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Four Women and I (2011)

Ope Lori //

Taking the form of video, performance and photography, I am looking at the power relations between female bodies of different races when they are viewed in juxtaposition to one another, and how gender roles are negotiated between inter-racial female couples. My work investigates signs of visual difference associated with masculinity and femininity that are carried by skin colour through myths, stereotypes and representations of black and white women in films, specifically in lesbian narratives. Focusing on the transformative power of the ideologically informed gaze, my main questions focus on how in visual representations, black women are seen to occupy a non-feminine space when next to their white female counterpart, who takes on the feminine ideal. My visual works all lead to questioning the connections between race and gender, re-positioning black women into the realm of the feminine and essentially creating a new way of seeing black female bodies.

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