Man Ray's 'Noire et Blanche': Avant-garde, fashion, and Other(s)

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This paper discusses research on Man Ray's 'Noire et blanche' photographic series that features a female model and an African mask. This paper advances beyond the too often superficially noted formal similarities and contrasts between the representations of the woman and the mask to identify cultural connections between the representations of the woman and the mask to identify cultural connections between them involving sexual and racial "Otherness".

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14 p.

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Weston, Charisse & Way, Jennifer April 2, 2009.

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This paper is part of the collection entitled: UNT Scholarly Works and was provided by UNT Honors College to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 585 times . More information about this paper can be viewed below.

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  • Main Title: Man Ray's 'Noire et Blanche': Avant-garde, fashion, and Other(s)
  • Series Title: University Scholars Day

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Description

This paper discusses research on Man Ray's 'Noire et blanche' photographic series that features a female model and an African mask. This paper advances beyond the too often superficially noted formal similarities and contrasts between the representations of the woman and the mask to identify cultural connections between the representations of the woman and the mask to identify cultural connections between them involving sexual and racial "Otherness".

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14 p.

Notes

Abstract: Man Ray's photographic series, 'Noire et blanche', 1926, consists of more than twenty photographs of a pale-faced, female model holding a darkly stained African mask. Most of the photographs draw our attention to similarities in the shape of the model's face and that of the mask, as well as contrasts between the model's paleness and the mask's darkness. Although the first photograph from the series was published in 'Vogue' and 'Variétés' during the 1920s, the series did not gain attention in the art world until the 1980s when scholarly and critical interest in primitive art redeveloped within the contexts of postmodernism and post-colonialism. This paper advances beyond the too often superficially noted formal similarities and contrasts between the representations of the woman and the mask to identify cultural connections between the representations of the woman and the mask to identify cultural connections between them involving sexual and racial "Otherness". Establishing the connections involves a consideration of why modern artists often used African art or the female figure in their work. Importantly, by analyzing how the photographs foster formal similarities rendering the model and mask alike, the author is able to show how Man Ray commodified both the image of the modern woman and the image of African or "savage" to appeal to the fashion and fine art worlds.

Sixth Annual University Scholars Day, 2009, Denton, Texas, United States.

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  • The Eagle Feather, 2009, Denton: University of North Texas. Honors College

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  • Publication Title: The Eagle Feather
  • Volume: 6
  • Issue: 2009
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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UNT Scholarly Works

Materials from the UNT community's research, creative, and scholarly activities and UNT's Open Access Repository. Access to some items in this collection may be restricted.

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Man Ray's 'Noire et Blanche': Avant-garde, fashion, and Other(s) (Presentation)

Man Ray's 'Noire et Blanche': Avant-garde, fashion, and Other(s)

Presentation for the 2009 University Scholars Day at the University of North Texas discussing Man Ray's photographic series, "Noire et blanche" from 1926.

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Man Ray's 'Noire et Blanche': Avant-garde, fashion, and Other(s), ark:/67531/metadc86929

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  • April 2, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 2, 2012, 10:15 p.m.

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  • Nov. 21, 2017, 8:24 p.m.

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Weston, Charisse & Way, Jennifer. Man Ray's 'Noire et Blanche': Avant-garde, fashion, and Other(s), paper, April 2, 2009; [Denton, Texas]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86948/: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Honors College.