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White Gaze

Michelle Dizon
Việt Lê
Sming Sming Books
Artists' Books
18 × 25.5 cm
114 pp
Culture, Books on Books

In White Gaze, artist and filmmaker Michelle Dizon works with an archive of National Geographic magazines to explore the mechanics of the “white gaze.” Through a process of poetic subtraction, Dizon works with only the language on the original page to write a decolonial counterpoint to a way of imaging the world centered on the West. Her images lay the white gaze bare, unearth a genealogy of a racist visuality, and work in the gap between image and text to write against the grain of imperialist narratives. Artist and writer Việt Lê uses Dizon’s images from White Gaze as a starting point for his poetic exploration of the legacies of war and imperialism. Lê’s text performs a dual work, both contextualizing Dizon’s images in the history of empire and unleashing a rhythmic play with language, both visually and aurally, to cut to the core of how meaning is produced. His text speaks to absence as much as presence with a story of war and empire told in fragments, phrases, words hanging on the page—an index of both the trauma and resistance experienced by those subjected to the violence of empire.

Michelle Dizon is an artist, filmmaker, writer, theorist, and educator based in Los Angeles, California. Born in the United States as part of the Philippine diaspora, Dizon’s life experience has been shaped by the politics of migration across the Pacific Rim. The violence of imperialism and the intimate spaces of resistance within globalization form central pivots in her work which take the form of multi-channel video installations, expanded cinema performances, essay films, photographs, discursive events, pedagogical platforms, and writing.

Việt Lê is an artist, writer, and curator. Lê is an Assistant Professor in Visual Studies at California College of the Arts. He has been published in positions: asia critique; Crab Orchard Review; American Quarterly; Amerasia Journal; Art Journal; and the anthologies Writing from the Perfume River; Strange Cargo; The Spaces Between Us; Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art; among others. Recent solo exhibitions include lovebang! (Kellogg University Art Gallery, Los Angeles 2016), vestige (H Gallery Bangkok 2015), tan nÁRT cõi lòng | heARTbreak! (Nhà Sàn Collective Hà Nội). Lê has presented his work at The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA; DoBaeBacSa Gallery, Seoul, Korea; Japan Foundation, Việt Nam; 1a Space, Hong Kong; Bangkok Art & Cultural Center (BACC), Thailand; Civitella Ranieri, Italy; Shanghai Biennale, China; Rio Gay Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; among other venues.

  1. White Gaze
  2. White Gaze

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