Disidentifications: Queers Of Color And The Performance Of Politics (Cultural Studies of the Americas)

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9780816630158: Disidentifications: Queers Of Color And The Performance Of Politics (Cultural Studies of the Americas)
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There is more to identity than identifying with one’s culture or standing solidly against it. José Esteban Muñoz looks at how those outside the racial and sexual mainstream negotiate majority culture—not by aligning themselves with or against exclusionary works but rather by transforming these works for their own cultural purposes. Muñoz calls this process “disidentification,” and through a study of its workings, he develops a new perspective on minority performance, survival, and activism.Disidentifications is also something of a performance in its own right, an attempt to fashion a queer world by working on, with, and against dominant ideology. By examining the process of identification in the work of filmmakers, performance artists, ethnographers, Cuban choteo, forms of gay male mass culture (such as pornography), museums, art photography, camp and drag, and television, Muñoz persistently points to the intersecting and short-circuiting of identities and desires that result from misalignments with the cultural and ideological mainstream in contemporary urban America.Muñoz calls attention to the world-making properties found in performances by queers of color—in Carmelita Tropicana’s “Camp/Choteo” style politics, Marga Gomez’s performances of queer childhood, Vaginal Creme Davis’s “Terrorist Drag,” Isaac Julien’s critical melancholia, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s disidentification with Andy Warhol and pop art, Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s performances of “disidentity,” and the political performance of Pedro Zamora, a person with AIDS, within the otherwise artificial environment of the MTV serialThe Real World.
 

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About the Author:

 José Esteban Muñoz (1967–2013) was assistant professor of performance studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

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In eight essays (six of them previously published), Mu?oz, an assistant professor of performance studies at NYU, explores the political and social impact of black, Latino and Asian performance artists on mainstream culture. Drawing on a wide range of examplesAfrom Jean-Michel Basquiat's painting and his relationship with Andy Warhol to filmmaker Isaac Julian's response to Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs of African-American men, to the camp performance work of Cubana artists Ela Troyano and Carmelita TropicanaAMu?oz outlines a process he calls "disidentification," in which an artist works inside the dominant culture while at the same time critiquing it. His insights into the complex ways that race, sexual difference, ethnicity, class and "professionalization" influence each artist's work can be startling, as when he compares mainstream drag films like To Wong Foo... to the work of transgressive drag performers like Vaginal Creme Davis, or when he reveals how Superman comics can be understood as a response to anti-Semitism. However, when he explores the work of the late Pedro Zamora (of MTV's The Real World) and claims that the Cubano star with AIDS "used MTV more then it used him," or when he discusses Magic Johnson's AIDS education work yet overlooks the gender politics of his message, his analysis can come off as na?ve. While these essays are consistently enlightening and provocative, their dependence on academic rhetoric makes them resistant to casual reading. (June)
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Book Description University of Minnesota Press, United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. There is more to identity than identifying with one s culture or standing solidly against it. Jose Esteban Munoz looks at how those outside the racial and sexual mainstream negotiate majority culture--not by aligning themselves with or against exclusionary works but rather by transforming these works for their own cultural purposes. Munoz calls this process disidentification, and through a study of its workings, he develops a new perspective on minority performance, survival, and activism.Disidentifications is also something of a performance in its own right, an attempt to fashion a queer world by working on, with, and against dominant ideology. By examining the process of identification in the work of filmmakers, performance artists, ethnographers, Cuban choteo, forms of gay male mass culture (such as pornography), museums, art photography, camp and drag, and television, Munoz persistently points to the intersecting and short-circuiting of identities and desires that result from misalignments with the cultural and ideological mainstream in contemporary urban America.Munoz calls attention to the world-making properties found in performances by queers of color--in Carmelita Tropicana s Camp/Choteo style politics, Marga Gomez s performances of queer childhood, Vaginal Creme Davis s Terrorist Drag, Isaac Julien s critical melancholia, Jean-Michel Basquiat s disidentification with Andy Warhol and pop art, Felix Gonzalez-Torres s performances of disidentity, and the political performance of Pedro Zamora, a person with AIDS, within the otherwise artificial environment of the MTV serialThe Real World. Seller Inventory # AAR9780816630158

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