2013 & 2014: Hot Looking

hot-looking_2014_01_ursula-johnson

2013 & 2014: Hot Looking

PERFORMED AT:
2014 Art In The Open: Art at Night Festival at Casa Mia Cafe, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island 

2013 Nocturne: Art at Night Festival at Mills Brother, Halifax, Nova Scotia

MATERIALS:
Pipe and Drape, Staging, Stool, Make Up, Lighting, PA System, Looped Sample of “Looking Hot” by No Doubt, Designated Performer (Beautiful Man)
STATEMENT:
Hot Looking involves a choreographed-durational performance by a Pow-Wow dancer, Bert Milberg (who’s traditional name happens to be ‘Beautiful Man’) of Soto Descent, intermittently be dancing and taking “stoic Indian” poses. An audio looped remixed sample of the song called “Looking Hot” by pop group No Doubt will be projected from both inside and outside the performance space.

Recently, in the fall of 2012, the pop group received much criticism (from both the indigenous and non-indigenous communities) for the music video that they produced for the song, “Looking Hot”. The main critique was accusations of cultural appropriation and perpetuation of stereotypes of the western “cowboys and Indians” relationship. The video depicts lead singer Gwen Stefani as the “Indian princess damsel in distress” and a band mate as the cowboy who attempts to subdue her, while another band-mate saves her as the “Indian brave”.

Artist Ursula Johnson believed that the group’s intention was not to perpetuate stereotypes but was an attempt to engage in critical cross-cultural dialogue about historic and current romanticizations of American Indians. One of the aims of the project is to create space for viewers to consider representation of indigenous peoples and to witness indigenous self-determination through the act of performance.

ASSOCIATED ARTICLES:
A walk through Charlottetown’s Art in the Open 2014 (Visual Arts News, October 27, 2014 by John Murchie)

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Images: Michael Wasnidge (Performer outside window) Images: Ursula Johnson (Performer inside of window)

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