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Being of the Gaze


In the latest issue of Art Practical, artist and writer Colleen Asper asks, “Why, in the absence of censorship, do we use our so-called freedoms largely to reproduce existing structures of oppression?”:

Power makes certain things visible and certain things invisible through means far subtler than prohibition. It teaches us to enjoy our symptom. This being the case, as artists we should not only censor all our impulses to align with what the existing structures of oppression produce, we should work to give form to exceptions to this structure and thus aid in its destruction. In doing so, we must take care never to replace these structures with others that merely maintain another form of inequality, nor should our work make visible to global capital one more identity to name and demographic to which to market. It is not enough to remove the noise-canceling headphones from the phallus only to whisper our name; we must learn to speak among ourselves with disregard for the phallic position altogether. We should create images that picture—whatever paradox this might present—the being of the gaze.

Image: Colleen Asper, Man Has the Gaze, 2014