White Gaze: Michelle Dizon & Việt Lê

When 22 Nov 2019
5:00PM - 8:00PM
Where AI Now Institute
155 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013
United States

AI Now Fridays creates space for discussion, exploration, and insight. Drinks will be served, and each event will feature a short talk, followed by casual conversation. For our third edition we will hear from artists Michelle Dizon and Việt Lê. The event will be moderated by Professor Jason Schneiderman.

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. This event is cosponsored by NYU Asian/Pacific/American Institute.

Michelle Dizon is an artist, writer, filmmaker, and Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Her works seize upon a freedom in time to assert languages, materialities, and knowledges that unravel the political projects of Western modernity and that hold space for the intimate and complex exploration of life worlds that are silenced by power and written out of history.

Dizon’s works takes place in both the contexts of institutions and grassroots organizing. She has lectured and exhibited across the Americas, Europe, and Asia in significant cultural and educational institutions such as the Center for Feminist Studies in Zagreb, Croatia, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, UK, SalaSab, Bogota, Colombia, Caixaforum, Barcelona, Spain, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France, The Cooper Union, NYC, NY, Vargas Museum, Manila, Philippines, Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong, the Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Gothenburg, Sweden, and the Singapore Biennial.  She has also founded and developed grassroots initiatives to build and nurture community such as at land’s edge (2015-18) an autonomous pedagogical platform based in South and East Los Angeles and the Memory and Resistance Laboratory (2019- present) which partners with grassroots organization to create media based in political struggle and social movements. Dizon has received grants from the University of California Humanities Research, the Human Rights Center, Art Matters, the Fulbright Foundation. She has been honored with a 2017-18 Master Artist Fellowship from the City of Los Angeles.

She earned an MFA in Art with a specialization in Interdisciplinary Studio from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in Rhetoric with designated emphases in Film and Women, Gender, and Sexuality from the University of California, Berkeley.

Việt Lê is an artist, writer, and curator. Lê is an Associate Professor in Visual Studies at California College of the Arts (San Francisco). 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.

Solo exhibitions include Sonic Spiritualities (Vargas Museum,University of the Philippines 2020), 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; UCLA Hammer Museum, the Smithsonian, DoBaeBacSa Gallery; Japan Foundation, Việt Nam; 1a Space, Hong Kong; Bangkok Art & Cultural Center; Civitella Ranieri, Italy; Shanghai Biennale,; Rio Gay Film Festival; among other venues. vietle.net

Jason Schneiderman is the author of the poetry collections Hold Me Tight (Red Hen 2020);  Primary Source (Red Hen 2016); Striking Surface (Ashland Poetry Press 2010); and Sublimation Point (Four Way 2004). He also edited the Freshman Composition reader Queer: A Reader for Writers (Oxford UP 2016). He is an Associate Professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY and teaches in the Warren Wilson MFA Program.

Image courtesy of the event organizer.

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