Erica LORD
Danse Sauvage
2005
Pizeograph print
~44"x55"
In my photographs, I like to explore ideas or perceptions of who I am. In Danse Sauvage, I wanted to discuss ideas of attraction, repulsion, exoticism, and gender or feminist notions. I am interested in the exotification of mixed-race people, and in particular women, examining this history and complexities residing within the attraction to the exotic or the “other;” desire, repulsion, and fetishism are all tied within this relationship. In my research into this history of cultural and gender issues, I was fascinated with the life and story of Josephine Baker. Although her persona was promoted as an exotic beauty and controversial dancer, she realized this power, and used it to her advantage. As one of the earliest representations of the complex intersections between beauty, fetishism, and entertainment; I believe she became an archetype of this role that women fall into, whether it is one that they choose themselves, or become because of their looks, character, or role in society. By evoking the image of Josephine Baker, I hope to raise issues about the roles of power, the representation and manipulation of beauty, and issues within race, cultural studies, and contemporary feminism.
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