Bil Browning

WTF: The Gay Gaze

Filed By Bil Browning | June 03, 2011 7:04 AM | comments

Filed in: You Gotta See This
Tags: serial killer, WTF

What in the hell is this? This quiet young man demonstrates "the gay gaze" for us, but I have to admit it looks more like a serial killer's stare to me.

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That is Mark Aguhar, a Chicago-based queer Filipino artist. He's absolutely incredible. Here's his artist's statement from his tumblr:

Mark Aguhar’s work is a continuous exploration of queer expression and what it means to have grown up gay on the internet. Aguhar collects visual artifacts from queer online communities and uses them in his work to define and redefine who he is and what his body is. Aguhar works primarily in drawing, making bluntly gay works that combine porn, fashion, textile patterns, optical effects, trans identities, and queer jokes. He does not intend to make teaching work, or art to represent the entirety of the LGBTIQA community, he just wants to express his own realness.

I think this post is overly bitchy/catty.

This video is an extension of Mark's performance-art pieces. Specifically, this video is part of a body of work he refers to as "self-care." His self-care videos are videos which document Mark engaging in beauty rituals to produce his body not only as feminine, but also as beautiful and powerful. The video is an attempt to critique a culture which constantly reminds Mark that his brown, fat, effeminate body is not beautiful, that it is not worth love, that it is subject to erasure, and that it deserves to be destroyed-- all things which you are suggesting in your post. I would even suggest that calling him a serial killer is an extension of your belief that 'proper eyes' are those which are large, colorful, and expressive--a very obviously racially coded belief.

The point of the video is to draw attention to the gaze. Consider the performative difference between looking into the camera, and looking into the viewfinder. Mark is shooting this in Photo Booth, but he's very careful to stare into the camera. This is an act of forcefully asserting his subjectivity in a culture which objectifies and exotifies--and in the case of this post PATHOLOGIZES-- non-white bodies.

If you're interested in learning more about Mark Aguhar, you should check out the following links. I *highly* recommend you look into his anti-racist work.

Gaytorguy | June 4, 2011 1:57 PM

Looks more like he is drunk or stoned and trying to entice someone.
It could also be a ploy. If guys "know" what the "gay gaze" is then they won't notice being cruised?
To be honest, like, Bil wrote, if I did see someone looking at me like that I would definitely run the other way while screaming serial killer! LOL

The gay gaze is violent, duh. So he should look like a "serial killer." But a really fabulous one.