Examining the work of several artists, including David Hammons, Adrian Piper, Senga Nengudi, Glenn Ligon, and Simone Leigh, among others, Resurfaced Flesh: Black Aesthetics Unbound aims to discern how these artists engage in the artistic and performative disassembly of the black body. The book’s central claim is that the achievement of modern aesthetic forms are thoroughly inflected and disrupted by enduring racial histories. Focusing on large-scale installations and artistic strategies that draw from conceptualism and minimalism, the book brings themes of figuration, abstraction, and form in aesthetic theory to bear on the racialized and gendered display of the body in contemporary art, and specifically directs readers to the flesh as a frame that denotes how these artists engage in crucial deconstructions of the black body.
Rizvana Bradley is Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies and African-American Studies at Yale University. She holds a BA from Williams College and a PhD from Duke University. She was a Helena Rubinstein Critical Studies Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. She has given talks at the New Museum and the Whitney, and is currently working on a book project on black utopias in collaboration with the artist Steffani Jemison for the Museum of Modern Art. She was the guest editor of a special issue of the journal Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, and has published articles in TDR: The Drama Review, Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture, Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge, and Black Camera: An International Film Journal.