Kata Halasz

I Love Black Men, 2011

Performer: Marian Alonso Perez

This performance is part of a series of works in which Halasz tests assumptions of racialised hyper-sexuality and sexual desire claimed to lie at the heart of processes of stereotyping and the construction and representation of racial difference. She explores concepts of race being inseparable from notions of hyper-sexuality grounded in the fetishisation of the black male body and challenges the constitution of race, sexuality and gender in normative society. Crossing questions of racism irrevocably with questions of sexuality, the performance places the white female body as a site for exposing the discourse that posits an elemental attraction of white women to black men and confronting it from a feminist and queer perspective.

Challenging these constructs through censorship and controversy – and anger as a creative response – Halasz takes the role of society and instructs her performer to enter a racialised and sexualised space writing the same sentence on a black board over a period of three hours (shown in an edited version here) until she breaks down from anger and exhaustion.

Katalin Halasz is an artist and sociologist. Halasz has studied at Camberwell College of Art, London and at the London School of Economics. She works in installation, intervention and video, and the spaces in which performance becomes unmediated experience. She has published, collaborated and exhibited internationally. Halasz also teaches experimental video and performance in community groups, recently in Roma communities in Italy and Romania – and views this works as an important strand in her research. She is currently conducting a practice based PhD research in Visual Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, examining cultural translation in contemporary visual arts, investigating questions of identity in relation to the visual representation of race, ethnicity and gender.

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