Dancing With Che #1 (2002), and Dancing with Che #2 (2002) by Barbara Astman. CCCA.

Barbara Astman's Dancing with Che series from 2002 captures moments of the artist dancing in a T-shirt which bears the face of Che Guevara. Astman's bodily movements distort the image of Che's face, imbuing his stoic facial expression with powerful dynamism. Indifference toward this ubiquitous iconic image is replaced with fascination and anticipation as Che's persona metamorphoses from one image to the next.  

I am interested in the way that the dancer's oscillating materiality parallels the fluid nature of Che's identity and reputation. The blurriness of the dancer's body and the absence of her face suggest that the body as the site of personal identity is never fixed, always changing. Similarly, as an iconic image, Che assumes various identities, from diplomat to rebel, from criminal to martyr. Together, the artist and Che dance around our attempts to fix concrete identities upon them. 

Click here to see the entire Dancing with Che series and other works by Astman.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, neat! The warping effects of photo tee shirts are endlessly fun to witness. The more dignified the person being portrayed, the better.