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The Explicit Body in Performance by Rebecca Schneider

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Introduction

For decades now on sunny Sundays after brunch, fur-clad uptowners and in-the-know suburbanites have clogged downtown Manhattan’s West Broadway sidewalks. Eyeballing each other at galleries and grazing in expensive shops, these pomo flaneurs rub shoulders with black-leathered SoHo aesthetes, exchanging insignia of fashion. In 1985, a new breed of poster began to appear around and about downtown, especially near major SoHo art galleries. Strolling the avenue, a wandering eye might catch a boldfaced byline from one of these posters: ONLY FOUR COMMERCIAL GALLERIES IN NEW YORK SHOW BLACK WOMEN. ONLY ONE SHOWS MORE THAN ONE. In the late 1980s, art patrons might have stopped and thought before putting down money. As the posters gained in ...

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