FormatWechsel, Bilderzirkulation und visuelle queere Politiken. Iké Udé und das strukturelle Paradox des Cover Girls


  • Barbara Paul



FormatChange, Image Circulations and Visual Queer Politics. Iké Udé and the Structural Paradox of the Cover Girl

The article is a slightly modified reprint of the chapter “Iké Udé: Cover Girl” from my book “FormatWechsel. Kunst, populäre Medien und Gender-Politiken / FormatChange. Art, Popular Media and Gender Politics, Wien: Sonderzahl Verlag 2008, pp. 17-33 (Linzer Augen. Schriftenreihe des Instituts für Bildende Kunst und Kulturwissenschaften an der Kunstuniversität Linz, Band 2). In regard to the given thematic context, some additions were made at its beginning and end. Taking Nigerian artist Iké Udé’s photo series “Cover Girl” as an example, the text demonstrates how the artistic strategy of format change may keep in motion the hegemonic power effects of knowledge and orders of knowledge and, thus, may also keep them open to new inscriptions of meaning achieved through change of context. This may also happen by way of diverting and transforming processes of circulation. In his photographic self-representations that quote the covers of well-respected journals, use camp aesthetics and play with stereotypes of “the black man” as well as with the performativity of gender, Udé proposes a queer perspective which subverts the hegemonic regimes of normality and normativity.