Ass4Sale, film stills, HD-video, 20:50 min., 2014 © Tabita Rezaire
SITUATION #51: Tabita Rezaire, Ass4Sale, 2014
17 September – 27 November 2016
Gender normativity, sexual identity and racial politics are at the centre of Tabita Rezaire’s artistic investigations. Social power relations, closely tied to the politics of the image, continue to be deeply inscribed into the architecture of the internet and online culture. Turning the screen against itself, Rezaire’s online and video works are strong political and activist statements that use the internet and its tools for dissent and resistance, questioning western hegemony, white supremacy and the policies of representation in the web.
Ass4Sale revolves around the phenomenon of twerking, a dance form that has gained increasing popularity in western culture since Miley Cyrus’ uncritical appropriation in 2013. Rezaire investigates the mechanisms of cultural appropriation that have stripped twerking of its African origins and culture. As a former ritual of fertility, twerking is strongly tied to the black female body. Assimilated and disseminated as a mainstream phenomena and commodity fetish, it has been decontextualised from issues of race, gender, privilege and ownership. Racist double standards are exposed as the practice of twerking, considered “ghetto” and over-sexualised in the context of black culture, becomes fashionable and trendy once adopted and assimilated – upholding and reinforcing myths about black female sexuality.