Disidentifications: Queers Of Color And The Performance Of Politics (Cultural Studies of the Americas)

by José Esteban Muñoz

Paperback, 1999

Status

Checked out

Publication

Univ Of Minnesota Press (1999), 248 pages

Description

There is more to identity than identifying with one's culture or standing solidly against it. Jos Esteban Mu oz looks at how those outside the racial and sexual mainstream negotiate majority culture--not by aligning themselves with or against exclusionary works but rather by transforming these works for their own cultural purposes. Mu oz calls this process "disidentification," and through a study of its workings, he develops a new perspective on minority performance, survival, and activism.Disidentifications is also something of a performance in its own right, an attempt to fashion a queer world by working on, with, and against dominant ideology. By examining the process of identification in the work of filmmakers, performance artists, ethnographers, Cuban choteo, forms of gay male mass culture (such as pornography), museums, art photography, camp and drag, and television, Mu oz persistently points to the intersecting and short-circuiting of identities and desires that result from misalignments with the cultural and ideological mainstream in contemporary urban America.Mu oz calls attention to the world-making properties found in performances by queers of color--in Carmelita Tropicana's "Camp/Choteo" style politics, Marga Gomez's performances of queer childhood, Vaginal Creme Davis's "Terrorist Drag," Isaac Julien's critical melancholia, Jean-Michel Basquiat's disidentification with Andy Warhol and pop art, Felix Gonzalez-Torres's performances of "disidentity," and the political performance of Pedro Zamora, a person with AIDS, within the otherwise artificial environment of the MTV serialThe Real World.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member bildwechsel_gast
From University of Minnesota Press:
An important new perspective on the ways outsiders negotiate mainstream culture.

There is more to identity than identifying with one's culture or standing solidly against it. Jose Esteban Munoz looks at how those outside the racial and sexual mainstream negotiate majority culture—not by aligning themselves with or against exclusionary works but rather by transforming these works for their own cultural purposes. Munoz calls this process 'disindentification,' and through a study of its workings, he develops a new perspective on minority performance, survival, and activism.

Disidentifications is also something of a performance in its own right, an attempt to fashion a queer world by working on, with, and against dominant ideology. Whether examining the process of identification in the work of filmmakers, performance artists, ethnographers, Cuban choteo, forms of gay male mass culture (such as pornography), museums, art photography, camp and drag, or television, Munoz persistently points to the intersecting and short-circuiting of identities and desires that result from misalignments with the cultural and ideological mainstream in contemporary urban America.

Munoz calls attention to the world-making properties found in performances by queers of color--in Carmelita Tropicana's 'Camp/Choteo' style politics, Marga Gomez's performances of queer childhood, Vaginal Creme Davis's 'Terrorist Drag,' Isaac Julien's critical melancholia, Jean-Michel Basquiat's disidentification with Andy Warhol and pop art, Felix Gonzalez-Torres's performances of 'disidentity,' and the political performance of Pedro Zamora, a person with AIDS, within the otherwise artificial environment of the MTV serial The Real World.

“This provocative, scholarly book explores what Munoz calls ‘disidentification,’ a process whereby art outsiders, namely sexual and racial minorities within various media navigate and transform the so-called normative or dominant cultural groups. This is a breakthrough book.” —MultiCultural Review

'If you could judge a book by its cover, you say that Muñoz’s Disidentifications is alluring and fantastic. A pivotal study of the identity—or rather, disidentity—of queer-of-color performers.' —Reforma

Jose Esteban Munoz is assistant professor of performance studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

192 pages | 31 black-and-white photos, 7 figures | 7 x 10 | 1999
Cultural Studies of the Americas Series, volume 2
… (more)
LibraryThing member amberluscious
While I realize the value of this book as a marker and archive of queer being and action, it was challenging to grasp a complete understanding of disidentification. Like other reviewers I found the definition or term to be nebulous, nonetheless, the examples were clear and understandable in themselves of the hybrid nature of queerness.… (more)

Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

1999

Physical description

248 p.; 7 inches

ISBN

0816630151 / 9780816630158
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