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Troubling VisionPerformance, Visuality, and Blackness$
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Nicole R. Fleetwood

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226253022

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226253053.001.0001

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Excess Flesh: Black Women Performing Hypervisibility

Excess Flesh: Black Women Performing Hypervisibility

(p.105) Three Excess Flesh: Black Women Performing Hypervisibility
Troubling Vision
University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores how hypervisibility is a performative strategy for black female cultural producers. It describes visual and performance works by Renee Cox, Tracey Rose, Ayanah Moor and popular cultural performances by Janet Jackson and Lil' Kim. The controversy and media attention surrounding Cox's Yo Mama's Last Supper presented a cultural cachet and visibility that increased the artist's marketability and desirability in the New York art scene. Rose took on optics and the power of looking in her art. Controversy was aroused in Jackson's bodily performance. Moor produced a photographic series entitled Still. Lil' Kim served as both an example of hip-hop's degradation of women and of hip-hop female empowerment. It is noted that in the early twenty-first century, black women continue to be marked by blackness rooted in a legacy of a racial past and their bodies continue to bear these psychic and corporeal scars in dominant visual culture.

Keywords:   hypervisibility, Renee Cox, Tracey Rose, Ayanah Moor, Janet Jackson, Lil' Kim, black women

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