Alison Saar, The Snake Charmer, 1985
“bell hooks: …many folks look at your piece The Snake Charmer and see it as Grace Jones.
Alison Saar: It’s curious, he becomes Grace Jones, in people’s eyes, because of his hairdo. But as I produced the piece, in my imagination, it was a snake charmer, a man who had these powers, who could hold the snake suspended in his mouth. Whether he was a shaman or a gypsy, he could go between people and stir things up.
bell hooks: …Again, it goes back to breaking out of the culture-of-domination’s insistence on binaries: it has to be either/or, it has to be what you intend, there has to be this control. And I think what we’ve been addressing today is that art is interactive in the sense that the pieces aren’t just your intentionality. They aren’t just even your life experience—they are all of these diverse elements coming together.” ~ bell hooks, “Talking Art with Alison Saar,” Art on My Mind