Added by: Hans Maes
Summary: As ‘always already’ racialized object of the white patriarchal look African-Americans have enduringly suffered from having to negotiate notions of the self from a crisis position. The act of self-portraiture for the African-American artist has the value of bestowing upon the self-portraitist a sense of empowerment.
Comment: Useful in discussing portraiture and depiction, as well as empowerment and art's role in power relations in general.
Artworks to use with this text:
Lyle Ashton Harris, Construct #10 (collection of the artist, 1988)
Harris's self-portraits are redemptive and liberatory in their focus on the self. They challenge standard discourse on identity and subjectivity to present a new sign of black power and liberation. Because his photographs expose gender as constructed and performed, they also, in the process, subvert phallocentrism and compulsory heterosexuality.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Smalls, James. African-American Self-Portraiture
2001, Third Text, pp. 47-62.
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