JEZEBEL © Bas De Brouwer
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Artist, 15 October 2020

JEZEBEL © Bas De Brouwer

Cherish Menzo
Distorted Rap Body

by Julien Bécourt

Summary

On stage, Cherish Menzo’s stature is impressive: steel body with protruding muscles, oversized false nails, long braids, teeth covered with a grill and vindictive expressions. After having performed for numerous choreographers and as a soloist under the direction of Benjamin Kahn (Sorry, but I feel slightly disidentified…), the Dutch dancer and performer reappropriates in her solo JEZEBEL the aesthetics of the Video Vixens, those athletic and outrageously sensual young black women who appeared in the mainstream rap videos of the 1990s. Female empowerment or commercial exploitation? What remains of this figure once transposed into an abstract universe? Gendered and racialized stereotypes are deconstructed in order to establish a new identity: that of an uncanny, post-gender Jezebel.

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