Exotification of the male foreign body
“For the master’s tool will never dismantle the master’s house.” – Andre Lourde
This work deals with the theme of exotification and the exotic gaze. Exotification reduces cultural others to stereotypes, turning them into products for mass consumption. It takes away their agency to determine their own representations and situates the dominant power as the the centre of reference for their history, knowledge, desire and labour.
We focused on two areas. Firstly, I am trying to understand how cultural identities, gender, (post-)colonialism, capitalism, privilege and art contribute to the creation of the exotic gaze on the male foreign body. Secondly, my goal is to develop performance strategies based on care and vulnerability to deconstruct the exotic gaze and interrogate the power relations contained within the reproduction of stereotypes of the cultural other. Instead of equating the vulnerability of the cultural others with victimhood, I approach it from a place of agency and empowerment. What can vulnerability offer, in terms of resistance against exotification? How does a care-based resistance create a shift in the power relation and positionality between the exotic gaze and the object of the gaze?