In the club economy of seeing and being seen, hyper masculine bodies and bodily enactments not only communicate a certain idealized muscled aesthetic but also employ and reflect cultural notions of gender, sexuality, desire, race and class. As Peterson asserts in “Clubbing Masculinities: Gender Shifts in Gay Men’s Dance Floor Choreographies” the body and its expressions (both verbal and corporeal) can be read as articulations of an individual and his or her cultural positionality.
Thus, in a homo-social club setting where hyper masculine bodies full of kinetic energy react with one another, express desire and seek pleasure various cultural and political questions can be explored: What is the value in an individualistic display of an exceedingly masculinized body in a gay male setting? How much effort and time is put into maintaining the hyper-masculine representation? Does this hyper masculine representational strategy act as a shield against homophobia or is it a manifestation of internalized hetero-patriarchy and the homophobia that comes with it? Does the existence of hyper-masculine gay men undermine the dominant hetero-patriarchal values around gender and sexuality by showing masculinity to be performative rather than some form of essential identity attainable only by heterosexual men? Or does it reinforce the dominant values of hetero-patriarchy by placing a higher value on masculinity over femininity and a heterosexual gender expression over a homosexual or queer one? In relation to the hyper femininity of drag queens, to what degree is camp and irony involved in the performance of hyper masculinity?
This video takes the dancing body on the homo-social dance floor as a research site and aims to wander through the spectrum of hyper masculinity and its expressions, cultural origins and political implications.
Directors: Emre Busse and Selin Davasse
In corporation with Schwules Museum* and Pornceptual