Sometimes a Traveler: Women, Othered Bodies, and the Colonizing Gaze is a digital exhibition that seeks to challenge and confuse the ostensibly stable notions of subject and object, colonized and colonizer, Self and Other. This exhibition understands that the position of being a subject is one of immense power and was historically granted almost only to white men, who then used their privileges to objectify racialized female bodies through othering representation–what we here call the “colonizing gaze.” Contemporary female artists, many of them Women of Color, have rejected this power hierarchy in their own art and have attempted to subvert the subject-object dichotomy in order to assert their own subjectivity; Sometimes a Traveler thus asks you to consider: What makes an object? What makes a subject? Can art disrupt the colonizing gaze and subsequent objectification of women’s bodies? What constitutes such a gaze? What constitutes resistance to it? What perpetuates this gaze, and what subverts it?
As our title–taken from a Dotty Attie work of the same name–acknowledges, we are all complicit; we are travelers, voyeurs, colonizers, colonized, subjects, objects, bodies, Selves, and Others. We all define ourselves in relation to what we perceive to be different, strange, or exotic. This exhibition hopes to interrogate the meaning of such a relationship, the intersections between multiple identities , and the power expressed in each and every gaze.