From Lemonade To Homecoming: Beyoncé´s Visual Spaces

  • Patricia Coloma Peñate Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM)

Abstract

With the publication of her visual album Lemonade (2016), pop singer Beyoncé transformed her career. In this album the artist defines her identity according to her own parameters, not those imposed by the politics of respectability. Her later visual productions continued with this unique departure from her previous works. In asserting her aesthetic, Beyoncé engages in a visual paradigm that centralizes the African American experience. In Lemonade, the singer performs on a plantation, adopting a powerful role; in “Apeshit” (2018), Queen Bey and her husband Jay-Z dance within the Louvre, making visible how this space excludes African art from its displayed pieces, and on her live album Homecoming (2019) Beyoncé uses the space of the Coachella festival to make visible this African American college celebration. This article reflects on the artist’s employment of these settings to destabilize and contend with the imposed norm, that of whiteness.

Author Biography

Patricia Coloma Peñate, Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM)
Patricia Coloma Peñate holds a PhD in English from Georgia State University (2012). Prior to lecturing for the Modern Language Department at Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM) in 2015, she taught English and Spanish at Georgia State University, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR). She is a specialist in African American and Afro-Cuban literature and folklore.

References

Ahmed, Sarah. 2007. “A Phenomenology of Whiteness.” Feminist Theory, 8 (2), 149-68.

Allen, Barbara, and Thomas J. Schlereth, editors. 1990. Sense of Place American Regional Cultures. The University Press of Kentucky.

Araujo, Ana Lucia. 2018. “Blackening the Louvre Museum: Beyoncé, Jay Z, and the Legacies of Slavery.” A Historian’s Views, June 19. [Accessed April, 4th, 2021].

Bachelard, Gaston. 2014. The Poetics of Space. Penguin Books.

Berman, Judy. 2019. “Beyonce Claims Music’s Most Influential Stage for Black Culture: Instep.” Thenews, TNS, 28 April. [Accessed April 4th 2021].

Beyoncé. 2016. Lemonade. Parkwood Entertainment.

—. 2019. Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé. United States: Parkwood Entertainment.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1977. Outline of a Theory of Practice (Vol. 16). Cambridge: Cambridge U P.

—. 1996. “Physical Space, Social Space and Habitus.” University of Illinois Archives. [Accessed April 5th, 2021]

Brooks, Daphne A. 2008. “‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’: Black Female Soul Singing and the Politics of Surrogation in the Age of Catastrophe.” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism 8 (1), 180-204.

Carby, Hazel. 1992. “Policing the Black Woman’s Body in an Urban Context.” Critical Inquiry 18 (4), 738-55.

Coloma Peñate, Patricia. 2019. “Beyoncé Diaspora Heritage and Ancestry in Lemonade,” in The Lemonade Reader,

eds. Kinitra D. Brooks and Kameelah L. Martin, 111-123, Routledge.

Davis, Thadious M. 2011. Southscapes: Geographies of Race, Region and Literature. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P.

Dubois, W. E. B. 1989. The Souls of Black Folks. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Edgar, Amanda Nell and Ashton Toone. 2019. “‘She Invited other People to that Space’: Audience Habitus, Place and Social Justice in Beyoncé’s Lemonade,” Feminist Media Studies 19 (1), 87-101.

Ford, Tanisha L. 2019. “Beysthetics: ‘Formation’ and the Politics of Style”, in The Lemonade Reader, eds. Kinitra D. Brooks and Kameelah L. Martin, 192-201.

Gaither, Chris. 2019. “ Beyoncé’s Homecoming Shows Us What Abundance Looks Like.” Chris Gaither Coaching, Chris Gaither Coaching, 31 May. [April 5th 2021].

Gibson, Michael L. 2019. “Interlude E: From Destiny’s Child to Coachella – On Embracing Then Resisting Other’s Respectability Politics,” in The Lemonade Reader, eds. Kinitra D. Brooks and Kameelah L. Martin, 144-54.

Harrison, Faye. 2008. Outsider Within: Reworking Anthropology in the Global Age. PLACE: U of Illinois P.

Hbcu Editors et al. 2017. “Homecoming’s Deep Meaning at an HBCU: ‘Stand Confidently in a Crowd Where You’re the Majority.’” HBCU Buzz, 1 Nov. [Accessed April 5th 2021].

Henderson, Mae G. 2014. Speaking in Tongues and Dancing Diaspora: Black Women Writing and Performing. Oxford: Oxford UP.

Hobson, Janell. 2017. “Portraits of Black Womanhood.” AAIHS, December 18. [Accessed April 6th 2021].

Hornstein, Shelley. 2011. Losing Site: Architecture, Memory, and Place. Ashgate.

Hosking, Taylor. 2018. “Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s New Vision of Gender in ‘Apeshit.’” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, June 22. [Accessed April 6th 2021].

Lorde, Audre. 2018. The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House. PLACE: Penguin. Kindle.

Malpas, Jeff. 2018. Place and Experience: A Philosophical Topography. PLACE: Routledge.

Nelson, Charmaine A. 2000. “White Marble, Black Bodies and the Fear of the Invisible Negro: Signifying Blackness in mid-19th Century Neoclassical Sculpture.” RACAR: Revue d’art canadienne/Canadian Art Review, 27: 87-101.

Nelson, George. 1991. Interview with Pacharee Sudhinaraset at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. [Accessed April 6th 2021]

Nora, Pierre. 1989. “Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire.” Representations 26: 7-25.

Oliver, Kelly. 2001. Witnessing: Beyond Recognition. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P.

Pérez, Elizabeth. 2015. “The Ontology of Twerk: From ‘Sexy’ Black Movement Style to Afro Diasporic Sacred Dance.”

African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal: 1-16.

Roach, Joseph. 1996. Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance. New York:Columbia UP.

Smalls, James. 2004. “Slavery Is a Woman: ‘Race,’ Gender, and Visuality in Marie Benoist’s Portrait d’une Négresse (1800).” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide. [April 6th 2021].

Snead, James A. 2017. “On Repetition in Black Culture.” African American Review 50 (4): 648-56.

Sudhinaraset, Pacharee. 2018. “‘We Are Not an Organically City People’: Black Modernity and the Afterimages of Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust.” The Black Scholar 48 (3), 46-60.

—. The Carters, 2018. “Apeshit” Youtube video, 4:25, June 16. [Accessed April 7th 2021].

Waller, Dr. Susan. “Marie-Guillemine Benoist, Portrait of Madeleine.” Smarthistory. [Accessed April 7th 2021].

Published
2022-06-29
Section
Articles