Exhibitions and Colonial Gazes
Tourist Gaze—what is it?
• Form of visual consumption
• Increasingly involves techne (the intentional, human extension of a natural
• Involves the consumption of signs (or collection of signs)
• involves a process of objectification
• reflects the occularcentrism of the Western Society
• focused on something distinctive
• often organized by professionals
• often authorized, socially ordered, and systematized
• invovles a purification of the viewscape
Colonial or exhibitional gaze
What is othering? Process of the objectification of others. A way of affirming one’s own
identity by stigmatizing others.
What is colonialism? Categorizing people by saying other people are different; the real
English, and the people of English colonies for example. Sort of like Othering.
Colonialism colonizes another country in the form of exploitation for example.
Exploitation or subjectifation of people, a system of control. Develops colonies or
territories. You use those places for labour, resources, you control their trade and you
do it through military power (troops).
After being colonized, these countries gained independence. That’s why we are post-
colonialism because these countries have had their independence after decades.
What is orientalism? Shaped by Edward Said, a scholar developed this concept.
Concerned about orients who are middle easterns. In his book, he was talking about
this othering process and discussed the way that people in the Middle East were
studied by the Europeans. Orientalism id saying there is a way of discussing these people in the middle east and we need to understand why it exists. He was interested
about how the middle east was discussed today in movies and portrayals of arabs.
Orientalism comes out of colonialism and its desire to dominate and to see others as
Stereotypes of Orientals
• Orientals were known to be subjected and ruled. The Middle Eastern men was
someone you couldn’t trust, and lazy, and feminine, as opposed to norms in the
West. The oriental is hostile to change, and backward, and hate modernization.
• The women were a source of exotic interest, mysterious, and wished to be
dominated by the European male. The women become exoticized and alluring.
Mitchell on Colonialism
• Colonizing refers not simply to the establishing of a European presence but also
to the spread of a political order that inscribes in the social world a new
conception of space, new forms of personh