Viewing Nelisiwe Xaba’s Fremde Tänze (2014) in Berlin and Chicago revealed differing levels of meaning in the work. In Berlin the work exposed and parodied the white gaze of the black female dancer, while in Chicago the work vivified the gap between the responses of black and white spectators. The reception of Fremde Tänze in the two cities demonstrates the workings of “cross-viewing,” the moments when spectators from distinct social locations watch one another watching.
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©2020 Susan Manning