Sexing the Colorlines: Black Sexualities, Popular Culture, and Cultural Production
'Me And Pac And Snoop' + 'Variable:Posture'
Department of Art, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA USA
Poroi 7, 2 (June 2011)
This work confronts constructions of masculinity in depictions of rap musicians. Having lived in Los Angeles during the earlier part of my life, these two figures played a significant role in the visual cultural landscape that I experienced. During this performance, I activate the two figures by positioning myself within their gaze. Utilizing this relationship, I attempt to maintain an upper body muscular flex for as long as possible. Once I am no longer capable of holding the flex I relax, still within their gaze. In exhausting the capacities of my body, I seek to open questions of reality, representation and the relationship between them.
This work plays with the performance of gender. Utilizing both the concept and the act of 'posturing,' in this piece I contemplate the way bodies are understood visually. Intentionally out of focus and situated in a grid, the formal decisions of the work illustrate the role of ambiguity in perceptions of gender. The figure enters each frame simultaneously, assumes a different pose, freezes for a brief moment, and then exits.
© Ambrose Naqeeb Stevens, 2011.