

g f Chines n g

d E rop wo ncn. Th two Chinese figur


s, standing es st

in r

pink a

at a

1 e e ei1her es o

side, arc e an

painred u

from ean

vinrage nphotogrnphs of young Chinese prostitutes posed in clnborace Western set­ tings typical of r hc Vmonan era .” These con>tructcd imag s, from ou d 1900, “had been made by Chrnese t


photographers to promote he s e

vi of ar

uch n

wo n among their countrymen The two Chancse women fJank


a ces

central s

p:rnel wirh m e

Hung Liu’s paint ing of a lotc Q,ng-cra porce lain vase. The vase is decorated w11h a paint ing of a European-style mythological scene that 1ndudcs rw godd s s b s exposed, ont? of 1hci-n a cla ic reclinin.g nude pose. Such


vase� were es e 1rl1

reast in ss inadc w

in cighteenth-ce r Europe for sale.

n ur)’ China to appeal to Wc51ern ma le tastes an d were cxporred to J lung Liu includes references eiglutenth-, runcteenth-, and 1wcntierh-century d.i::.hes and remixing in


work tho1 expresses a feminist p i f vi . Th Mllst 15 xpr si g om thi g abo


1 hybridi th

o nt

person, o ew

wcH e

Hung e

Liu es

is bicultural n s e n

a minimum, u ,

fusing ty w ithin Hung Liu

China e dS a1 worldv1rws of

and 1he United State�.

H Hung Li U I Judgment of Paris, 1992 0 on c.anvas w 11t lacquered wood, lf ptyth, 72 )( 96 x 4 3/4 Inches 1 1 l i CREDIT, CD1.11lesy<1I Bern et SttMbl!Jffl GaUe,y. M.l 1lln’l i






Will Wilson, 3 photographer born in 1969 to a Navaio mo ther and whne father, mixes ethnic motifs, techniques, and content with idt:os nnd formal str.ltc�1cs learned £rom Western modern an d posunodcrn atl. His mulnmcdia installnlion Autowrmrmc Rrsponse (2005) ronS1Sts o f a lifc- s iu skel�al mml ho ag n (a rrad111onal l\a, ·aio house) and ,..,,..,0 lar�-sale digitally manipulated photographs, one of wh,ch ” illustrated [2•7]. The instollotion reveals Wilson os a hybrid of arusuc and cult’.ir.,1 influences; for instance, one photogroph shows ,he inter ior of an am1al hogan built wnh trJd111onal roor tlmbers1 wilh the artist inside surrounded by camcrns and computer� thnr pomt to his embrace 0£ new medio for making his art.

Wilson ,s deeply interes1ed m expressmg the rontmuong impa,t of rnloniz.ation on the ,denmy of Nitive peoples He says tha1 he is 1n ter..,.,ed 1 n thl’ 1mp.1’t on 1’ame identity of ·holocaum. genocide,, and architecture, of confinement 11rnng back to boar 1ding school on the rez.” 1 A11to,mm11ne Response subverts the rmn.1m1,, ,tssenrrnl· iting images of Nnuve Amel’icons mode for tou sts 1hr i ,u show Nauvc� gnrbed rn exor1c costumes posed in n,nural landscap�>. as 1f nature .rnd “pnnutives” \\�IC bonded and bot h were untouched by rime and hi;t0ry. In Figure 2-7 Wilson dep1<1, h1m,elf \\ea r­ ing a Wes1ern1Zed \\hue shin \\Uh hi< face p.,mted “1t h mud and h1, ha,r tll'<i Na,.110 style, breathing 1hrough a gas mask.nd � Jg,un,t • flooded. ra,,gcd looking land­ S<‘ape. Although seemingly pompodyptic (Wilson as the last lnd1nn ,1Jnd1ng after o genocide), Autoitumwre Response Jlso refers to nn actuol cawo;;rrop w -1he 1979 l bursting of o dam in Church Rock, New MtxlCO, when radioacuvc liquid from ura­ ruum mining flooded Wilson’s re,er\’3tJon the po1,onou, dfoos on rc,1d; cnt, and the em1ronmem conunue to this day. An historian Jrnnifor V1g1l anal} zcs A11tomumrnt” Rtsponst as an uonic commentary on … ,he history of ron;.oous and unconscious germ w.ufarc agoinst Nat1ve people.” such as the distnbunon of smallpox-1nf,..:1�d blankets by white set1 ers.” l

Hybridiiy can be e specially dramatic in 1he ort of rc.:cntly arr ved 11nmigran1s or i those who live along borders or in places where mong ethnic encl»cs ex1St side by Side. Gmllermo Gomez-Pena u”” the term bordtr arl to describe his own and other anist>’ \\orks 1hat blend ideas from culture s in dOSl’ pro”muy. Born m Me\lco m 1955,

2-7 Will Wilson I Autoimmune Response 115, 2005 o,,,tat lnkJe1 punt 44 1. 109 l nchn CR:EOIT O W Ill’ • JlS

•.s Guillermo G6mez-Pei’la Border B,u1o. 1989

Gomez-reno came to the Unued States in 1978. In Ins installo11ons and performance• [2-8], the artist asserts a proud hybrid idennry even as he portrays the uproot1ngs and disjuncrures rhar are produch of colonialism In h1!t 1rre\’erenr art”ork5. G6mez-Peiia exudes an aei;.1he11c sensibility Jnd bravado known 1.1s Rasquadusma, a visua) and v1,.•r,. bal style asst1oated w1th the Ch,can o and Me xican working class R«></linclusmo 1s a ddianr , ironic, excessive at.”s1ht11c that a Hirn,$ Mc-..1cnn identity nnd n·�ists assitniladon imo dom1nunt culture, w11han 1h� United Suu et.; •· Although ronfront.-uionaJ, GOme,: .. Peiia’s art r,•fl,,.,t s a roo1 op11m1•m-a foith thai dashes of culture, and ,de olo es mn g, fuel a creative synthesis that 1s ulumately benef1<1al to many.

Identity Is Constructed An important conCl’pt that dis11nguishes art abou1 1dcntiry in the cnn1cm op rary period is the nonon tha t identity IS con>tructed The murnl fom,ulanon of 1h1s roncep1 and its eventual widespread acceptance m the contemporan• art world un be iraced back to the wriungs of mtellectuals and academicians who “ere active m t he 1960s and 1970s Among the most mfluenuol wos a group of �rcnch philosophers, semiotician s, and structur al anthropologists, indudmg Jacques Derrida llnd Michel l’oucoult . Their writ­ ings provided key pans of 1hc intellectual scaffolding u on which pos1modern throrp y was built.




2.9 Catherine Opie I Chicken /from 8e1ng and Having). 1991 Ch,omogenK Pfi nt. 17 x 22 inches CREO T C Clithe, ne ()p �. l 99 J Courtesy Gorne.y 8rav n , I.ff, New Yo� .1nel Rfltn Pr� ‘I . LM Angt ts, CA I i i 1 t l


The,e thinkers posited the idea that ide ntity resu lts from a network of i111cr­. dependent foro:s ,hat defin e ro les, reward status, govern behavior, and order �wer relationships for all members of a commun e r ue at _ er t _ity. Th y a g d th d,ff cn ,dcnt,ues are formed ma _ _ _inly through socia l interactions and shared mrones; that IS, they l are learned within cer tain cu ltural and p olitical set tings, r ather than being set at birth. While those in science, re ligion, and other fields still believed (and argued) that key aspects of ident ity are biolo ical or spiritual in origin, t es n s e e e ng h e poi t of vi w w r ot considered pertinent to the “reading” of most critically championed contemporary art. For those who embrace the conc�pt that identity is construcred, no one is born with a unified, inevitable identity; rather, a person’s identity is a produ(‘t of. and in concert with1 human cul1ure, rhe colored water in the fishbowl m which e.1ch of us swin,s.

Otherness and Representation

In Oilier is someone singled ou, as different . The body of criticism that developed around the construction of identity de lineated the extent to which mulri­ culcural awareness has been tainted by binary thinkmg that constructs the identity of an alleged Orhcr by simplistic comparison of two supposedly mutu•lly exclusive term,: male/female , black/white, heterosexual/homosexual, Westcrn/non-WeStcrn , and so on. Binary thmking maintains Euro-Am erican ce-ntralit : inevit ay bl ty he iden­ tity of the Ocher is defined as a stereotyped contrast 10 a \tVesternized mainstream identity, thus hierarchrca lly reinforcing the laner as the nonn and the more impor­ tant and desirab e identity. Philosophers also use thl e term a lterity for this practice of cons truCling the dcnticy of culi tu r al Others through negative comparison.

Gender and sexual identiti.s provide exampb of the construction of Otherness through binary tenns that are simplistic and hierarchical and that attempt ro leve l out diversity within identity cate og ries . In mainstream Western culture, “male” and “female” are understood as dear opposites, and heterosexuality is viewed as normal in opposition to homosexuality. But in peop e’s actuo1 lives, as wcl1 nl s in the realms of an and theory, gender and sexual identities are more complicated and diverse, more open 10 change and debate . Ph losopher Judith Butler’s influential 1990 boi ok Cwder Trouble,” along with the emergence of “queer theory” in the early L990s, helped make peopl� �w a e of the h� eterosexual bias of previous art theory and praC1ice and brought .new v1S1b1lrty to the work of LCBT artists .

Artists counter biri:ary thinking by repr�nting their diverse identities from their own p�rsp�tive, seeking a voice and taking control of their O\\’n representotion. With s xual �dent�l , f r examp�e, artists have increasingl ry epn-s: r � entcd the greot diversity of �xual 1de1\tme� 1 n our • rudsr re.’ gistering desires that cross the old boundaries of

age, .race, cl ass, d1sa . .brl1ty, nat1onal11y, and ethnicity. Harm’s Memoirs of Hndrian ff26 12·5] “one example . Another example is provided by Catherine Opie’s photograph Clrichn (1991) (2·9], from her portraits of lesbians in drag in the series Being and Having (1990-91).

Deconstructing Difference

I� additio11 to raking control of representing their dvr w, ru t co · i enrity from their own e a s s un poinc ter f Oth oering by den,on stra1ing t · · h at a II “d I enuues arc constructed,

e ven supposedl “normal” m ainsrrcay rn ident ities; no identit is natural and esy sen­ tial. Kehinde Wiley, an American p ainter who energcd in 1he twenty-first century, oppro priates iconography that served to constr uet codes of masculinity in different periods and cultures, renuxing elements from p ast and present. Prince Tommaso Frntrcesca of Snvoy-Carigtrana (2006) [color plate 2), based on an equestrian por• trait of a seventeen t h -cent ury Italian prince, is from nn extensiv e series of large­ scale paintings in which Wiley recasts contemporary African American men as characters from European Old Master porrraits. Dressed in a pu ffy jacke t, baggy jeans, des igner sneakers, and a flashy chain brace let and ring, the young man takes the p ose of conf den c m astery 011 a rearing horse, which in the European grand tra· i dition indicated the power and contr ol of t he white authority figl1re . The decorative fleurs-dc-lis pai nted in a parrern across the sur face m ake a na, councerpoint to the p hot o-realistic ren dering of m an and horse, enhancing the overall impression of artificiality of style.

Wiley’s insertions of black men into rhr world of aristocrat ic portrniture serve to unm ask the Euro centrism and class p rivilege that created a visual history of the wrutc, w ea lthy, an d powerful and excluded p eople of color (a str ategy pursued by othe r arcisrs, inc lu ding Renee Cox {co lor plate 41). Beyond that, though, Wiley appe ars intere sted in revealing how mascu linity in general is constructed by vm,al cliches, s uch as fa shion and posing. The worlds of Italian Baroque p rivilege and urban





hip-h b l v l ling p llel m n f b th c lt s int nt on c o e ut a so re ea start ara s e o o u ure seem e

exce o

p collid : nveying hyperm c linity hro gh pos ing and v li g in th con m sses of their day .

as u t u tur a re e n e su er

Artists have d nstrucred w ys in whi h gender and s xual i d ntitiC’s arc.· ster typed by ra o­ce o

eco a

r nation l o gin. Th ir c i iq c

co nter e

E oc nt e

i c poin f that has

vi e

w historically p rv


d r

d W stern e

rep r t ue

nta i u

n f s a

x ur

li y; ei

e a e e rese t o s o se fo r t o

ua t r example, women are held up as e

white e

socially accept abl b c s of desir , whil wom n of c l (on the rare occasions they are depicted in high

o e t

ort ej

art) are p rayed e

as raci e

ally and o or

sexu• ally O h . Al hough t d wom n t er

of col t

are frequ trea e

ntly as sexua lly taboo (for the pr,-sumc>d whi m l vi er),

e or e stereotyped as sexually promiscuo te a e ew

us and erotically exotic. Thundu s w n o are no on y o s w e w en a y ishization e re t e a

, ome f color r l bjrttif ed, a hit om rc, bul theh dded pain and shame iof finding thand pornographic voyeurism. Postcolonial emselves the objc(IS f xtrem f ­

o s a a ue

theorists, re o

such a s o e e


Rasheed A ,·ael’n et

, bell h e

Trinh ce

ok a

, e c

T . Minh-h , e

M. e

A. J imes G r r ohat a

, Ell Habiba ShM r r, o , o a E pe er n s ond K ben

y w en

by uro

t eoryping a

h v tra ed rh s o ue

attirudcs b rs e

ck t s

to a

the p w d amic of coloniolbm, h s

n c er

nq ro jus ifi d l very, rape, and other forms of ly phy ic oppr si n their c p iv wild, ov l b ing , with e s

u any o and violence

of the a

ir o s bj c ivi y a

wn, wh h d a

10 t

b es

c as

n lled by er

x m s

m a

a e

r s

. V yc o

ri> t

< nd u e

p., t t

ch l ni udes lso o

pe a

m te d o

Wes1 tro

m e tre e e su es o u t ai

t a r ea e ern e e t o

ri 11o r

­ et e t eo e

dicin , an e ar e

hropol as

gy s e

, and cth g t ar

c n e o aphy. In 1he nin een,h


ury, t ra

colonized p e

pl w re reg d d p cim n t be studied and wc, ·c m ntas es

ed, pho og ph d, en

,md put on a tual display in public s es

c pccrnd s

cs 10 feed thfu i of \•Vcstcrn audi c .w e


Even well�inte es a

1\tioned e

V\’esrcrn feminists of1e direc a E. rocc t ic gaze ol pranic nd politics l wh in h w ld. n

Ell Sh h , w rt u

1 n t se

f m� i ‘ imp ri l fant s se ere t e or a o a ro e a o t e

x­ ter

e b u “W s n

gcsu n srs

ha the e a

d a e u o e e an e e s

m n n

Fog t

in t

nc ten

, he en

si of resc o

h’lg dit e

rid cromiz ‘cy t see whit \•Vcstern \lfilm alnd ph graphs f Shi u

d d v s n

il d ersa

women,”: N 1 m

ug­ e r

show e . l�


ma sta

wornen e t

gaib s

d a

in lh� oto

h ad .. 10•1oc o

cs o u iv bl


l is nor li it d o i

a n e e

n a

N,·sh a

(see th p f l ), ck g rment at

k e

rc t nown which as


th ei

a ��tcal!y ssum� b \N s vie to be unambigu u cf itiqueveiling of h e a or

m a ey tern wers o s r

ch s

d t

, e

con o

xt , 1h pa s n

. y s wn e a now es g e

ractice r o

�gamst te

W e ster a

�lu s r

l1m cou es

tr . Neshat’ o vra at i w ck· s a n e led th impot ecogn· f 1z , f or m t c , t h vet 1· mg ma ey v serve as h m nic i fl c(>. In co empora W t r


imp nt culto , i t is 3

tance r t st


h n

v eno eg hing


v n

p o e orta a e

d d e s a a

led, uen



including nt

femal rxu esy e n ture eeme

cally lipositiv y, b is hoci n l uv ql ? ei e se a t ut t at a ne uivo­

. Th b li f th t id nti y i a cul u l coS me e

peo e

�l a

welc e

mt_ h s

id tth ra n tru o e e arot o r�1 –

d teo

h e ; � posS1b1 e

h y of o

ch e

ng t e . Inde


s s d,

at e

C1i n can b xhil ing r f igh n­ o t a e e

id pan t m holog e

n1ith abili t y is o ru


c to

nst ta t

C1cd b e

thi condi i O e y y o n an e

y n an

s n

r ov r, to c><:a11se

make yo s

re urself t on

is r es are

� rea

f bei e

g nr , who inc singly xpose Am


rica t

d a a1tnction t o th i m c� .. e se s

d r h A m · . o u? f t h c nca s n

i d a an

o f a fi ·xed y

lf i unnerving. y I

Perh e e n a s e

12es p .ls r o er ett

bo , p o

s m d n, con t c d id a

nriry s a

m s e

m d•• Fo th s l ing g art a u o t o er s ru te e

d nse rony. or

fe , i a a

somerunt; i:

ch ract r· rf r ma · Fce •……… ” mpl” �, P• ul M c C art I 1v , 5


s v1 ‘d e

nntn Claus c n b int eo rpin t:e d pe1 �ormtce, McCa i nic iff n h

e e n u u t

r a e e rete as an ro

of r

W o t e

st � t eme

c t o

re, e

u tt e a it a e e e r o a n

h aus

r’ d in to c.1nc 1u of


n o

ity. o

ng rn n

hy n e

c s d m nt d pa ody f Si ta Clg th , a a a re

benevol ld man whr nd ent o o m.”!kes r b l ved ic n nd fog da Chri tmi n. Am ng h o h ,h mes yth

s r

McC s

hy’ as a e a e ra t o o t e t er e at art s

perfonnance connects wi h (popula cul u , li ion, a d fair t l , am g h m), Santa Clnus also seem


s t r fl ct r

o b t

i re

g re

hit , specif n

call b a

i esg

i y g n whit

on t

man. e

McCarthy’ s al ternately abje<:t o e

and e

v n e n w e

rody f a e ny mal


h i y figure, who appe r o t u s

a a o e e aut or ti

abo hi position, a s t e

len fig re i p m

whiton h verge of adness due to the loss of his fo m confid nc ut s rol

r er e e

e i n life, and idcntiry. The Fluidity of Identity

Related closely to the concep t that identi y is c n ct d i th conc pt th d n ity is nm fixed consistt:nt. l divid l a continuall

t o stru

e gage s

d i e

rt p e

c s of at

exchange i e t

and ada tap tion or

groups i n

rmi ua

gl s

. re

The fo ces rh n

r i flu e

nc. n

th roy con


id n ity c not as

t nte n e r a n c e e struction of

tran e t

form ar

bl as s bl ,

h a e and thus 1den111y itself is alway; in Oux. Identity is fluid and

s a e t e context changes . The notion of a fluid e ity can be hard to grasp . But think about oh w you


, h ve

i l erent in diffe e t in n da r m, nt home y fam ..

p do

a diff ,

l a i

r n SJtuauons: ss oy with ur o o opl

n a y diff job

t eren tervie

ac , or or 1n n situ tion

r m wh1ch ou

ou are o mb r d by

e e of ate :;’II

e og n

or r e


na1 nao ili1y o a

rel ngio all

. e Ary the utnu

snm e

p e

r l


h i a i , r do y u present a �omcwhat e publy i e

im g f e son

s n t

c o o c u

n re i ach ose s tu

nt t ons diff

rfor xt? A c mpo ar

i 1heorisr tha1

r(‘nt e


ou r “p a e o

rning’y o r

constn. 1 lf ­might sae<‘t d ev


io e

f you onte

, e

· identity r y e y 1h xts; ns o at cwork a diffe

i r

ch id n

y e

is t en

tran ay

e onte

form no of

d or ne s

versions b d the1 is yo on� authenric self b cau


in h r situations. u r s ea ent t s e a a n oned

ot e

id nt b

Motifs of mutating and hifting id n i y run h ugh h w k of mero s n is t · ts in the current era. G d


i tabili e

y t

i s t

a e t ro

of particular t e or

int nu u r

f rir c d d vi uall en er ns t one r a erest. Gender di£ .

by ercnccs

noting s e en o

yped e

vi s we n ers n s en ey; lear t-0 read a p o ‘ g d r and sexual orientation

tereot sual dues, such as hairstyl , clo hing, p , nd g s . A ists wh w nt to bv rt th ci l s otyp of masculini e t

y and f minini ose a

y e ture

ploy pr rt

p , m sk


, a

mak up, su e

nd cose so

um a tere

r pre es

a s e a t es to e sent b di of uncertain t e

o es g d t em o s

ific i n by view , Opie doe in Chicken 2-9). Opi ‘ phot en · graph

er that resist das vi s

w at

e [ m y di

e r o c s w

nce h are not


certajn as

if 1h s

re l king at a mol e

o s

a fomole. o

O a a

fundamental s o rt

l l. such t o

eve ransgressions do e

thM a oo

ch ll nge g nd e r y

more a e e er stcr eorypes; n

they undermin the whole notion of a stabl


e, consistent gender identi ty . Contemp ra y al a ti S, incl ding M th w B ney nd R be t Mappl h pe, have expl ored g

o r

end m

er id e r

ti st

y flexibl u

contin at e

m ar

f n a

goti bl o r

p ibiliti et or

m m r bl sc n in hi en

film t

Cremnster as a

3 e

(2002), uu

Ba n o

y, e

fo a e

st oss

e o a e e e s r high es . In

e a rmer ar sch ol a

thl t , cal h wall f he spiral ng ramp inside N o

S a

ch e e s

xing es t

phy e

ic s

l o

f t Yo k’s G

y be n m taph for facmg ew r ugge nh

he ei im M

u a ta s a eat challeng s f d useum. fining

maleness within contempo a ma

re . Int e

r ry cultu erp or

retat ions of Barney’s t

w k e

ar o

as e

vo.dcd as the range of images in the films, but som s Bar ‘ gym stics


s a e

s mbolic search for a new balance-a third sex, so to sp

e ee

eak . ne s na ay y

Photography, perform ance art, and video are especially popular practic m ng ortists who are interested in construc ted, unfixed identities. Cindy Sherma

es a

, o

h became w ell known, starting in 1he l980 , fo ing h r elf n m d l in s ag


d ph w o

t<>g aph xpl i g f mal id tity, ha s

m d r us

rna e s

ri as

1h d o

< e

t t

ct e ­

r re o

yp d imag s e

s th or n e

p e en

d in th fa s a e ·

t e e at are resente e shion world, n

dvc sey ti


ing, at

m e

vi ons

s, po ru

n g ste

a r s o e r o raphy o

an er s so r s ne er n n an e

, d oth mas .media u ce . Sherman is v a unchanging, u ch g abll’




2 – Nancy Burson Evolution II (Chimpanzee and Man). 1984 (cmDutPf ;,s.,te 11 • 14 K 5

CA(O,..,. � yfhtoxt

2-10 Yasumasa DVD

Morimura I srn I 0<ooectlon. •••”°'”loco 1 rom Dialogue with Myself /Encounter), 2001

C’l(Oll �Ol,._”1-VllflCU.Sltlr,.A,,. �””e.kY


self in her photographs; she assumes a different identny in e ach on,•, reinforcing the ,d,a that idtntoty is artif,c,ally construc,ed and transformable. In her series Hi>torrcal Portraits (1989), Sherman posed in female and malt costumes and used m akeup and fake body parts to parody the figures on historical paonungs. The series demonstrates how paintings made in earlier eras offered compcllong role models for building Iden­ tity in their day. even if we fond th e costumed figures ,n these pamungs silly now

Japanese photograph er and video anm \asumas., Monmura has made worJ.. depict­ ing transvestism and other behaviors that blur binary gender boundaroe,, Morunura , like Sherman, appears in all his works of an. He is hunsclf and, stmulraneously, l,e becomes a rangr of famous h 1slorical on-world per!,01ml111es . \.Ve �ce Monmura m a mil from a ,·,deo sequence (2-10) m wh,ch the amsr accompanoe< h,m,e l f on an <lec­ rron,c keyboard instrument whole h e appears, then do;,,ppean;, th en ,>ppear,;. o,er and over, dressed OS the Mexicon artist Frid:, Koh l o ns sh(” appears in hl•r own p:11ntt.itl \df ­ portraits, whkh capture h er llluhiple id entllll’S.

Beyond tht Awdity of ,denuties defined around race . gend er. ethn,c11v. and ,e,ual­ tty, th e m1x1ng Jnd mutating of�. otnrmals.. ,md machmes m \.ln�us combana­ uons are topic, of increa smg fosonat,on 1n Ort (as well culrurc n,ore bro.1dl ) An earl ay expl’ru nenrer in this re lm is Nan

,Ht in y

c Bur:-.on, whu, since tlu: e.ul r 1980s, ha5 created m3nv images that .,re romposne!<i of

y se\•cral hoto raph1C portraits

} S<annt.’d

onto • compute and combined ,mo on lace . cl p

r e m udmg nnag� g

that m,x human and

orher animals [2-1 IJ. 1 he ta,i;onun11c 1den1ity and mora l \tanding of !!ltu:h creatures ore ambiguous matte” 8.irney·s ch,-.,tah-woman m Crema,ttr 3 (3-SJ ph .11l and ment.11l i prc)�tve cre tu e who draws u foscm

1> fully senuen,. Mc m a ry o r ay y tcd

gaze . Patr1ti.l P1Cc1nin i’s humanmd sculptu re; 18-H and color plate 191, the seemi ng product nf gencuc engineering, rabe many issues about the moral unplications o( n\’W sden1ific rei;.carch . .1 topic we return 10 m c.:haprer 8, ·�1�nce.”

Post Identity There ,� evidence that rnrert>,1 1n 1dennt) ddmcd nrnund r.,ce. ethnu.11y, gender, and S4.”<U.1ln m 1he m,uno;tream art \\(,rlJ Ahho ugh social and os ull .,

y 1s waning t.””ConomJC’ patll) ‘ s d,srnnt d«•,1m for ton mJn) all over the world. the poli11c;,l nced for arr rh.1t

sclf .. consc-ious ly romotes identitp y ma ad ncC”s h be mJd . Mnn.- v r

y appl•J1’ less prc’Js1ng \’\1 hcrc some ri:al soc11..rn1 • va ave e n e u e , even 1( politicol ru,. 11v1::-m is necck•d, the incrca� ­

ing d1vers1t any d fr;1.gmemanon o f 1dentllH.-‘ \,h,le adding 10 1 he nch ,anety of ar1 we enJOY m the current scene. m.1ki: 1t h.1rdcr ru build coalmons around �hared intere)h and ,wed!:t.

An -world fo’ihions and 1heoric” change; .1lread 1h .. · 1crms uwlHf11l1uralism 01,d idmtrty sound dared and even m,,gwdcd’ Wnh diffe

y rent motives, many people began



2003 2·12 Do Ho Suh I Karma (Installation at Artsonje Center in Seoul, Korea), Uiethane patnl on fibtrg.lass/rtsm 153.94 • 1 ta .x 29 l il’)C.hei.

391 x 299.7x 739.l cm

CR(Olf Col.!flesyol the art4 1 atlcJ Lehman ,.. M1111pl ,..Gailtfy , HY


to view multiculmralism as a form of political correctness . Even propon nts o f id ­ tity politics increasingly beli

e en

ev icul r z d s rat gy h t h s Jed h

e that mult lism h s b come. ?” ins i u ion l­i e t e t a a to t e assimilat o .i n of tu

div a

s p pul a

tions e

w1 h1 par t t

m t a

rs th pre d v lue c , hnici y, and oth m


rk e

s o

f ,d a t a ete

lly ar

hom ren

g to

iz a

m ra

ni e

gful er

diff t

nc nd er

ma a

k er

pe o nn y v si

e t � but inst a d aet<1·

a o en .rac m, s xism,


nd homophobia.

e ea n ere es a s r a ve is e a

Meanwhile, a young er gen eration, born fr r h political str ggl s f h l960s-80s, wants to move bey ond identity labels and a

m e

k t e

r t abo u e o t e

Many xp a e a ut a w de variety of themes

rity nd e

i . p

ress little interest in being spokespersons for racial, ethnic, or g:end id · a refer to focus on their individua l projects. Wi h pl yful io sness,


rator en

Thelma Gold u d h v c tiv term 10 ch t

r c a

i z ser

the a u

a d id cu


f tists she includ

en se

d in t e

h e

200t o a

exhibiti e post-black

Fre ty . Th a

s a ter

e t e on es le e a e

e re arti ts rt

wh n

em eas

r g o


d the end of the 1990s •who were adamant about not being label


ed as ‘bl o

ck’ e

ar e

ists, though their wo rk was ep d, in fac , d a t

no i s of bl ck .” Gold ste

xpl e

ined th t

­ p o

eeply in st d, in d fining co pl x t on a ness en e a at st-bl k


r i e

s ” re e

d mpo m

e d” e

by the ul icul ral deb t s d id ti y p liti s o f ac

h a

p t st

vi emer

us d e e w reg

h y hav m t

h c tu

fid ce a e an

devel en

p i t

rndividu o c

l di t e

ti re

ns. o

e Bu ecade as a result

s t

lf-con e

i t e on en to o n

: , h i s is t h e ta ned indivi dualism of a pre-multicul urnl


gen rec

rati o

n. Th t t

y e

re r

emb no t

ing e

mult iple his tories and influenc s and ar reinven t

i g id e

i o

i s fo e

h a

e e t n ent t e r r e rwcnty-first rac

centu ry . Simi


l ar arguments have bt..”Cn made for other artists v,1ho would h ave been cat­egorized mainly by gender, race. or e hnici y inn previous generation. Th term post­ feminist descnbes a range of art by


w m t

wh f l mpo d by a li e

r f mini r struggles but for v i us eas n n


dista en

c o

th ee

ms e were e r e e s

femi i t a t sts. Simil ar o

ly , r

Suset o s wa

S . Min, t to

n n

f e

h e

cur elves fr om being identif ed as

On n s r i ar

irs of h 2006 xh bition, e Way or Another: Asian A


merican A t o

N e o

,v, t

g ree

ve h r ato

ca l g es t e

ay h e

itl i

, “Th Las �si n Am ic n Exhibi ion in h Wh


l o

Entir a

W e

rld, ta

” o

i n cally s t

sugg e t e

sting e

a pos

t a er a t t e o e e o

t-1denmy . world for Asian Americans . (Min actually argu s ro

in i

th s y e

h t h need for identit y politics in a ma


rker-driven art econ my i e

n ov e

r, e

al sa

h t

gh a t

h e

strategies need to be recrmceiv d.) In h s o s ot e t ou t e

that v n h e t e ame cata o curator Margo Machida g, says

cally e

d e

iv t ough they are just lifiably wary of being forced “into racialized or idc’Ologi­

r en strahjack r , • po t-identi y tis s b ld on ” h i n w nd highly lab rat d


body s s

f critiqu t

su ar

oundi t uL

g h c w

nmuc at s

ion o a well stabli hed

a e o e o e f id nti e

y, ‘ th s

,mg, and the politics o ­

f representation .• ,. rr n t e o t o e t o er

What � w heori , political id s, techn l gical d v l pm n s, nd hist ri l events will mflu

e t

ence how es

idenri ea o o e e o e t a o

t y is defined and represenred in art as the twen ry­ ca

fim cen’.”ry con�nues t. o unfold? Many developmenrs r p ssibl . Th r imtcresr crtatmg inv ted virmaJ ide ties, a dir c a e o e e e s a growing

g, l� itec� l . ‘” ve yd


y i t a c ions nt

h compu e

.new digita . r,

ti supported ny pl r_ m on

p by

ao no o

l ,d es

nrm e

s 1ha1 r a

th n

y er

s t on t e te a eo e a e no n

J w creat i g �’. �1g11

nf l a

m d e

o cr e

a s ph1St1Ca e e o te c in erspace t e rt


cyb artists use a ia t e te o te

t in ra t . In h fine a s, d manipulated images of people. An her fac r ha will c inu to impact id ti y


n r i tic them is glo­b 1. •z t,on. ot

Indeed, to

som t t

f th ont

u en e

deol gical e n

r si t

nc as a a t s e

a e o e c rr t i o e sta e to multiculturalism is a g ‘rr�


m to the perceived manipulation of identity by global capitalism. In this v ew,

O a arket forces encourage artists to make a irt that looks ethnic in order to have





e xotic commodities frnm far-flung co rners of the world to sell. The artists once aga in become Others without r eal freedom to expres s them selves on their own terms .

Identity remains an acute issue for artists who were raised in OnC’ culture and now live and work somewhere else. For an sts who operate regularly on an interna­ tional stage, especially if they live and wo

j rk i n more than one loca tion, the collapsing

boundaries of local and national communiti es make the establishm ent of a coherent identity m o re complicated. Even arrists who rema in root ed in one place are shaped by interchanges wirh people, ideas, images, and products fr om elsewher e.

O ne example of an arti st who Jives an internntional nomadic ex istence is scul tor p Do Ho Suh, who was born in Seou l, Korea, in 1963, s tudied art in Korea and the Un ite Sta res, and n

d ow divides his rime between New York and Korea. To rhe e ten a e n

tity i s t x

ied to t th t id ­

pl ace (for anyone who feels a powerful cu ltural and emotional conne on to a particular locale

ct and geography), the kind of displacemen

i t that Suh exper iences

every time he ch anges locations works against a stable sense o( idemi1y. Sonw ofSuh’s floor sculpnrcs .1 are composed of thousands of miniatur<‘ human figures rost in p last and tightly _ packcd wi1h little pers. ona

ic l �pace . Cri1ic s have debated whe1her u i iv n

a t o e a co S h s g

s i g

pos1 1ve r n ganve view of llcct1vc. I he celebr atin workers joining forces fo common

g r a goal., or is h� sh��\1ing how

c individuality br;:omcs. lost in a crowd? According ro �rator Susan Solhns, Whether addressing the d ynam ic of personal ,pace ve rs

public us

spac�, or exploring the fine u

line between s e t e omo eneg t re

tr ng h in c nu

numb. rs or hS h s sculp u s _ onti es n e ity, Do Ho ally qu n e ua

a tio

a a 1h ide

o tity

a of 1h

s indiv id l

y in todmcrcasmgl

a v� ‘tr s

nsn tion l, gl b l ociety:”‘!S Suh’s sculpture Karma (2003) [ 2 -12] places miniatur e figure.,; in wo swa1hc f o f

t r ms eet

bela pair of ow

c olossal le a

gs s

dad in su er

it pants an e cr

d men’s bla ress shoes; the e

ck dppear on 1he v g e a g a ,

of i n

ushing th run

figur c

s, who r b k g fo i n a d b gi ­�mg e rea in

10 Ka” rmat

. o

” n e n

n er e e a m n so e a t t

‘. ‘ ould be i e

t p r t asses

d s e

sy er e r

bolizi g m gi a ca

n of pr ivilege ru a

c sh­ing h m : nh th fo en1

. ce of glob l pitalism flhomog iing cult ua

res ent t es

. . u worldwide ttening individ l id i i by o� alt�rna

r e s rivcl , a cornlirnrian reg me c, rz n . On the o yther hand, looking closclv ” we e hrea JI •

s e t ,’Y II h same a u

i repressing it$ e

t S , < sm a JI 1g r c r t b r· u es ar nou, are differen1iated by dre d

ss l

n and oth d tail ·,nto d’ff I m g ­d ” 1ypes ” .

er e t


;:: : we m ss t h c ere e n

se disti t ns e t ggest

a u o su t

_ nc a

�o when w gl nre q i kly t c owd. S h a

h , rt c

1 o a a r

re u

1 po. s ur s ns1b1l1ty to c n n

e o ue 10 d’ist·n

o a t i 1 gms · mong h d1 ff e renc·d ‘ es entitles, · · even man m of gl b lization.

l Nancy Burson

H ow do we react when physical character istics mix across gender or race or species? In a ser ies of computer-generated composite ponraits made in the 1980s, pho­

tographer Nancy Burson envisioned mixtures that ask us to consider the philosophical, ethical, and emotional effects of morphing dentities. To make Androgyny (6 Men and 6 Women) (1982). Bur s

i on digitally layered photograph

en a u e a a ic ponraits of actual men and

wom (srx e ch. ad st d to stand rd si ize) to create a compos ite face that discom­ fits precisely because we cannot decide ts gender. For Mankind /Oriental, Caucasian, and Black, weighted accord ng ro curre

i , nt population statistics) (1983-85) (2-131, Burson

combined photographs of three real male faces, each one’s features shown according to the percentage of hr s “race· counted in world population statistics in the early 1980s; the resulting “typical” human looks more Chinese than anything else . In Evolution II (Chimpanzee and Man) (1984) (2-11 J. Burson imagined what a face might look like if evolution had taken a different route, one that created a single species even y merg­ ing primate and human ancestors; Burson’s hybrid has the self-aware a

l g ze of a human

peering from eyes rn a furry face with a cranium shaped like that of a monkey. Although today software that enab es morphing and digital recomb nation of

photographs i s u s l

y available, B r on was a pioneer w he e r s us i

readil n sh fi t ed comput ­ ers to alter photogr aphs, collaborating with computer scient ists and engineers as early as 197 6 to develop d gital morphing techno o ies. geg nerat ng compos te faces using those technolo

i l gies.” Her concepts for the hypothe

i i t cal compos tes were in

line with the i i

n emerging philosophical ideas about “Othernes s,” difference, and cul­ tural stereotyping, as well as simulation and vinual reality, and pr esaged later arti stic preoccupations with themes of DNA recombination and genetic engineer ing.

Burson’s first success occurr ed when she and her coll aborators developed “aging” software that generated images of how people would look as they age, adding wrin­ kles and softened muscles to adult faces and, for children, stretching their faces and overlaying features fro m parents to tum a young person into a cred ble version of an older self . In 1981 Burs on

i patented this software, w hich in addition to its artistic

novelty, has been used practically by the FBI to help locate missing children and adults. Burson next collaborated w,th David Kramlich, a c omputer scientist. to refine the system and produced aged portrait s of celebrities that were published in People magazine, bringing Burson considerable attention. The pair also created an interac ­ tive “aging machine” that allowed anyone to sit in a booth and see his or her ow n face scanned and encoded into a computer and then aged. She cont nued working with Kramlich on realizing additional concepts for compos

i ites, including “beauty”

composites that melded faces of movie stars from the 1950s and compared them to composites of stars’ faces from the 1980s, composite portraits of leaders of countries owning nuclear ars enals with their features stat stically we ghted by the number of weapons eac

i h leader controlled, composites of huma

i n faces with features from dolls




2·13 Nancy Burson I Mankind (Oriental, Caucasian, and Black, weighted according to current population statistics). 1983-1985 Ge ca11n $tlvtf punt l


and mannequins , and composite s of human faces and artists’ rend ring f sp c ali s. S me f the conc pts also becam i te ctive in all ti s akin

e s

h o

ging a e

m en

chin o

, including o

m e e n ra st a on to

a e a achine allowing viewers to meld their feal\Jres w n

ith t

those e a

of celebrities a d a couples’ machine tha1 enabled two peopl e to merge their faces.

The g al presentati n f B so ‘s c mpo p rtraits as st.ill ph tographs i s . . � imilar. E ch


im r

g o o ur n o sit e o o s i

frontally, w a

ith d a sh ws di

rl< e o a semb odied head in tightly c pp d clo – p. fac g

a a or neutral background. Alth gh gen ated ro

by e

digital se u

p oc s n

, Burson has usually turned th mposit


e compl eted co e int er

o an analog ph a

otograph r e

sh s

t from the computer scre


en , either a gelati n silver print or, later , a l arge-f ormat col or


Polaroid. The resulti ng photogr aphs look seamless and preserve a doc m ntary even though w k w h y h v b e comp ter ltered. Th ff ct


is e

nsettli aura

g because we are


b no

l to t e

ad th a e

w e

face n

a u

im t a

d e

epre e e u n

a e re e ne s an a e an as a r sentati on of an

to act ual hybr id bei

phil ph r Jean ng. In discussing B rs ‘ c mposite , c r t Chr is Bruc pointed

oso e Baudrillard’ s theory u on s

that o s u a or e

simulations are bs ming e lity i contemporary society. According to Baudr illard, w liv in world

su u

where r

i a

g n

s are ubiquitous and have become more comp elling


th e

an re a

ality. Mor ov , m ma

g e

increasingly are simulacra chat appear re l b t a acru lly c ucti e

n er i a es

any t gibl c u te part i lity. F ll wing a u

p re a onstr o s w,thout

B r an

‘ c mpo e o

it n

illu r

tr t n

d rea

i 2-13 “m o o

y b m u on thi s idea, Bruce argued that

u son s o s e s a e n a e ore universally representative of wor ld-;,s a piece of informat ion, as the photograph you might send into space­


than singl imag . bro d

any f a real pe Th fascinatio it g nder i b ed n a c pru


l qu e

s o

i f ‘th rson

l.’ a e

rm which n n

w e n

m e

for s

e v s

once a r de as

tined o

to live in quotes “” Although t ons o

c e

v nci rea

g, B te

rson’ comp o

sites see

oft s e e s

qu lity u lik th crispne on i n u s o en have a blul’l’)’

traitu a

. F n e

B ce, e

th f ss

zzi normally expected of doc

ess , um entar y photographic por ·

a d re

nc p or

ulate ru

the conc e u

ptual n

transitio s part of the fascination of Burson’s composites

truct n e a s s in the 1980s f m docum

d ph tog phy a d e

from analog t n

c mpl.lle tech ro ntary to con­

s e o ra n ol gy . “Wh e

I like mo t about Burson’s piece is its f itwe shimmer,

o o

uncertain r n

state, o

unlike at

ug its more recent s

c mputer-g ner t i m g s

o d s which c k f perf ct illu ion. eem

e a e a e an ree o

s to exist between virtual reality and traditio al e

imag s

, an Three

wkw Major Races

th conv rs ti b tw en the tw f rms nd t chn n

l gical e

s e a rd pa .””‘ As

a use in

in e

ch pter e

2 a

, th on

long e e

t aditi of o

p o

rt itur a

i e

bo nd o o

p with tat

th s discussed

a e r on o ra e s u u e exploration and exp ssion f id tity. W l r t read id n ity i the m rphology f h ma f ce­ th


h pe, o

st ct en

re, c l e ea

i g, n

and o

oth r e t

e s a ru u o or tward n

n e ou phy o o a u n a

sical qualit ies of a head and visage-and we make determinations about gender, age, race, soci al cl as , beauty, and th r qualiti s b sed o o r p rc ptions. S ch judgment re largely


cially det rmi

o e

ned (certain e

h a

e ai tyl n u

ignal e

“f e

mal .” u

rather tha “m s a so

O tw d app r rs es s e e n ale; for instance) .

c u

l h ar

f ea ance doesn’t tell us much, if anything, about underlying physiologi­

i a

t uman nction (h ce). N

u s ow brains work has nothi ng to do with the size of a nose, for

b ns an l

of physic everthe ess we persi t in categ rizi g and j dgi g i divid l th

asis al appearance. Bur s

‘ s c mputer o n

c mp sit u

s n

x mi n

cl ua

si s

fic on

ti e

s made th b si of m ph l gy,


unraveli o

g the o

limi o

ati e

ns e a

f inf ne

m as

ti a

b on

t id tity


we ” e a

read” s

int or

en o a h ma o o

f c . n

If (2-11 t

f o

r xample, o or

ca a on

b a

int ou

r• preted a


s a wry send -up of th n

ow a e

d Evolution

bunk d field of st J, o

dy e

k w ph n e

ology e

which tried to ablish link betwe e n

physi e

al e ,

est en appea a c u no n as ren

n e a d int ellig nce .

I • • , I ___ _.

s c r n e

In the 1990s B r moved back to more tr diti l (u d ct ed) photogr phic portrait ure of

u son

real individuals. Her interests c a

ontin ona n

ued to incl o

ude or

them f ident a

ity and issues of human difference and cult ural stereotypi g. O l rge b


dy o

f work comp is portrait f i

n ne a o o

d f r

i es

i s cau ed s

by o

di ndividuals with proger ia (premature agi


ng) r with facial e orm se o g t c anom li s. B rs n’s man ic


lighting d soft fo

t e s

de sea r ene a e u o ro

cus s eem signed to cause empathy with the Other along with t

recon id a n

r • tion of physical standards used to det ermine normalcy.

a s e a




2·14 Nancy Burson l “Untitled” from He/She series, 1997 �IM’otd CREDfT• O�r BurwinCOl.il1Hy C 1mp1rt G.a icl)’ l l

• Burson’s He/She ser es i (1996-97), from which we illustrate one i mage 12-14],

are analog counterparts to her earli er comp os te Androgyny. The ser es compr ses i i i formal co or port raits that challenge percept ions about gender based on featu res l of the human face. Each dramat ically lit portrait shows an acrual person whose fea­ tures ar e on the edge of male an d female. According to Michael Sand, “The He/She

series, l ike so much of Burson·s work, asks vi ewers t o stop and wonder at the lat ent potential for mutability in everyone.””

Anoth er series, Guys Who Look Like Jesus (2000-01), presents portraits of eight men who cultivate a Jesus look by growing the r ha r and bei i ards . including one black, one Hispanic, and one Japanese American. (Burson took out an ad in the Village Voice to f nd the men.) In add tion to the ndiv dua poi i i i rtraits , Burson also made one dl igital composite fusing all the phot ographs and a second composite melding painted rep· resentat ions of Christ in Eu ropean art. The former composite appear s closer to Chnst’s identity as a Middle Eastern Jew than the pale-skinned, l ight-haired ideal of Norther n European whiteness. A ccording to Maurice Berger, “Guys Who Look Like Jesvs ques, ti ons deep y root ed cultur al al ssocati oi ns between whiteness and all things pure. good, and sacred.”‘° Burson s an ideal st whi o be ieves fervently in our common humannei ss. l Her popular 1nterac11ve pro ect, The Human Race Machine (1999 t o the prese1 nt), invit es viewers to enter a booth and se ect features of dfferent racial types (such as Caui casian, l Asian, and African American) to morph onto t he r oi wn face . Burson’s ambiti ous inten­ ti on is to alt er percepuons about race and divers ty . The arti si t explained, “The Human Race Machine is an opportunity to move beyond our dtfferences and arrive at same­ ness. The more we recognize ourselves 1n others, the more we can connect the human race …. Genetlcally, we are 99.9% the same. There are groups of genes that make up vanous charactenstics. but there is no gene for ‘race.’ The concepl of race is pur e y l po it ical and social.”” The Human Race Machine . like m any of Burson’l s intrigumg art · works, gains tract oi n at 1hat key theoret ca juncture where the appearance and purp se i l o of the index,cal documentary photog raph (created from a subject that “really” exists outside the fram e ) crosses paths with the constructed digitalized image (created from a perspect ve that exposes the po it ca agency at the heart of all repres entai tion). i l l

Nancy Burson was born in 1948 in St. Louis, Missour i. She studied paint ing for two years at Colorado Women’s College bef ore moving in 1968 to New York, where sh e cont inues t o live and w ork .

I Shirin Neshat

S hirin Neshat, known for her wor k in fi m, video, and photography, undertakes multi evel l l projects that we could examine through the lens of most themes in this book, particularly

m emory, p ace, ident ty, the body. language, al nd sp rituai i lity. Here we discuss Neshat’s work primari y in terms of identity, an especially r ch theme for this i artist, who has explored her mu ­l l tipl e ident ities as artist , woman. Iranian (and Pers an), immigi rant, and foreigner .

Bor n i n Ir an in 1957, Neshat moved to the United States in 1973 to study art in Los Ange es. When she was gr ow ng up, he r hl om eland was under the leadersh o e i ip f th shah, wh o supp orted a liberalization of social behav or and economi ic changes mod ­ e ed after the West . In 1979. howeve r, while Neshat was s till in America, Iran underwent l a cataclysmic transformat oi n: an Islam ic revoluti on overthrew the shah, and in ts afti er­ math the new re gi me of the fundamentalist Ayat oll ah Kho me ni rei asserted cont rol over public and pr vate behaviori . Under his rule, eve n minut e details of dress were dictated




1994 2-1s Shirin Neshat I Rebe/1,ous Silence. 8 & W RC punt & ,nk.

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by sacred strictures. (A similar return to fundamentalism occurred in many Islamic nations in the Middle East and northern Africa in the latter part of the twentie th century.)

Returning for a vis it to Iran in 1990 after a twe lve-year absence, Neshat was stunned by the magnitude of the change, which left her own cultural identity in a state of limbo: She had not adopted a fully wester nized identity, yet she no longer felt anchored to the cu ltu re of her home and. The shoc k inspired her to try to l under­ stand and express through art what had happened to Iranian nation al identity, pa r ­ t icularly as it concerned women . Through her art , she also beg an to exp ol re gender roles, conflicts between tradition and modernity, and the psychologica l pr essure s felt by dis ocated peop le who come to fl eel like p erpetual outsiders.

One of the most visible changes that Neshat saw in Iran was t ha t wom en e v ­ erywhere now wore t he head-to-toe black chador, the loose ro be and ve il tradition­ ally worn by women in Iran, which had been abo ished in 1936. Woml e n in chado rs became an iconic presence in Neshat’s art. In her first mature body o f work, a pro­ vocative series of photographs called Women of Allah (1993-97), Neshat explore s the ideology of Iranian women who are caught up in the revolution, e ve n to the p oint of being willing to die as martyrs. Within each photograph [2-151, Neshat layers Farsi (modern Persian) callig raphy, the image of a gun, and the black veil, cha llenging ” the western stereotype of the eastern Muslim woman as weak and subordinate .”” The writing adorns those specific female body parts that remain visible i n a funda men­ talist Islamic land: the eyes, face, hands, and feet The fail ure of cross-cultural com­ munication is embodied in Neshat’s use of writin g that is illegible t o most W e stern readers. Westerners recognize the beauty of the calligraphy b ut don’t recognize it as poetry that is considered radical in Iran because individual poems offer different views on the value of wear ng the i chador. Whatever quick judgments that cultural outsiders may make when they ook at the femall e figure and the gun, the presence of the writing imp ies thl at understanding requires d eeper learning.

While many in the West expressed dismay and disdain at Iran’s return to funda­mentalism (charging, for instance, that fundamentalism totally subjugates women), Neshat’s artistic responses have been nuanced and full of ambiguity. Old and new stereotypes about the “Orient ,” the Islamic world, gender rol s, religiand

e ous fanaticism, violence meet and mix in Ne-shat’s work, without any resolution. In interviews, the artist acknowledges her awareness of the contradictions that are re

us a

inhe nt in h e of


lo ded imagery . Neshat’s rise to International prominence stems primarily from th m thgre ted t il

e a e a r

accl t i ogy of


films: . Turbulent (1998), Rapture (1999), and Fervor (2000). Shot dramatically in black and white, th. ese films examin a mythary e ic existence

ers in an im

� ,on of I� ran s gi­

tripp a

ed down to its poetic essentials . The Iranian (played in f her irst film by Moroccan s

� . actors), like people everywhere o e s

, str e u

uggl imultan

e fom whtl r indd ua e esee i i

d l fr ­ o s


ly king me s

aning in o

hared v l and t di o . Th t n• 1 n b s

etween a ues

th t nd ra tinci


s e e

ese e e e turns Neshat’s staged tab eaus into tragic sagas . lIn Turbulent a male singe r p. ‘ . e . rf rm a a d’ 1t1 n l ng f loing .

o s tr

th e cam o

a, a

w so

th h o H ings fac-

back s ove e s

er t l .

i is to a small audie nce of men dressed in matching dark

pants and white shirts. Alte r his performance, a woman • pe. rhap j

s the su� ect of the . man’s song, begins her own song . The con trast 1s stunning: the womans s1ng1ng is p ersona l, intuitive, emotio nal, a sort of musical scream . Whil� the .man’. s performance is locked within tradition -a tradition that, however beautifu l, 1nh1b1ts his expres ­ s ion–the woman ‘s performance appears without precedent and without bounda­ ries. The woman’s singing rivets us, as we ll as the male singer, who watches an d




I 2-16 Shirin Neshat Fervor, 2000 Productt0n still

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listens to the woman from the other wall. What makes the film especi ally poignant is know ng that in present-day Iran, it is forb dden for a woman to song ,n pui blic. i

In the films of the trilogy. as well as many subsequent film ,nstallaoons, Neshat shows paired narrat ves on oppos te walls. Typically the du n i al pro1ect1ons show mei , an d women separat ed into diffe rent spheres. This format a llows Neshat to p resent dchotom ies-mascul ne and feminine, culture and nature, tradil!on and change, i i public an d private, contro and freedom. As the aud ence, we occupy the vol i ,d between the two streams of mov,ng images; unable to see the entore artwork at one t me, we must choose wh ch side to watch and wh,ch to m iss The ,nabihty of the i i audience to see things fully is a le tmotif in Neshat’s work. The layered meanings of i her art thus remain a part y veiled mystery, glimpsed but neve r fully fathomed l

In the second wO<k ,n the trilogy, Rapture, two twelve-and-a-half-minute videos are pro1ected simultaneously. In one, a throng of more than a hundred men, aga,n clad ,n unifo rm dark pants and white shorts, march through a town, eventually mak­ ing the r way to an anc ent fortress There the men undertake ritu al ist c act,v,t es; i i i , they climb ladders , pract ce drills wash the r i hands, unroll carpets, and wrestle. The y , i see m to be wori<ing, perhaps prepanng for an attack on the worn fortress Yet the men see m as much to be pnsoners of the fortress, a symbol of their “man-made,” trad,t ,on-bound soci ety. On the fac,ng screen, a s,m,lar number of wom en appe ar on a barren desert. Each wears the all-engulfi ng chado r that hides her ,nd,v dual iden­i tity her figure a scu ptural presence against the andsca e. The women look acr op ss , l l to the other filmed image, observe the men, and begin on unison to make a trad,- 1 ona wailing sound tha, t in the M dd e East serves as either a warn,ng or a congratui ­l l latory acknowledgmeni . The movement of the women is breathtaking y beautiful. As l n bl own by the wind, they gather at a shore ine where a half dozen of the women, l ass,sted by the others, shove off to sea in a small. fragile-looking wooden boat, choos,ng escape, howeve r dangerous On the facing wall, the pro1ect1on shows the men saluting from their fortress on the di rection of the women.

While Neshat’s films have the look of realist c documentaries, ,n fact they are i carefully staged and choreographed Neshat s mulates the behavior of ve led women i i and then makes us aware of the constructed and nu,d meanings of veilin g, show,ng

us different mean,ngs n , different contexts. W11hon her work, the chador serves multi­ p e purposes: it shrouds the female body in mystery, ,1 protects the body, and it g,ves l women som e power by allow ng them to conceal aspects of their multilayered ,den­i lllles Being veiled ,n Neshat’s wortd does not equate w th being bound, blinded, or , si ence d . Neshat shows us women actively nav,gat,ng landsca s, gaz npe g at othel i rs, and g,vmg vo,ce lo their feelings ,n song and cnes. The women are powerful agents. At the same t me, Neshat probes the challenges and costs for both men and women i of separating the sexes . In the final film in her tr logy, Fervor, a tale of sexual desore, i the physical cfrv,s,on of masculine and feminine space sometimes 1s evident ,n one stark, monumental image (2-16).

The main audienc es for Neshat’s works lo date have been ,n Europe and the . Un 1&d States. Hence, wh atever the art st’s intent ons, her images of women wearing 1 i i

veils evoke assoc,at,ons with the veiled, erot1c12ed figure of the Muslim harem gir , a l fantasy figure of Western colon,al,sm, which con tinues to connote sexual allure. The h,stonc Wes te rn fantasy of the veiled a nd clo steri e d Mus ,m woman a so embraced l l the notion of a r epressed woman who ,s too passive and fatalist c to attempt to resist i her oppress on and needs to be rescued by the West; th,s v ew of the veil as a symbol i i of a repressive society he ped 1ust1fy colonialism l

Looking at images of veiled women n , lslam,c soc,et,es, the current-day v, ewer in the West may feel superior, ,mag,ning the freedom of Western wom en. In cont rast to this v ew Neshat observ es “In the West where you can talk sp ecifically about the i , :




• body and sexuality, things are so extroverted that in the end there is no mystery, there is no boundary. •n Neshat describes her own iden tity as that of an outsider who is caught between two wor ds. ·1 a ways think of myse f as an outcast, whether I’m l l lamong Iran i ans or Westerners.” She re ates her own experl i ence as an exi le to the characters in her films. “When I look back at my work retrospective y, I find it l ironic that all my fema le characters are a so ‘outcasts’ wl i thin their social realms whether due to sexua l, cu ltura or politica l factors. There is a constant tension between the ‘indi­l vidual’ versus the ‘community,’ and often the impossibility of thei r integration. “34 Shirin Neshat was born in 1957 in Qazvi n. Iran. The art i st recei ved a master of fine arts degree at the Un iversity of Ca lifornia-Berlceley. She current y lives in New lYork Ci ty. Notes 1 . Clain- Pajaczkowsk.l, “lssu(“S in N:minis1 V’tsual Cultun.•,”‘ in Fiona Carson and Claire P,lj.tczkowska,. eds., ftmini$1 Visual Culturi! (New York: Routledge, 2CXX>), p . S. 2. L nda Wc!ntraub, Art on J/rc Edge mul Ovt•r. Senrd1h1g Jo, Ari’s Men11mg m iCo11t,•mporary So<1enJ 1970,-1990< (L tchfield . Conn.:i Art Ins ghts, 1996)i , p . 99 . 3 . Lucy R. L1pp.ird, Mixttd Blessfogs: New Art in a Multiculturnl Americn (New Yol’k: Pomheon Books, 1990). p . 21. �· �k ng a1 i jus1 one c1!y-New York-additional influential (and conuove rsial) shows .ibou� 1d�nt1ty that wct”f he d 1n thl e 1990s included these: The Decade Show: Frameworks of ldenmy rn the 1980s.. which wa:, held simultaneous y m New l York in 1990 at the Studio Museun, 1n ar �n1, the �l ew Mu��m of Contempo� rary Art, and the Mtt e m . s u of Coi\lt.:mpornry Hispanic Art , Asia/Amenrn: ldcnnues m Con1cmpor;1ry Asian American Art at th > t Asrn Society Galleries 99-l); Bfock Male: Repr�em a1ions�£ Masculinity in Co1uemporary Am� erican Art m the Whirney useum 0994); Bad Car s l at the New Museum of Contemporary Art (1994)· ond loo Jewish’ Challe�ging Tradit.io1,al Jdentities at the Jewish Museum (1996). ‘ > . For a more nu,mced . consider at oi n of 1hese two cxrub r oni i s a.nd others or an zed around 1denuty fhcmcs, sec a set of essays ideveloped from a 2004. Coll e eg Art Association pan� or an zed b y curator Nomi I a n L . K eeblan, ·identity il Roll er Coaster: Art /ournnl 64 (Spring 2005)· . pp . ti-94 . 6. 5<‘< Roland Banhes, •Th e De .:i th o ( t h e A ut h or, • Ill · /magl’, · Mus,,. aS tep h e Trxt, tmns. l\d �d . n I,c3! “• h (N ew York: N, oonday Press, 1977), pp. 1 4 2 -148. . �b – f<�r a comprchensive discuss on i CJf feminist activism v s�?i..vii $ the an� e n in th United Stt1res e gtn 1ng 1n t he 1970s, see Norma Broude and M3ry O G ·• ‘ arrard , e<l 77 · e s., 1e me Power _ of Fcm1111st A rt: Th A rican Movemen . t QJ · il,e J9lOs. H d o, )t�:;mface designs in Ah Xion’s ��;;: �;:in;•;:,�� ;���,• cr;;,��:�:i-to l::t:� ::n l:t.,’ uo ‘h _ t ha� �xasted s ne ipr[2-4], rhe “tatt���::;s��


:’ e r�/ ;. 1 chistoric imes. In th e illustrncion provided , bod 1 v, .i ,h anunage o , a l an dscan,•in(hr ma, ‘ a t h c artists · · ‘ I 9 . W lterTru e e · ttAnde p a c O f ongm. ·-,-.n ,”-_..1 “U., Tl 1e 7i rut / in b outt I rtT• rutli• . t h e ·D• Postm o rru 1.-<011 J usmgam · IR d World (Ne (;’-constructmg w York: rm nam, 1 99 _, ‘p. 1 1 2 810 o e · bell h k s •p LJn d rn Olac�nc5s, • in 71 Trutl, �� 1e about the Truth, 11: p . 122. Hom � . i Bh a a, Ed”ard So,d, Olu n amo Oguibe Trng the ma T M’ h ny write h d rs i · IJl : � an o Sann Maharaj ore wh have contr . ibuted to di scuss’ ons o ‘ f hyb12. . rR 1dl(y aohini a • i nd Malik syncretnd sa m . C vin Jan s 1 1 F �mtf iul 11<0IH:rttrctlntemntionnlis , m Dialogues (Lon on !s with d : Artists 011 : In titute or’1�nternauona V15uaglossar l Ari,, 1998)y). , S.V. ·hybr idity” (in the 3. Gavin Ja� ,ujes, Introduct on to A Fruit/11l lucolicrea i ,ue p 16 �· M rgo Machida,, “Out of As a Ne a . ‘ . i : ot . . . America: ldeu tin’ tities . i 8 Asian ldcnm1es m Amein Contempora rr icn,” in Asia/ y A } :ueri,011 New (New Press. Art n York1994), Asia p . · 07. �:� Soci es 1 A exhibi1io : ety Galleri and n og

. ,

r . 15. Quoted in enni fo Vigi , ,..Will Wilson, . in James H. Nom1ge� ed., Diversity mid Dinlo ue: J l gTire Eiteljorg frllowslnp for N<Jtivc A mericnn Fine Ari (lndiani’lpo is: Eitcl org Museum of l jAmerican [ndia.ns and Native America n Art. 2007), p . 98 . An exhibition catalog.. 16 . Vigit “Will Wilson,” in Dit1ersity and Dialogue , p .104. 17 , For an introduction t o cwo of the major scholars of Rasquatl,ismo and a discussion o f the misunderstanding of the term in the Uni ted St:Hes. see Holly Bamet-Sanc:he-z, “ Ybarr a ­Frnusto ond Amo 1 a Mt’sa•Bains: A Cri11rt1l Discou rse from Within,” in Art l }oumal 64 (W nti er 2005): pp . 9 1 -93. 1 8 . Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism nnd tl1e Subversi()n of Identity (London �nd New York: Routl<dg e, 1993). l 9. Some of these conccp1s nre discussed in the profile about Renee Cox following <hapter 3. “The Body.” 20 . Ella Shoha4 ntroduct on to Talking Visions: Mttlt1culturnl Feminism in a Tra11s11M1011nl Agei i , «I . Shohot (New York: New Museum of Contemporary An C.1mb; r dgi e : MIT Press, 1998), p . 12 . 21. Gnvin J,mtjes told ,mist Mar ene Dumas that he prcfcn thl e tcnn rrew i11ternationnl1sm to multi(ulrurnlis,u. He exp a ined, · ·J have been using the term internat alism as a n open ded l ion enterm. I h�ve not u54.•J mult cuhi uralis1n be<ause I thin k that cerrnin assocrnt ons, both historical and i cultural, m ake it a discourse of 1hc past. I speak of intcrnat oni alisn\ bc!ause it allows me rounder · stand what is happe1tiltg ln the- world o n dw back of ,hose historical notions o f multiC’ulturol sm ” iGavin Ja ntjes. “Ma r ene Dumas,” u\ A f,u;1J11l l,reoJ1ere11cel , p. 55. 22. Thelmo Golden, lntroducuon tO Frt•estyle (New York: Stud,o Museum in Har em, 2001 ), lp . 15. An exhib1uon <o.w, og. l23. SthCtte S. Min, .. The L ast Asfon American Exh bition in the Whoi e Entire Wor d,.” in l lMdisS3 Chiu, Kari1l H,g.i, an d Susette S. Min, eds. , One Way or Ano1l1e r: Asittu Amtricau Art Now (New York: Asia Society; N ew Hav e1\, Conn.: Yt’lle Unive rsity Press, 2006), pp. 34-41 . 24. Margo M achida, “Refr;;iming Asian Aml ‘ric an,”‘ in One Way or AnotJu.-r, pp. 17, 16 . Machida also makes a rompe lling argument thn, the oomplex currents in today’s an by Asian A1nericans are mor e of .i continuum than a rupture with identity ar1 0£ the 1980s :ind 1990s; thi’lt the aucr was more heteroge neous than those looking back a ways rerogn izel l . 25. Sollins. Art 21: Ari i11 1 l1 e Tw .. �my-First Century 2 (New York: Harry N. Abr ams, 20Ql), p . 213. 26. CompOSitc photos made pr or to the advent of computers in thi e history of phot og ­raphy, p reviously involving dark room processes for l ayering an;;iJog nega tives.. 27 . Chris Bruce, “t.fovig.1ring in the- Hall of Mirrors,” in Chr s Bruce and Andy Crundberg.. iAfter Art; Retl1inki11S 150 Years of Pl1otograpl,y (Seattle: Henry An Gollery ond Univer, ty of iWashingron Press,. 1994), p . 23. A,, exhibition catalog. 28. Ibid. Although he uses a different title, Br uce is refer ring 10 the photograph illustrated in Figure 2 -13. 29. Michnel L $:,tnd, “Nancy Burson and the Art of See ng,” i n Christopher French, ed., Seeing iand lklitving: T11e Arl of Nn11cy Burson (Sanro Fe: Twin P:-1lms; 2002), p . L9. An exhibition catalog . 30. Ma ti r ce Berger, “White- Purity; N,mcy 8urso1\,” ii\ Mi aurice Berger, l-d., White: Wllilt and Race hr Conte mporary Art (Bi’lhimore: Center for Art and Visual Cuhore , University of Maryla nd Baltimore County; New York: Oistributcd Art Publishers. 20<l4), p . 52. 31. Ntrncy Burson, “Seeing and Believing: The Art of Nancy Ottrson: Interview with Lynn Gumpe rt and Terrie Sult.m,” in Suing a,1d Brlitvins, p . 15· 3. 32. Tina Sherwe . ll, . Bodies In Reprcse1nation: Contemporary Ar ab Women Anist5i” in Fran Lloyd, ed., Conumµornry Arab Wome111s Art (londo1t: Women’s Art Libr ary. 1999), p . 65. 33. As quoted ill Morine Van Hoof, “Shirin Neshat: Veils in the Wind,” Art Press 279 (May 2002): p. 38. b34 . As quoted in Helena Kontov a, “Mar .no A ra1ni ovit, Vanessa Beecroft, Shirin Nes hat: Modern Nomads ,” Flash Art 40 ()uly-September 2007): p . 103.


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