Click here to read this text

Art Essay Humanities Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

Cultural Crossings: performing race and transgender in the work of moti roti

By Dorothy Rowe, 2004

This essay investigates the possibilities offered for an exploration of racial and gendered identities as performed through the experimental art projects of the diasporic London-based artist-led group moti roti. Framed within the context of a Butlerian theory of the performative, moti roti’s 1995 installation/performance, Wigs of Wonderment is considered both in terms of Butler’s proposition for the destablization of fixed gendered identities and sexual identifications, but also in terms of Homi Bhaba’s incisive analysis of the rigidity of terms through which colonial discourse maintains its authority. Dislodging racial, sexual and gendered categories through the introduction of third term (the cross-dresser, the hybrid), dependent for its disruptive effects of difference and excess upon the power of parodic imitation and mimicry, Wigs of Wonderment exposes the instability of identification with sensuality, empathy and frequent humour.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *