A Bruising Gaze on a Faltering Landscape

May - June 2020, The Block Museum, Evanston IL

A Bruising Gaze on a Faltering Landscape is the culminating thesis work of Shabtai Pinchevsky and Katherine Simóne Reynolds, candidates of the 2021 MFA degree program in Art, Theory, and Practice, Northwestern University.

“Following the credits, a boat glides down a thick, green river. Standing near the front of the boat is a woman in a long white dress and a large veiled hat. The image is familiar from dominant cinema's colonialism-as-entertainment genre. But we notice that this woman stands hipshot, chin cocked, one arm akimbo. These ebonics signify that filmmaker Dash has appropriated the image from reactionary cinema for an emancipatory purpose. She intends to heal our imperialized eyes.”

- Toni Cade Bambara, from the preface for Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust: The Making of an African American Woman’s Film

“How does a country look to the world? How does the world look to a country? And how can the landscape itself be said to have a perspective? Does this not suggest, quite literally, that the landscape looks back in some way at its beholders, returning their gaze with a blank, impassive stare, its face scarred with the traces of violence and destruction and (even more important) with the violent constructions that erupt on its surface?”

- W. J. T. Mitchell, Holy Landscape: Israel, Palestine, and the American Wilderness