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"Black Oil on My Skin" : black male nudes in the photographs of Michael Chambers

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"Black Oil on My Skin" : black male nudes in the photographs of Michael Chambers

Leslie, Cassandra (2003) "Black Oil on My Skin" : black male nudes in the photographs of Michael Chambers. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The work of Canadian contemporary photographer Michael Chambers is used in this study as a lens through which the experiences and views of a black, male art producer can be examined in the construction of the black male body in art. The text draws on the primary source of Chambers' black and white photographs, and the imagery constructed around black males from Europe and North America, which isolates the black body within particular stereotypes. A theory concerning the repetition of the "documentary body" is developed throughout the thesis whereby the black body continually functions as a symbol of violence, sexuality and strength in the visual and media arts. This thesis will examine Chambers' efforts to undermine the current cultural dialogue within Western culture that maintains the documentary body by using the very tools and imagery employed to create and sustain that body. Three aspects of the documentary body--savagery, restraint, and violence--within the artist's work are argued as intrinsic to the struggle to reassess and reconstruct the black documentary body within western visual culture.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Leslie, Cassandra
Pagination:viii, 141 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Art History
Date:2003
Thesis Supervisor(s):Parkowsky, Sandra
ID Code:2165
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:25
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:25
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